For a customer of us, I will be asked to do some major maintenance on their business application. The application in question is one that handles the order process and production steering of a pallet manufacturing company. Their current application was built over 10 years ago in v8, migrated all the way up to 11.3 and consists of a mix of smartobjects and plain progress.
I will be visiting them tomorrow and then I'll ask what they have in mind, but I thought it would be good to collect some thoughts here on my opportunities. Should they ask for a total rebuild, should I then:
They will probably also want an app for the workers inside the factory.
I know there is not much info I can provide, but I'd love to hear some input on what would be wise to use. I already know that they want to keep working with OpenEdge and that they have one person that does some small maintenance on the code, so the final solution should be low-level enough for him to do some small things.
Let's talk a bit like a CEO (important: of a large company) that I know who has OE apps in his portfolio, to see some causes of the decreasing oe demand.
Requirements for development have changed. Nowadays we have "agile SaaS players", and companies that want to transform in that direction. Legacy and complexity hinders them from growing and innovating faster and capturing more market opportunity and be more effective in delivering against the market and customer expectations. They want a short time to market; continuous delivery, microservices, container tech / serverless etc. make it possible. They want horizontal / vertical scaling possiblities, fault-tolerance, millisecond response times etc. (see f.e. https://www.lightbend.com/blog/reactive-microsystems-the-evolution-of-microservices-at-scale-free-oreilly-report-by-jonas-boner , the pdf you can download there is a great read ). Openedge cannot help much modernizing in this direction.
That ceo is not going to be impressed by the fact that you feel at home here. He has to do with his customers, his competitors etc. He wants to survive with his company. If psc has no good answers then it will simply be: so long psc. We've been good friends for a long time, but ... We are talking about business, not about a nice chat and a cup of tea.
I remember Tom Kincaid (he left psc so no point in mentioning this I find) asking me how to sell oe in the emea region. Strange.
You are very mistaken to think you are the only one admitting it. You are absolutely right. It's the same in the UK. The question is the way you deal with that fact.
One way is to keep bashing away at it, telling people how rubbish it is, etc and criticising those who still use it.
Another way is to work with the community to suggest ways to improve it, and to help those who are using it to use it better.
This is not an exhaustive list by any stretch.
But one of those approaches is a self-fulfilling prophecy. The other might just make a difference. And if it doesn't it'll be a good fun blast getting there. The OE community is the best community I've ever had the pleasure of working with and in.