Testing Servoy 5.2

By Joe Brockmeier  |  Posted 2010-09-07 Print this article Print

Although the bump in version number is minor, the 5.2 release brings a couple of major changes. The most major of these is embracing open source.

With this release, Servoy started providing its product under the AGPLv3 (GNU Affero General Public License Version 3), switched to using PostgreSQL as its bundled database and made security changes that will have an impact on older Servoy apps.

Servoy's conversion to open source didn't stop the company from having a download blocker in place to require an e-mail and validation before giving up the download. Trying to get code using Firefox was a frustrating exercise, as the confirmation page required an e-mail address-but didn't provide a field in which to add the address.

The download seems to be working now, but it required a few exchanges with the company to get going. They also attempt to sign users up for no fewer than six mailing lists, and ask for permission to share the e-mail address with third parties. This is not the best way to start off engaging developers.

In general, the contributor information is a bit sparse, and doesn't give the impression that the company has all the pieces in place for a growing community just yet.

One piece that is in place is the Servoy Forge, with a number of open-source projects formed to extend or enhance Servoy. This includes an iPhone app builder, plug-ins for Google Apps and localization tools. You won't find tons of resources just yet, but it's worth taking a look at.

Setting up the IDE is simple enough. Mac and Linux users will install using the Java JAR file, while Windows users can use the JAR or a typical Windows installer.

Getting started with Servoy after that can be a bit confusing. As mentioned above, Servoy falls down quite a bit on documentation. What's available online consists of a few getting-started tutorials and some scattered docs on the wiki, and many of the docs and videos are for Servoy 4 or earlier.

Joe 'Zonker' Brockmeier is a freelance writer and editor with more than 10 years covering IT. Formerly the openSUSE Community Manager for Novell, Brockmeier has written for Linux Magazine, Sys Admin, Linux Pro Magazine, IBM developerWorks, Linux.com, CIO.com, Linux Weekly News, ZDNet, and many other publications. Brockmeier is also a FLOSS advocate and participates in several projects, including GNOME as the PR team lead. You can reach Zonker at jzb@zonker.net and follow him on Twitter.

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