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My First OpenEdge GUI Application, And In The Cloud Too !

My First OpenEdge GUI Application, And In The Cloud Too !

June 07, 2010 0 Comments
Last week I built my very first OpenEdge GUI Application. I even used OpenEdge Architect to do it (I normally use vi for programming). The whole development environment was running up in the cloud. I performed this remarkable feat at a workshop during the Netherlands PUG meeting near Utrecht.

The workshop was ably directed by Peter van Dam, from Futureproof Software. He made it really easy for about 60 beginners to learn how to build a simple but functional GUI application with a login screen, an updateable data grid, ribbons, etc with an Office-2007-like appearance.

Each workshop student was given a login for an AMI on Amazon EC2 where the OpenEdge development environment was installed and configured, along with a few image files for icons, and a database with customer records already in it.  This was accessed using Windows Remote Desktop. Nobody had to install anything on their own machine. Peter led everybody through the exercise in two 90 minute sessions with a half-hour break between them. Since he was speaking in Dutch, I had some trouble understanding him.

Nearly everybody finished their application. I had some cosmetic bugs I didn't bother to fix (labels in the wrong place and stuff like that) so mine was not 100% complete.

A few observations:

0) Amazon EC2 works really well for this sort of thing. Dev tools, code, database, everything was somewhere in the cloud. You could start as many machines as needed and run them as long as needed.

1) I was pleasantly surprised at how responsive the GUI was, running Remote Desktop over a hotel Internet connection to Amazon's data center.

2) Developing with the Eclipse-based OpenEdge Architect tool in the cloud is a lot nicer than using some crappy development tool running in a web browser.

3) The Infragistics UI controls have a lot of functionality and are very complicated.  Without a cookbook, I could never have figured out what to do and which properties did what.

4) Programming by clicking, clicking, and more clicking with the mouse is really boring.

5) Boring or not, it's powerful.  You can get a lot done quickly.

One more thing: at the very beginning of the workshop, the hotel's router had a meltdown. It took about 90 minutes or so to get a replacement. Being clever folks, the Dutch PUG meeting organizers had scheduled two talks for after the workshop. So we did these first, while the router was being dealt with.

All in all, an excellent outcome. If I can do this, you can too.

Gus Bjorklund

View all posts from Gus Bjorklund on the Progress blog. Connect with us about all things application development and deployment, data integration and digital business.

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