A new Progress program, called Project Garage, is encouraging Partners to try out and adopt new Progress technologies. Participating partners engage in a mentored 5-day development sprint, during which they can try a new technology and get a jumpstart on a new project—with a little help from Progress. The Project Garage program has had a positive impact with multiple Partners, helping them learn and move forward with these new technologies.
"Project Garage is about adding functionality to an existing app, or creating a net new app to enter another market or segmentation,” said Richard Rosenthal, President of PICS. “It gives us an opportunity to work with Progress experts during the development process in an incubated, mentored environment.”
PICS and DMSi are two of many partners who have participated in Project Garage to produce several noteworthy products. The following case studies highlight two of our partners’ efforts, including what they learned and what they accomplished.
PICS Slashes 6-9 Months off Mobile App Development Cycle
PICS is a 20-year old company who has used Progress technology since the get-go. Having started as a QAD implementation partner, the company now has two major divisions: Enterprise Software (ES) and Managed IT Services (ITech). Its flagship software product, DocLib, provides enterprise Document Management as a Business Process Management Solution.
“In 2014, we planned on deploying an Expense Report Application/Module for DocLib but did not have the internal expertise with Mobile App Development, which is the major part of an Expense Report solution,” said Rosenthal. “We considered outsourcing or hiring expertise, until we heard about the Progress acquisition of Telerik and the Project Garage offering. This was a perfect match because it gave us an opportunity to educate ourselves on a powerful tool for developing our own mobile app with our current development staff.”
According to Rosenthal, his team was able to slash at least 6-9 months from the development cycle for the DocLib Expense Mobile App. “We worked with our Progress team weeks in advance of the onsite event to make sure we were ready with training, setup and setting realistic expectations,” he said.
The PICS Team, which consisted of four developers, worked with Progress to have a prototype created and working for the May QAD Explore Conference. “Our goal to have this prototype for the conference went a long way to motivating not only the PICS team but our Progress team members, as well,” said Rosenthal. “To date, we have two signed and 51 leads we are currently working on closing.”
PICS developers gained knowledge and experience on developing and deploying Mobile Applications. “Our Developers are now very comfortable with developing applications using Telerik Platform,” said Rosenthal. “We no longer have any concerns about creating applications with a mobile component.”
Rosenthal said that if not for Project Garage, he could have incurred significant costs outsourcing the necessary mobile development efforts. “Mobile is now an integral part of all our future development projects,” he said. “This has put our company way ahead of our direct competitors in our space.”
DMSi Connects Hybrid Mobile App Progress® Rollbase® Using Telerik Platform
Also a Progress partner for about 20 years, DMSi provides integrated ERP, mobile and eCommerce solutions to the lumber and building materials industry. The company was interested in building a mobile app with a wide variety of technology needs in areas that were previously unchartered by the development team. “We wanted access to the Telerik Platform for hybrid mobile application development, to consume our new OpenEdge REST services and interact and store information within an application built on the Progress Rollbase platform,” said Brent Heavican, Vice President, Technology, DMSi Software. “We did not have enough knowledge and experience in the new technologies we wanted to use when building the Proof of Delivery app, and we felt Project Garage was a perfect fit for our needs.”
Heavican’s team had weekly meetings to prepare for the hands-on phase and discuss the status of prerequisite back-end enhancements and training. They also walked through the UI prototypes with the Progress team. During the sprint, Heavican conducted a morning status call so the team could discuss accomplishments from the previous day and plan next steps.
Heavican’s team leveraged Progress resources to help them build the application, and leaned on their experience with designing mobile apps regarding meeting user expectations. The DMSi application uses the Progress Database, ABL, REST services exposed from Business Entities, Rollbase and Telerik Platform. “We successfully built an application our partners and customers have been asking for—one that demonstrates the complete and powerful Progress product suite,” he said. For example, Heavican said the Rollbase platform changes the game by providing non-programmers easy ways to build, modify and maintain custom applications. “Much of the development in Rollbase is drag-and-drop and kept at a high enough level that programmers can focus on only the most complicated business rules and workflow decisions,” said Heavican.
The DMSi team was able to build a foundation for its application during what Heavican called a week-long crash course on creating web applications on Telerik Platform. “Our developers learned enough during the Project Garage to complete the final 90 percent of application with minimal assistance,” he said. “This is a huge benefit for us, as the same developers will also be responsible for maintaining and enhancing the application into the future.” The new application will be implemented in 2016.
DMSi provides business and accounting software exclusively to the lumber and building materials industry. They have over 12,000 users at nearly 400 dealers and distributors across North America. Founded in 1976, DMSi is privately owned and headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska. www.dmsi.com.
PICS is a QAD Business Consulting and Software Development company providing innovative solutions to QAD customers since 1995. In addition to a full line of QAD consulting and technical services, PICS also offers a broad range of QAD complementary software including: Enterprise Document Management, Forms Processing, System Monitoring, Batch Scheduling and more. In addition, PICS provides IT Management and a full range of Internet Services. Contact PICS at 1-888-767-2667 or http://www.pics.com.