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August 3, 2010

Progress revs trusty OpenEdge 4GL for SaaS

Imminent OpenEdge 11 release gets multi-tenancy for Software as a Service devs

By Jason Stamper

Progress Software is gearing up to launch version 11 of its OpenEdge 4GL application development environment, CBR has learned, with key new functionality that will help customers and business partners to build applications that are Software as a Service (SaaS) ready.

Progress’ CEO Rick Reidy confirmed the news in a CBR interview. "Our Cloud strategy with Open Edge is that you want the ability to take a pre-packaged OpenEdge based application and be able to deploy on an EC2 or the cloud and all that sort of stuff, which we’ve done and certified," Reidy said. "And then there are other capabilities you may want, for example, multi-tenant database and application server. The ability to have a partner be able to do on-demand or SaaS application where just one logical image of the database is being shared by multiple customers."

"So multi-tenancy means one database but multiple companies are actually using it, but it’s all shielded, they don’t know about it," Reidy said. "So the purveyor of the SaaS application doesn’t have to have a separate copy of the database for every customer and therefore all the administration overhead, and being able to back up and restore and administer and so on."

Read our recent profile of Progress Software here.

Progress says over 3 million users interact with applications that have been built by over 2,000 Progress business partners, of which it adds 12 more a day. The original vision for so-called Fourth Generation Languages (4GLs) like OpenEdge from the 1970s to ’90s was that business people could use them and so obviate the need for developers. In practice it didn’t quite work out like that but developers adopted them to boost their own productivity.

One of the principles of Progress’ OpenEdge is that the firm hides much of the complexity that is required while an application is being written and also when it then needs to be deployed.

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Reidy said: "Just like we’ve always done, we’ve taken our OpenEdge faced applications that were originally written for, say, a host-based environment and can move to a client-server environment, can move to a web environment, can move to a Solaris environment, can now move into a Cloud environment. Effectively always allowing a partner base to adopt new platforms, new data sources, new capabilities, new UIs has always been an integral part of our strategy. We do all that heavy lifting so our partners don’t have to."

OpenEdge 11, with a multi-tenancy database and application server, will get a preview release in the second half of this year.

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