Looking back we found ourselves in the perfect storm over the last year developing Servoy v8. As our focus for Servoy v8 was primarily on user experience, we learned that great UX in modern web applications relies on responsive design.
Responsive design means the user interface adapts to the device dimensions. Such a UI will work across mobile and desktop. When approached correctly, this means a developer can build an application UI only once, to be usable for a range of devices and screen sizes.
But to combine responsive design with Rapid Application Development, is no small endeavor. There are quite some html page tools which facilitates responsive design. And while most of these tools deliver a page which is responsive, a page is not the same as an application having distinct, controllable parts.
One of the upcoming web frameworks, AngularJS turned out a perfect match with responsive design. It allows for pages to being modularized into parts called Web Components. And within a rapid application environment, components become easy to manipulate; these are extremely similar to the elements that we’ve already had for years.
At the same time, a library called Bootstrap released its third version with makes responsive design really easy to setup. It divides every UI into a layout grid called 12-grid. Grid cells can be filled with any content. It makes a lot of sense to combine this responsive design with Web Components. The result is that everything, except for the grid definition and static HTML, is a Web Component.
Finally, to have optimal communication between browser and server, we leveraged another piece of html5 technology, Web Sockets.
Not only does this allow for better communication from browser to server, but also allows the server to actually talk to a webcomponent. We extended the two-way binding from AngularJS into three-way binding. This enables communication between WebComponents running in the browser and records/foundsets at the server.
As a result this brings extreme flexibility in several ways:
- Any UX which can be expressed in HTML can now be used. (by making it a WebComponent)
- Any helper/grid layout system like bootstrap can be utilized in order to get the best responsive design
- Such a layout grid can be filled with WebComponents using WYSIWYG design.
In short, an enterprise solution can now have the UX, which the modern user has come to expect, delivered in a rapid application environment.
For the first time in Servoy’s history, we succeeded to make Servoy’s codebase smaller, since all standard form elements are now delivered as WebComponents.
In fact, any WebComponents are now considered external to Servoy, which means you can actually replace or adapt the default elements shipping with Servoy like a field or button.
All our ideas for improving the UX capabilities of Servoy came together with the possibility to use maturing web technologies – a perfect storm.
The new flexibility and a ton of possibilities does put a huge smile on our faces, we are pretty sure it will work the same for you.
Missed the webinar on the Servoy 7.3 release? It’s now available to watch online.
Join me for a quick run-through of the highlights of the Servoy 7.3 release, which includes, among others an online mode, custom login experience and full, on-device debugging for Servoy Mobile.
It has been approximately 8 months since Servoy 7 .0 was released, which brought us the Servoy Mobile Client. Since that release we’ve adopted a quicker release cycle, which so far has resulted in the release of Servoy 7.0.1, 7.1, 7.2 and 7.3.
Our goal with the faster release cycle is to bring new features, bug fixes and improvements to you, our customers in a more agile fashion. It is also a logical result of adopting the Agile Development approach over 2 years ago throughout our organization.
The faster release cycle has changed our policy with regards to supported versions and maintenance releases slightly. As before, Servoy still actively supports 2 previous versions besides the latest. Currently those versions are:
- Servoy 5.2.x
- Servoy 6.0.x
- Servoy 7.x
As the Servoy 7.x branch can be considered Servoy 6.1 + Servoy Mobile, we hereby announce that the 6.1 branch will be merged into the 7.x branch as of November 8th 2013. This means that from that day onward, existing installations of the Servoy Application Server 6.1.x or Servoy Developer 6.1.x can be upgraded to Servoy 7.3 through the auto-update mechanism and the 6.1.x branch will be archived.
For the Servoy 7.x branch, the supported version is always the latest release, currently 7.3. Maintenance releases on the supported 7.x release will only be provided in case of blocking issues in production environments.
With more and more rapid releases, there is the obvious need to even more tightly control the quality of the releases. To assure this we’ve:
- launched our Beta Customer Program
The Beta Customer Program is for customers that have formal testing procedures in place for their Servoy Solutions. Member of the Beta Customer Program get advanced notice of upcoming releases, in order to anticipate in their planning for the time needed to execute their test suite against the upcoming release candidate. To join the Beta Customer Program please contact your Servoy sales representative or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- changed our release procedure to always provide at least a public Release Candidate 2 weeks prior to the planned release
- intermediate builds available on request
Besides official alpha, beta, release candidates and final releases, is is possible to request so-called intermediate builds. This is build based on the latest code in a certain branch, with a big disclaimer that the build has not gone through our full Q&A cycle. To request an intermediate build, please contact your sales representative or email email@example.com
Note: our goal is to automatically provide intermediate builds at regular intervals, but at this moment we don’t have an ETA for that.
- extended support for automated testing
Servoy has had UnitTesting support in the IDE for many year, including support for running the UnitTests automatically on a build server each time a change was made to the codebase of a solution.
Over the last few months we switched to Jenkins instead of CruiseControl for Continuous Build integration, which takes care of automatically running of all UnitTests when changes are mode to the codebase.
Additionally, support was added to perform UI Tests in both the Smart and Web Client and currently work is underway to add UI Testing support for the Mobile Client. Next step after that is integration of the UI tests into the Continuous Build integration.
For the latest documentation on Automated Testing support, see our Automated Testing Guide
Through these initiatives we solicit the Servoy Community to actively participate in helping us test upcoming versions to make them rock solid releases.
Making Decisions on the Move!
Join us for our 4 city Roadshow in the UK. The first stop of our UK Roadshow is at Old Trafford, Manchester, the home of the Manchester United Football Club, on September 26th.
During this half day seminar, which starts at 9.00AM till 13.00AM you will learn how to ensure your organisation is taking advantage of the latest technologies in Cloud and Mobile BI, in order to make more informed decisions on the move. The Servoy & Jaspersoft Roadshow will also be visiting:
- London, October 24th, 2013
- Dublin, November 14th, 2013
- Edinburgh, December 5th, 2013
In this recorded webinar product manager Paul Bakker of Servoy demonstrates the key new features of Servoy 7.2
But first, Servoy 5.2: What’s new?
Servoy 5.2 builds on the Servoy 5.1 and can be considered the maintenance release for 5.1. We gave is a new version number, mainly to ‘celebrate’ the fact that with this release we open sourced Servoy Developer and the Smart and Web Client. Additionally we now bundle PostgreSQL as the default database engine.
Servoy 5.2 is Servoy’s first open source release. This release makes all the source code of Servoy Developer, as well as the Smart, Web, Headless and Batchprocessor client available under the Affero General Public License.
Servoy 5.2 ships with PostgreSQL as the default database.
Besides dialogs, Servoy also allows the developer to show forms in windows. Each window shows up in the system bar individually, can be minimized to the system bar and can move behind other windows. Read all about it here.
To further improve client security, Servoy 5.2 provides even more robust authentication. Read more about it here.
What else is new?
New web site design & content
It was time to overhaul the design of the web site once again. We designed the main page to help people new to Servoy find the best way possible through their discovery of the Servoy eco-space, using direct links to the most interesting bits, a good overview of what Servoy is, its main features etc.
One of the prominent links on the homepage is a link to the Servoy MarketPlace, the place for all Servoy Alliance Network members to showcase their product – whether complete solutions, modules, bits of documentation or plugins/beans, to the general (Servoy) public.
More open support system
By popular request, we have been working on selecting a new support system and we have found it in the form of Atlassian’s Jira. We still have to work out some details, but Jira seems to be offering all that is required. As migration from our current support system to Jira will take some time, we modified the existing support system so you can at least view cases created by others.
New Quickstart Guide
Also by popular demand: new and up-to-date Quickstart Guide. Besides just the text, the authors also recorded their material in video format!
Updated Reference Guide
As with every release, the Programming Reference Guide has been updated to match the new version. Besides just adding the new functions, properties, etc., many descriptions and samples have been updated.
So, what’s next?
So, are we done? No, we are moving full steam ahead.
The guys from R&D are already working on the next version of Servoy, codename “Kamili”. The clever people of Servoy Forge already hooked up their systems to the Servoy SVN to track all the updates that are being done by the R&D team. Want to know more about it? Stayed tuned on this channel, as we will blog on Kamili’s roadmap soon.
Servoy Developer Center
To further streamline the “Servoy Experience”, we are working on the Servoy Developer Center (SDC). The SDC will be the new main page for the Servoy Wiki. It will be a developer centric page with an overview of the latest news for developers, links, tutorials, etc. It will replace iServoy.
ServoyWorld 2011: Bigger, better, faster and …
Our team is finalizing the arrangements for the next ServoyWorld, which will be held in Q1 2011 in the Netherlands (so, besides your laptop – bring your ice skates!)
Migration of our support system to Jira
As mentioned above, we’ll be working hard on figuring out the last details and then migrate the current support system over to Jira.
More docs and tutorials
You can never have enough, can you? Tthere’s the new Quickstart Guide now, but that is just the start. More is slated to come your way.
More stuff to support our open source supporters
Now that large parts of the Servoy codebase are open source, we will provide the tools for the people who are interested in contributing. Not that you can’t already though. First patches from some Servoy Open Source-enthusiasts have made it into Servoy 5.2 already!
Providing single sign-on for the Servoy Talk forum, Servoy Wiki/SDC and other Servoy sites
With the growing list of sites we supply to you, we though it would be a good idea to provide you with a single sign-on function (and it’ll make our lives easier as well )
And yet there’s more…
Besides us, others have been busy too.
pgExperts Sybase > PostgreSQL migration service
pgExperts Inc. offers a special migration service for Servoy customers to automatically migrate Sybase databases to PostgreSQL. Just upload your Sybase database files and get back the same database, but then in PostgreSQL! Read all about it here.
Servoy University, or ServoyU for short, is an online portal providing Servoy training videos and certification. It has gathered all the existing videos and put them all nicely together in one spot – versioned and tagged for your convenience. More importantly, it also hosts a range of new, up-to-date videos on Servoy 5.2.
As of today, you can sign up for access to its premium videos which will be available at a yearly subscription fee. The first premium series available is the Servoy Developer Certification series, over 40 videos totalling 10 hours of Servoy 5.2 training material! By August 9th, the Developer Certification series will be completely finished.
In September, ServoyU will launch the Servoy Certification program. This will allow you, your team, and your employees to receive official Servoy Certification. More information about certification will be available soon.
The team behind ServoyUniversity is devoted to continuously bring you more videos and series, on new topics or Servoy versions.
In the wake of the announcement that Servoy would go open source, some long-time Servoy enthusiasts joined forces and (re)launched ServoyForge: the place for open source projects related to Servoy – whether they be beans, solutions, plugins or modules – you’ll find them there.
As Servoy, we have already launched 2 new project there (ServoySecurity & ServoyCommons) and more will follow shortly, including the Servoy JasperReports plugin.
Product Marketing Manager
eWEEK, the industry leader for strategic technology information, recently selected Servoy 5.2 Open Source as a “Product to Watch” in the June issue of its award-winning print magazine.
Each month, the editors of eWEEK recognize enterprise-class products that they think should be on the radar of every IT professional. The products are selected on the basis of their potential for creating efficiency as well as competitive advantage in a market where companies need to stay a step ahead of their competitors.
This is the second time Servoy has been recognized for this honor. To read the full press release, click here.
Servoy today announced the open source version of its award-winning hybrid SaaS platform, Servoy 5.2 – the platform that simplifies SaaS. Servoy 5.2 combines the best of both worlds, allowing “SaaS and Back” hybrid applications — which can be deployed using cloud computing and on-premises through both a browser and a native client – all from a single code base. Servoy is the only hybrid development platform for the “Open Source” era.
“With this open source release of the Servoy Developer and Servoy Client libraries, Servoy hopes to spark contributions from talented developers worldwide and reaffirms its longstanding commitment to the open source community,” said Jan Aleman, CEO, Servoy. “We strongly believe the future of software is open – and not only open as in open standards – but also open, as in open source.
To read the press release, click here.
Jan Aleman discusses escrow in a recent SD TIMES article.
But when a successful SaaS provider is acquired by a larger company, the results can also cause software or services to vanish.
Jan Aleman, CEO of SaaS provider Servoy, said that “if you have 100 customers paying US$5 a month for the product, then you’re in a different situation. Whoever is cleaning up the leftovers may say, ‘This revenue stream is so low, we’ll let it collapse and be done with it.’”