New Progress OpenEdge Release Expands Mobile App Development Options

The new OpenEdge 11.2 also makes it possible to develop applications that run on both Apple iOS and Google Android devices.

"Mobile is a top-of-mind concern for many of our customers," said Dion Picco, manager, product management, at Progress. "Really, the mobile [capabilities] are what this release is about."

[Related: Progress Software To Divest 10 Product Lines, Cut Workforce By 10-15 Percent ]

Under a plan announced almost one year ago, Progress has been shedding a number of its software product lines to concentrate on its application development and deployment products. In October, for example, Progress announced that it was selling its Sonic, Savvion, Actional and DataXtend product lines to the investment arm of Trilogy Enterprises.

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That's left OpenEdge one of the company's flagship products. About two-thirds of the OpenEdge customer base is ISVs who develop commercial applications while one-third is IT shops developing in-house applications, Picco said.

While developers could use earlier releases of OpenEdge to build mobile applications, the new 11.2 release adds the cloud-based OpenEdge Mobile App Builder toolset that programmers can use to develop and update "write-once, run-anywhere" applications for iOS and Android mobile devices.

"We were looking for the write-once, run-everywhere capability. The timing couldn't have been better," said Mike Wheat, CIO at Infian, a Richmond, Va.-based developer of electronic health record applications. While the ISV has long used Progress development tools, Wheat said Progress has been devoting more attention to channel and ISV partners and that has "reinvigorated" Infian's relationship with the vendor.

The development tools are fully integrated with the OpenEdge back-end system for linking mobile apps to corporate applications. The software includes a visual designer and user interface toolkit for smartphone and tablet applications, REST support for the OpenEdge application server and JavaScript data binding support libraries.

OpenEdge 11.2 also adds support for Windows 8, SQL Server 2012 and Eclipse 3.7.

At the core of the OpenEdge Mobile App Builder is the Tiggzi cloud-based mobile app development toolset from Exadel. Progress has incorporated Tiggzi into OpenEdge Mobile App Builder under an OEM deal between the two vendors.