Category Archives: Blog

What is a Good User Interface?

The primary theme for the NAUUG was modernization of apps, and it’s clear that within the Uniface community, there is a fair amount of interest in the topic. We had an interesting discussion over breakfast at the event, I think it was on Wednesday, and it was all round the topic of what is a ‘good user interface?’.  It was quite interesting to gauge various points of view, and what specifically influenced our VAR partners who resell their applications which are built in Uniface.

Now I don’t have the answer to this, I don’t claim to be particularly creative, but it was fascinating to pick up some of the points of view.  For example, somebody shared a story about their product manager being completely hung up on a windows look and feel that is as close to a MS application as possible, and during one of their discussions, showed a screen shot from an iPAD app! (gotta love Product Managers!).

Over the past year or so, I’ve talked to a few customers who taken the whole User Experience topic seriously enough to have engaged external companies to help them come up with designs for their applications. This is something I can relate to, both during my time at Aurion, and also as we work on Uniface 10 as we have also sought external help.  It does seem that all of the ‘UX professionals’ seem to always go back to a few basic points, about navigation and also color schemes. And it does appear that the Microsoft Windows look and feel is becoming less important, and more Apple and rich Web styled applications that are becoming the norm. I wonder if this trend will continue as more business apps move to the web, and Apple devices become more and more widespread with the rumored iPad Mini bringing the iOS user experience to more and more people.

In Pursuit of Sustainable Legacy Modernization (Part 1)

Guest contributor, Paul Herzlich from analyst firm Creative Intellect Consulting

The term ‘modernization’ is one of those buzzwords that gain a lot of currency at a particular moment. Clearly the idea is not new. We’ve always had to maintain and upgrade our systems to keep them ‘up-to-date’. In the 1980’s software conversion or migration was a popular solution. In the 1990’s, it was often termed ‘re-engineering’. What more do we mean by the term modernization?

A few things stand out:

    • The internet for global access was a revolution that has made it possible to reach customers, employees and business partners directly and at low cost. The resulting boon in self-service applications, access anywhere and shared services has eliminated huge business processing costs.
    • New technologies – mobile devices and Big Data are examples – make it possible to offer new products and services and to manage your business more effectively.
    • New paradigms for client and employee engagement – like social media, collaboration and app store distribution – are expected for improved communication, ease of contribution and democratized participation.
    • Cloud deployment can transform operating costs and bring new levels of speed, flexibility and responsiveness to IT service provision.

Automated support for your core back and front office business processes alone is no longer sufficient. Cutting edge software and platforms are ‘must haves’ for meeting and outstripping the competition. Today’s modernization is not only a software imperative but also a business one.

The industry knows this but there’s a twist. Although discussions of modernization often center on a world of technically dazzling possibilities, the reality for many organizations is much less exciting.

North American User Event goes to Vegas

I’ve spent a couple of days in Las Vegas at the NAUUG (North American Uniface User Group).  It’s an interesting event, as we run it over three days. The US is a big place, so if we have customers jetting in, we always make sure that there is a full agenda, both in the day and also in the night.

Probably the most impressing starting point would be the excellent venue, the Vdara hotel, great for conferences, and they were very accommodating to our needs, which grew and grew as the attendance went up to over 60 attendees which was really good news.

The agenda has been pretty busy, the usual business and product updates, which were well received, and Maarten van Leer also gave a couple of presentations, firstly on Uniface 10  which gave lots of positive feedback, good reinforcement that we’re in the right direction (phew!).  Maarten’s presentation on how we use agile in the development of Uniface was also interesting and it gave great insight on how we do things, I was especially pleased that we had some of the Uniface sales people in the audience!

Uniface 9.6 is being really well received, and we’re getting great feedback on what we’re going to deliver in December. Obviously the client server functionality, and the pagination for the web (or client server if you want).  But one thing that I was really pleased to hear about was the conversation I had with Charles from JDA, who has been using the struct functionality we originally delivered in Uniface 9.5. Charles was also one of the first people who suggested that we implement structs as a parameter, which we’ve already implemented into Uniface 9.6.

Update Uniface.info site

Welcome to the renewed Uniface.info. Our goal for the new site is to implement the functionality based on your feedback and wishes for the Uniface community site.

We leave it up to you how well this has been accomplished.

The mot important update is the Uniface blog, where several contributors throughout the Uniface world will share their knowledge, views, opinions and thoughts on Uniface topics and IT trends. The Uniface team starts Blogging as of this week. Enjoy the posts and feel free to comment on them.

Most of the information from the previous site has been migrated but some work still has o be done in the coming days:

  • Complete User profile information like pictures and websites
  • Wish list application plus data.

If you find anything else missing please let us know.

One of the benefits of the new website is that we can implement your wishes much quicker than with the previous one, so we look forward to your feedback in the forum and reactions to this blog.

Kind regards

The Uniface Team

2012 Uniface German User Group gets 1st presentation on Uniface 10

The German Uniface User Group UBG (www.c-b-g.org) had its yearly conference on September 13 and 14 2012 in Neu-Ulm.
The UBG yearly conference is always a very nice mix between of sharing Uniface user experiences, plans from the Uniface Team and cultural entertainment.
At the kick off presentation Mr. Arnd Ohlenbusch (AHP) announced that the official name of the user group was UBG again. After the kick off Deniz Yugnuk and myself explained the Uniface plans for the coming year. With Uniface 9.6 planned to be released in December 2012 the German audience was happy to see a large number of What’s New items in the Windows GUI region of Uniface. The Uniface Roadmap presentation showed what was planned last year for Uniface 9.6 and explained what users will actually get this year, which is a lot more! Daniel Iseli also gave a life demo of the new Uniface 9.6 Windows GUI capabilities which opens up an enormous amount of new types of GUI elements like Ribbon bars etc. Ewald Wichmann from AKDB and Peter Hufschmidt from CAL Consult showed frameworks and OCX Controls to build Uniface forms which satisfied the growing experience needs of their end users.
This year the UBG user meeting also had a special premiere of the first presentation of the Uniface 10 look and feel by Uniface 10 project manager Henk van der Veer.

The reactions from the audience to Henk’s presentation were very positive. One thing which is clear is that the new Uniface version will be made with Uniface technology again. This “eat your own dog food style” shows that Uniface remains an independent development system and if you can build a professional development system with the product, Uniface developers will surely be able to build any Enterprise Application with it.
Web Development with Uniface 9.6 was presented by Christian Weber and Claus Dörler, Haberkorn/Ulmer GmbH, Dörler GmbH spoke so enthusiastic about the e-shop implementation that presentation got the highest score of the event.
The event finished with a 9.6 workshop done by Uniface folks Michael, Daniel and Christian so every participant got a hands-on the new 9.6 functionality.
A 2012 UBG was a great event again, and I did not even mention the interesting evening program which ended in a small rehearsal for the German Octoberfest which starts end of September.
If you want to know more details about Uniface 9.6 and 10 plans please visit a Uniface User conference nearby or contact us directly for an appointment.