Mid-tier offerings prove it’s not just the database anymore

Progress Software is extending well beyond its database/4GL roots with a range of mid-tier offerings that manage complex events and integrate processes. So when enterprise vendor QAD renewed its 20-year alliance with Progress, it significantly expanded the contract beyond the OpenEdge database and development offerings that form the core of QAD's ERP application.

By Staff July 1, 2007

Progress Software is extending well beyond its database/4GL roots with a range of mid-tier offerings that manage complex events and integrate processes. So when enterprise vendor QAD renewed its 20-year alliance with Progress, it significantly expanded the contract beyond the OpenEdge database and development offerings that form the core of QAD’s ERP application.

Both QAD and Infor are licensing Progress’ Sonic Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) to rationalize their offerings or provide a layer for supply chain integration. QAD in turn is licensing Progress’s Actional service-oriented architecture (SOA) governance offering, and is considering Progress’s natural query offerings to simplify data access inside and outside the enterprise.

Epicor also is wrapping the Progress OpenEdge database with a Microsoft .NET front end to convert legacy code written in Visual Basic and Pick. Epicor is using OpenEdge to build a middle tier that not only accepts legacy logic, but development of different user interface “skins” to support the needs of particular user types.

Progress has acquired a number of offerings that expand its footprint, including data integration products through the DataXtend SI product lines; legacy modernization through the DataDirect products; and complex event processing through the Apama engine. But it developed the Sonic ESB in-house, with its creators involved in industry debates over their claim to have invented the service bus product that is now a staple for most application platform providers.

Recent releases of Actional offerings address the reality that managing SOA requires participation from software development as well as business and IT operations.

Progress has long promoted ease of use, and the fact that you don’t necessarily need a database administrator to run its platforms. It’s also been known for a midsize database, but as the Internet and Web 2.0 extend the reach of enterprise applications, Progress installs are expanding. “We used to consider 500 users a large account,” says company VP Niel Powers. “Now that threshold is the 2,000-user mark.”