Progress' programming proselytisations

It’s January 7 in the year of whichever lord you care to worship.

This date means that we are mercifully past the “predictions for application development in 2013” phase where companies mark the end of the 12-month with sagacious musings attempting to predict trends, tendencies, propensities and “proselytisations” of all kinds.

The Computer Weekly Developer Network (CWDN) has bashfully shied away from covering too many of these marketing-enriched missives lest we be drawn too deeply into the dragon’s lair to discuss “intuitive ground breaking developments” or such like.

But Progress Software ‘s senior VP of product development John Goodson piqued a modicum of interest with his “app economy” comments this week. Saying (as he did) that the long development cycles of the past will disappear and will be replaced by approaches that build, test, integrate and deploy – continuously.


Goodson predicts that 2013 will bring a rise in simple and intuitive personal cloud services, at the expense of more full-featured and complex applications.

As a company, Progress has made an open and deliberate (and unapologetic) move to align itself to new SaaS models over the last 18 months.

But it’s a confusing time for programmers so Progress’ technical marketing manager Gary Calcott says that it is now imperative that developers look for a proven, integrated platform with a strong database at its core – an integrated platform will pay off in increased productivity downstream.

The DO factor

“Follow a bias towards high-productivity (e.g. via strong tooling rather that arcane systems), which may offer high-control but bog you down in complexity. Ensure that you have multiple deployment options i.e. no lock-in on platforms or infrastructure. Above all, look for a platform which will support rapid development of state-of-the-art hybrid mobile apps ideally by leveraging a cloud-based service (better collaboration, faster rollout of refreshed functionality),” said Calcott.

The DON’T factor

Calcott spells out the areas for programmers to consciously avoid:

• Avoid platforms locked to a particular infrastructure platform.

• Avoid “patchwork systems” i.e. a tacked-on datastore or other componentry. You will pay the price of the integration!

• Don’t get hung-up on programming languages – look for the platform that will get you the highest level of productivity and build reusable services on it.

We are in a time of flux and a time of new and emerging standards. Yes that is almost always constantly the case anyway, but it’s the New Year after all, so it’s not a bad time to look back and cast a critical eye over the road ahead.