I recently came back from a trip to Europe where I presented
the OpenEdge Strategy and Roadmap at the ProAlpha user conference held in
Frankfurt, as well as at the OpenEdge 10.2A Partner Technical Forum held in
Frankfurt and Vienna. And while it is
always fun to be able to talk about our strategy and roadmap with customers,
let me say what I found most impressive was seeing the way that our strategy is
really starting to payoff for many of our customers specifically in the way
they have enhanced and extended the functionality that is provided by OpenEdge
Architect to provide their own purposed tools in OpenEdge Architect’s
For example, Gunnar Schug from ProAlpha discussed with me
how they are working on building their own tools Eclipse-based tools for
OpenEdge Architect that do code analysis to ensure that they fit in with
ProAlpha’s coding conventions. ProAlpha
is also leveraging the Mylin Eclipse plugin to improve and automate task
management as part of the SDLC lifecycle.
Robert Prediger from ic4b AG demonstrated his Web4Biz
framework and showed how he used the BackBase Eclipse plugin to build an Ajax
interface for his OpenEdge Content Management System application. The back-end architecture is all OpenEdge ABL and Application Server driven.
Klaus de Vries and Klaus Erichsen from IAP demonstrated
their OF-1 framework which allows an OpenEdge developer to generate an OpenEdge
GUI, an OpenEdge GUI for .NET, Java, and an Ajax UI from a common model, based
on common visual designer, and have integrated this all into OpenEdge
Mike Fechner from Consultingwerk focuses his time on mentoring application partners to embrace
the new OpenEdge 10.2A capabilities. During the forum he demonstrated his
Dynamics for .NET framework showing how he has extended the Dynamics framework
to support the OpenEdge GUI for .NET interface.
He also introduced “WinKit – Windows Integration Toolkit”,
which simplifies the programming model when using the new OpenEdge GUI for .NET
feature by adding a “productivity layer”,
and also takes advantage of smart
coexistence capabilities to run classic OpenEdge GUI Windows in an OpenEdge GUI
for .NET MDI container.
He built and developed these controls using the OpenEdge GUI
for .NET capabilities built into OpenEdge Architect, but the other great thing
is because the visual designer built into OpenEdge Architect is so extensible,
he can access these new controls directly in the visual designer itself.
But a slick user interface needs a powerful business
application in order to be useful, and Mike is working very closely with Thomas
Wurl from Taste IT Consulting for that part. Together they have set up a joint
project to merge the concepts of ADM2 and OpenEdge Reference Architecture
(OERA) with the OpenEdge GUI for .NET
and Object-Orientation. This framework
and set of design tools includes Mike’s Smart Component Library – “Smart” GUI
for .NET Components – with Thomas’ “tic-Enterprise” Developer and Framework.
It generates an object-oriented OERA
(O3ERA) backend from an imported Database Schema, defining Business Entities
and generating classes and everything needed to have a full OERA Implementation.
The above are just a few examples of why the value of
OpenEdge Architect is greater than just the functions and features that you get
with the product. If you are using
OpenEdge Architect then great. Start
leveraging some of the more advanced features, learn about the OpenEdge GUI for
.NET, and try building something with the Visual Designer. And now is a great time to start learning all
that the Eclipse community has to offer so head on over to the Eclipse Web site.
If you are not using OpenEdge Architect, then it’s time to
get started. Work with your Progress
account team to figure out the best way to introduce OpenEdge Architect into
your environment, and checkout the OpenEdge Developers
Corner for lots of good content on how you can get started with OpenEdge