As anticipated (CI No 2,760), Progress Software Corp, Bedford, Massachusetts, introduced Version 8.0 of its Application Development Environment last week. The Environment enables developers to build client-server applications and deploy them against Oracle, Sybase, DB2/400, Windows NT SQL Server and other databases. Enhancements to 8.0 include access to VBX components that can be included in Windows applications; full graphical tools support is provided for assembling applications containing VBXs. The Application Development Environment also has an Object Linking & Embedding container and a starter set of VBXs from Progress’s Crescent Division. This starter set includes a spin button, enhanced combo box, and an event timer. SmartObjects is a collection of business objects that Progress said can be assembled into custom fully-functional applications without writing any code. Developers can make new applications with their own or Progress’s SmartObjects by pointing and clicking. Version 8.0 includes new SmartObjects re-usable application components within an Application Component Environment framework. This framework includes an Advisor and a Wizard that guides developers through visual assembly.
These generate message links between objects and the transaction processing and data management code. This occurs within a new User Interface Builder, which contains new SmartObjects. New SmartObjects include SmartView, SmartBrowse, Query, Frame, Window, Dialog, Panel and Folder objects. Developers can use these within Version 8.0’s Application Component Environment to fabricate, assemble and deliver application components for complex enterprise-level applications. Developers can use pre-packaged SmartObjects or build new SmartObjects using Progress’s new User Interface Builder and proprietary language. The User Interface Builder is the visual graphical environment for building applications. It has application programming interfaces for adding custom object coding and business processes. Version 8.0 also includes an application programming interface for using third party software configuration management products, and a Report Builder that integrates reports into proprietary language applications, enables cross database reporting, and enables users to design a variety of formats and templates. It enables personal computer users to run large reports on alternate servers while performing other tasks. Progress is selling Version 8.0 in two application development environment packages, Progress ProVision and Enterprise ProVision. Progress ProVision includes the Progress proprietary language, the User Builder Interface, the Report Builder, an application debugger and end-user query and reporting tool. It is priced at $3,600 per developer. Enterprise ProVision includes the above plus team development and configuration management support for the ADE by StarBase Corp’s Roundtable Total Software Management System. Enterprise ProVision costs $4,400 for a single developer. Version 8.0 will be available for 16-bit Windows 3.1 this week, with the eagerly-awaited 32-bit versions for Windows NT and Windows95 due in the first quarter of next year. Support for most Unix systems is planned for the second quarter of 1996. Progress prices its product lines including the application development environment, DataServers and relational database, according to concurrent users. Additionally, it has recast its database offerings into three products: Enterprise Database Server, for symmetric multiprocessing systems with more than 1,000 users, a Workgroup Data Server for moderate transaction processing for workgroups and a Personal Database for single personal computer users running stand-alone applications, client based static or temporary data.