Making Progress in Web Services

By Lisa Vaas  |  Posted 2003-04-08 Print this article Print

New development platform lets customers re-use legacy code to create Web Services.

The Progress Co. plans to announce OpenEdge, a development platform for creating applications that consume and generate Web services, at its annual users conference next week in Boston. Progress will release OpenEdge as a series of products that will consist of a database layer, an application server to interact with the database, a client piece to interact with the application server, a development framework in which to build applications, Progress Fathom family of application management tools and integration services delivered by Progress sister company, Progress Sonic. OpenEdge will also feature a component called Web Services Technology Preview that will let customers re-use legacy code to create Web Services. OpenEdge supports Microsoft Corp.s .Net framework by offering partners the option to integrate the native .Net user interface with Progress-driven business logic. Developers will be able to choose from a variety of user interface techniques and technologies via a collection of business logic components.
Officials said that this will enable end users of applications created by Progress application partners to tailor how their desktops look and function. In the past, Progress technology has focused on turning out interfaces for users of applications such as point-of-sale registers. With .Net integration, applications can be built that feature any type of user interfaces, such as those designed for the Web, devices or the .Net interface, for example.
According to Progress officials, Business Computer Projects Ltd., a U.K. systems house that specializes in supply-chain management solutions for retail and wholesale distribution, is using OpenEdges Web Services Technology Preview to re-use existing code to build a Web service. BCPs Web service automates product and price verification for items that wont scan upon check-out due to missing or incorrect barcode information. The Web service connects to a wholesalers system to confirm product and price data within 5 to 15 seconds, so that customers and employees at convenience stores can avoid price-check delays, according to Progress. Brian Preece, BCPs head of development, said in a statement that Progress business logic makes it a snap to write such a Web service. "To expose Progress business logic as a Web service is trivial working with OpenEdges Web Services Technology Preview environment," he said. "You just run the existing code through the Web Services Technology Preview sausage machine and literally 10 minutes later, you have a Web service that can be accessed from .Net or J2EE." OpenEdge pricing will start at $4,000. The first OpenEdge release will likely be delivered early this Fall, officials said. The Progress Co., in Boston, is a unit of Progress Software Corp. Latest Developer News:
Lisa Vaas is News Editor/Operations for and also serves as editor of the Database topic center. Since 1995, she has also been a Webcast news show anchorperson and a reporter covering the IT industry. She has focused on customer relationship management technology, IT salaries and careers, effects of the H1-B visa on the technology workforce, wireless technology, security, and, most recently, databases and the technologies that touch upon them. Her articles have appeared in eWEEK's print edition, on, and in the startup IT magazine PC Connection. Prior to becoming a journalist, Vaas experienced an array of eye-opening careers, including driving a cab in Boston, photographing cranky babies in shopping malls, selling cameras, typography and computer training. She stopped a hair short of finishing an M.A. in English at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. She earned a B.S. in Communications from Emerson College. She runs two open-mic reading series in Boston and currently keeps bees in her home in Mashpee, Mass.

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