Jonar delivers revolutionary new ERP with stellar UX

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Canadian ERP vendor moves from FoxPro to Servoy to build revolutionary new solution 

Jonar has been making enterprise resource planning software (ERPs) for the Canadian garment and textile industry since 1986. Following a recent change of management, the company reviewed its customers’ needs and long-term road map. Jonar wanted to design ERP software that provides a stellar user experience (UX) and removes user frustration.


For Jonar, the only way to make ERPs better was to create a brand-new product that was nonthreatening, uncluttered and easy to use. The company conducted in-depth research into skeuomorphism, saliency and context-based design to conceive a flawlessly functional solution with a clean interface and minimal training requirements.

Having honed its vision for a revolutionary new ERP, Jonar needed an integrated development environment (IDE) to enable that vision. Jonar was sensitive to vendor lock-in and diverging interests. FoxPro, Jonar’s previous programming tool, had been deprecated by Microsoft.

Requirements for a new rapid application development platform included:

  • The capacity to accelerate development and implement Jonar’s vision
  • A solid framework (with components such as an audit trail, a security module, database abstraction, etc.) to build the features and UX
  • A vendor with aligned interests and a complementary long-term road map

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Jonar tested multiple IDEs, which tended to fit into two categories: they either performed tasks well but scaled poorly or they offered the required horsepower but lacked a flexible enough tool set to execute Jonar’s vision. Only two products could deliver on both fronts.

Ultimately, Jonar chose Servoy because:

  • It is written in Java, which is less susceptible to vendor lock-in
  • It offered the best intersection between scalability and tool set
  • It had a history of successfully converting development from FoxPro

Additionally, as a company Servoy:

  • Offers a transparent pricing model that is suited to Jonar’s evolving needs
  • Is sizeable and financially stable
  • Cares about its customers’ success, can be relied on and is willing to work with Jonar over the long term

Jonar found Servoy easy to learn thanks to its use of a 4GL. For example, Jonar’s UX design team is made up of designers—not software engineers—yet they were able to work on fine-tuning user interface details after only a day and a half of training.

The first six months of the project consisted of rapid prototyping using the Servoy platform. Jonar’s engineering team relied on the framework to cut development time. Servoy suggested other time-saving devices such as a scrum methodology, a high-fidelity collaborative mock-up tool and test-driven development.

“Servoy recommended that we build 80% of what we wanted and then work on improving it, instead of chasing a theoretically perfect model,” comments Jon Ruby, Managing Director of Jonar. “They saved us from falling into a rabbit hole that might have wasted years.”

As the Jonar team grew more proficient, it removed optional framework components to further optimize performance. As soon as clients were willing to pay for the new ERP, a soft launch ensued. A backlog of potential customers soon developed.

“Servoy gave us a springboard to develop our product,” reports Ruby. “It normally takes six to nine years to build an ERP from scratch. With Servoy, we did it in a little over two years and with a much smaller team. By vastly accelerating the speed to market, Servoy helped us slash our development costs.”

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“Clients love the new user experience,” notes Ruby. “Previously, we approached two or three leads per month, of which 50% would convert within six months. Now, 20 potential customers contact us every month, of which 80% sign up immediately. The sales team hasn’t made a single cold call since the new ERP launched.”

Jonar has expanded its customer base from Canadian only to clients all over the world. The company is also reaching new industries, thanks to its highly flexible ERP. Customers look for software that is specific to their business. Jonar is able to customize its product in a matter of minutes and offer clients exactly what they want. The company has successfully demonstrated that ERPs can be powerful and simple to use if they are well-designed.

That Jonar’s trailblazing new solution was built using Servoy should be credit enough. However, Ruby has equal praise for the support his company received. “Bouncing ideas off the Servoy team was invaluable,” he says. “A conversation would turn into a milestone from which the project would accelerate further still. I also agree with the direction they are taking with successive versions of the Servoy platform, based on customer feedback. They understand that our success is their success. They take us seriously and treat us like partners.”

EuroCloud event: Show your Cloud

servoy office

EuroCloud is organizing the event ‘Show your Cloud’ on a regular basis. This time Servoy is hosting the event and a couple of Servoy customers will be presenting about their Cloud experiences. We invite you to join this 2 hour event at our new offices in Amsterdam.

ERP in the Cloud?
Globis delivers an ERP that is completely cloud based. In a brief overview they will share how they made that transformation successfully. And how it was to move from on premises to Cloud based.
Secure in the Cloud?
STB, a Dutch software company, will demonstrate how you can easily and securely authenticate in the cloud. Using face recognition and fingerprint scanning users can seamlessly login to cloud based software.
Managing Wholesales/E-Commerce and Projects in the Cloud?
Newbase will share their experience delivering a cloud Wholesales/E-Commerce and Job Costing management platform. What’s it like to have hundreds of users on a single multi-tenant and multi-lingual platform?
december 10, 4 pm
16:00 Registration in restaurant Coffeemania (in the same building)
16:30 Presentations & Discussions
18:00 Drinks & Networking
Servoy, Fred. Roeskestraat 97c
1076 EC Amsterdam
The Netherlands
Voice: +31 33 455 9877
Register here. Free entry after registration.

Servoy Gold Sponsor EMEA PUG


We are proud to announce that we are a gold sponsor at the EMEA PUG (Progress User Group Europe conference) in Copenhagen on November 4-6. We will be speaking about modernizing Progress applications. Join us if you are interested in creating a modern User Experience for your Progress application with very little effort.

We will also be exhibiting in the sponsor area, if you would like to meet us or to learn more just step by our booth. We’re also handing out some nice goodies if you drop by!

More information about EMEA PUG

Learn more about modernizing your Progress applications with our UX first HTML5 platform

How to Magically Create a Killer UI for Your OpenEdge Application


You dream of connecting with powerfully engaged users.

People who are excited by your OpenEdge application – and show it.

But first you must create a new HTML5 and native mobile user experience for your existing OpenEdge application.

If you can’t think of an easy way to do this, you’re not alone. Other companies have tried to modernize their OpenEdge application UI – and failed. Until now.

Too slow, too expensive, too risky

The OpenEdge technology has enabled you to create the features your users love.What OpenEdge has traditionally been lacking is a seamless integration with modern webframeworks such as Kendo UI or AngularJS – or even .NET. A major hurdle is that web UIs are stateless environments.

One work around would be to tweak the existing code to accommodate the stateless UI.

Unfortunately, this creates a bloated application that is too slow to use.

Another approach is to redo the backend. But this is no small task if you have to recode it by hand. It can amount to thousands of man-hours of work. The cost, risk, and releasedelays of a complete rewrite are prohibitive for most companies.

What does it take to deliver the ultimate user experience?

How can you create that killer OpenEdge UI that users can enjoy on their web browsers, tablets and smartphones? This should not be too much to ask in 2015.

Several ISVs approached Servoy with this question. So we put our thinking caps on and developed a stateful application server that seamlessly integrates the OpenEdge backend with Kendo UI, Bootstrap or with the solution of your choice. We’ve included a toolset of frameworks–based on best industry practices and fully maintained–so you can select the navigation, security features, or multi-tenancy of your new user interface.

We don’t think you should have to learn HTML, C++ or Java either; so the only language you need to know is JavaScript. And you can connect to the ABL layer without having to rewrite. The Servoy platform uses a familiar Rapid Application Development environment that is quick and easy to learn.

This way, you can design your new user interface according to user needs and desired experience, not architecture or database requirements. Your UX team can become integral part of the development process and has the freedom to create the perfect user experience.

Ten times faster

You can even accurately estimate the time and costs involved in modernizing your OpenEdge application, minimize the risk, and generate productivity gains that are tenfold compared with other methods.

Can you create your killer OpenEdge application UI with Servoy? Have a look at our webinar on this subject and let us know what you think.

Servoy featured in Dutch publications AG and Informatie

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In an article about Cloud Computing Servoy was featured as a company that runs entirely in the cloud. At Servoy we have no on premise software but run everything in the Cloud. Here is a brief listing of our most used applications:

– Servoy CRM. Our internal crm system that manages all our client communications, sales and more. Obviously built on Servoy
– Atlassian Jira. For issue tracking and more.
– Google Apps. For email, documents, calendaring
– Skype. For communication
– GotoMeeting. For online presentations and meetings

Download the original articles courtesy of Automatiserings Gids and Informatie. Articles are in Dutch.

Automatiserings Gids

Informatie article

Servoy 8 Alpha


Today we’re proud to announce the immediate availability of Servoy 8 alpha. Here’s the link to download it while you finish reading this post:

Servoy 8 is our biggest release since Servoy 1 was built. The new ng-client (next generation client) with a strong focus on deliver great UX enables software developers to deliver great applications using our established RAD capabilities.

When we started creating the roadmap after Servoy 7 was released we realized we needed to completely rethink our web client based on the new realities of today. While our web client technology was great we felt it was going to be outdated in a few years so we decided to start with a clean sheet of paper. This exercise helps to think out of the box and avoids trying to bolt or hack your existing technology stack. We tried to come up with a minimum list of capabilities the technology should have:
– responsive design
– great UX on smartphone, tablet and desktop
– cross browser
– retains RAD capabilities
– increased responsiveness
– secure

When we started with web client we built it on Apache Wicket, in it’s day the best framework to create powerful web applications. However as frameworks grow older and bolt on more and more features we needed something radically different. After extensive research we found that Angular was going to be the best fit. Read more about the background in the post from Jan Blok.

Servoy 8 is unique: it’s the only RAD platform to deliver great HTML5 apps quickly and without headaches. Servoy 8 will will make your users happy, and of course the developers as well!

Get started with Servoy 8 with this introduction overview: Servoy 8 introduction video and demo