Progress Exchange 2014: A Cloud for Everyone

Progress Exchange 2014: A Cloud for Everyone

Posted on October 10, 2014 0 Comments

Progress Exchange was earlier this week, and if you weren't there, you really missed out! Don’t worry, though. I've been going over the things I talked about and learned, and I wanted to recap the themes of the conference.

Attendees seemed to fall into two camps: the experienced Progress users and the new guys. For the new guys, migration to the cloud has become easy—and a lot of them are already there, or started there. For organizations that have been around for a while, it can be a little more difficult.

Something I seek to impress on attendees, and every reader, is that cloud migration doesn't have to be hard. Even if you’re already on the cloud, it’s always worth asking : Are you truly leveraging the full power of cloud technology? In either case, a robust application development platform can bring your organization to the next level.

Cloud Platforms for Start-ups

'Speed boat (1)' by Jon Sullivan - Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons "Speed boat (1)" by Jon Sullivan - Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons


For lean, newly-formed organizations and start-ups, the cloud seems simple. In fact, a lot of these companies are already there. After all, when you’re just starting out and money is tight, it can be a lot easier to simply buy some space on a cloud than it is to invest in the space, equipment, and personnel to maintain all of that.

These guys are a new breed, used to moving fast. For them, anything that can make their businesses run smoother and more efficiently is worth investing in.


Cloud for Experienced Software Development Organizations

'ShipNorway' by Thorsten Pohl (Thpohl) - Own work. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons - "ShipNorway" by Thorsten Pohl (Thpohl) - Own work. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons


The impression I got from some of our more established partners was very different. They already have on-premise application servers, and they rely on them to back up the products and infrastructure they have been working on for years. These organizations also must deal with a host of legal compliance issues and often require dedicated servers for the security and stability that they represent. Migrating products to an entirely new infrastructure seems like a monumental task. And why should they? The systems they have in place do the job well enough—why rock the boat?

However, migration to the cloud may offer a competitive advantage necessary to adapt to the needs of customers who need their boats to speed through choppy, changeable waters. They need their apps to help them deliver cutting edge service and profitability.

Existing Systems of Record are rock solid. Using Progress® Rollbase® or Modulus™ to provide a System of Engagement to access the existing platform will allow them to be extensible and provide that edge.

But what if compliance needs require a dedicated environment?  We have that covered as well. Rollbase and Modulus can be deployed behind your firewall in your own environment or we can provide a completely dedicated offering for the enterprise.

I was really impressed with our Progress Partners and what they are doing with our technologies.  Progress and I look forward to working with them for years to come.

The Bridge

In both cases, the way forward is better application development practices. The way to develop those is a robust rapid application development platform. So, at Exchange, I spent a lot of time communicating this message and explaining to people how Progress application development tools work.

For the new guys, there’s Node.js on the Modulus platform. The big players in tech already know that JavaScript and Node.js are quickly becoming the dominant forces in app development. Modulus provides developers the power and flexibility to fully take advantage of this exciting new technology. Modulus portability allows you to create places for your apps to live on-premise, on a cloud provider or both in a hybrid-cloud deployment.

No matter how many hosts you have, however, they can all be accessed through the same interface. You can even monitor and perform maintenance on your apps through the Modulus mobile app, so you can react quickly to changing conditions wherever you are. Modulus also features automated intelligent load balancing, so apps installed on multiple hosts can automatically have their traffic rerouted to the server closest to the user in order to provide the fastest service. So Modulus is portable, scalable, fast, and seamless. What’s not to love?

A lot of existing apps are written in different languages and updating the code can sometimes be a monumental task. For these apps, Rollbase simplifies the process with a visual programming environment. This low-code development environment means developers don’t need to spend a lot of time learning an entirely new language when time is on the line.

Once everyone gets up to speed, they can still go in and code to get tighter control over their apps, but the point is that it’s not required. On top of this, Rollbase still provides all the scalability and security that you would find in the Modulus platform. It’s possible to roll an app out slowly over time, too, eventually getting to an enterprise solution with dedicated servers and compliance requirements accounted for. You can try what you need before committing to your project.

Paul Nashawaty

As the senior director of product marketing and strategy for the Progress solutions and audience marketing team, Paul Nashawaty keeps his eyes peeled on what enterprises are doing about big data as it relates to digital transformation. Paul is responsible for applying practical business methodologies using technological solutions to drive success in organizations.


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