I find this a very interesting discussion. But when people talk about the non-popularity of Progress Software, we must question ourself why Progress isn't that popular as VB .NET .
The main reason is to me because Progress doesn't have cheap student- and other non-commercial working developer packs, as well as a free runtime client for those non-commerical issues.
I see above the example of sendsmtp. Well, I wrote an interface to it, so it's possible to HTML-based emails. I use this program at work, to do commercial mailings, but when I'm at home, I also use this program to send out the monthly newsletter of a youth organisation. I feel it's a shame that I can't give a copy of this program to my younger collegues of the youth club, just because the organisation hasn't the money to pay a license for a single mailing in a month...
If PSC makes it easier to use and develop in Progress, the language will gain some popularity, and open source may have a future... Don't forget that most of open-source contribiters are students, which have the time to develop some things.
It would also help us keep up and in touch with Progress, I think, it would certainly help more of us to upgrade.
There's not much sense in publishing whitepapers on OERA, MVC etc. if most of us will only have access to those features 5 years or more from now.
Test drive is a great step forward, but it doesn't really solve that problem.
I don't know what PSC concerns are but things like the Developer's Briefcase are pretty effective in not allowing us to do anything else besides know more about their products.
I've always felt that things like the NDA are just counter productive. We wouldn't need to look else where if we knew more about what PSC is working on.
Not entirely true - it's just not well known.
I just read the document. It' s a good start, but for the student of the school or university where Progress doesn't make a part of the education package, it still is very expensive to have : 650$ a year is not cheap for a poor student.
Microsoft offers their total package for a price of 200 : that is cheap, and explains why MS is much more popular on universities. Also, don't forget that the current students are the developers, managers and the decisionmakers of the future.
Also, there is no opensource license scheme for the developer who wants to make opensource utilities.
An good situation would eg be where the Webclient version is totally free, instead of the cost of the appserver & database servers, combined with a license cost of 200 for a single developer copy. And when the product gets copied a lot : don't worry, that means that Progress is getting popular
I believe the $650 / year is per bundle, per department. Not per student.
Great, that covers, maybe, ten universities that would actually teach OpenEdge as part of the curriculam.
Most shops that buy products based on OpenEdge even if they do pay for some sort of maintenaince, don't have a username/password to log into the ESD and download the latest release.
And realistically most private, young developers out there wouldn't even pay 50 dollars.
Around 4 grand, something like a decent second hand car is out of the question for most private developers, though, it's quite a reasonable price for companies.
The license states:
For an extraordinarily low annual fee of $650.00 per product bundle, eligible university departments can be licensed to download the software and documentation for the appropriate Progress product. The UMB SERL department will provide the administrative and order processing support, as well as installation support for 30 days and up to three enduser email technical support incidents per year. Students in participating departments will be licensed to use the software on their personal machines.
The license isn't per student, it's per department. $650 would get the OE bundle. If you wanted the other bundles (does M$ even offer them ESB, Replication, etc products?), it'd be another $650 / department.
Makes sense to teach Sonic, I don't know what use it has for OpenEdge ?
PUP has nothing to do with most of their users.
I always find it curious when this topic comes up because it seems to me such a strange notion that someone would think a free or cheap development environment would suddenly transform ABL into a language that competed with Java and VB. It wouldn't. It might mean that people who worked in V8 shops during the day could hone their OE10 skills on the weekend in the hopes of getting a job in a more interesting place, but it isn't going to cause vast hordes of developers currently using other languages to suddenly move to ABL. They aren't interested enough in ABL to even ask whether there is a free development environment.
Moreover, vast hordes of developers creating games or desktop apps isn't PSC's market. Their market is enterprise class applications - serious, large, mission critical stuff. I.e., an environment in which a couple of thousand dollars one time purchase to enable a programmer is no big deal ... it is just like having to buy him or her a PC to work on.
It is a bit like thinking that Ferrari would sell more cars if they only made a deal with the car rental companies so that one could rent one at the price of a sub-compact.
Consulting in Model-Based Development, Transformation, and Object-Oriented Best Practice http://www.cintegrity.com
It sure makes you wonder why Oracle and everyone else has free versions
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Well, no, not everyone else. Some do; some don't; and it usually makes sense in relation to the product and the position of the company in the market. They same marketing approach is not appropriate to every company.
You should read Geoffrey Moore's Dealing with Darwin. He does a really good job of laying out the different kinds of business there are and the different positions that various companies are relative to product maturity and competion and then shows how very different marketing techniques and positions need to be used according to where a company fits within this matrix ... including the realization that what is exactly right for one company in one state can be exactly wrong for a different company in a different state.
I promised to post here when the name of our new open-source project hosting site was public. It is:
I hope you'll visit, and see what it's all about.
See http://www.psdn.com/library/thread.jspa?threadID=2362&tstart=0 for a little blurb on the new site.
This is a really very nice initiative. With a bit of luck, it can become the OE sourceforge. However, I still feel it a pity that there is no very cheap (or preferable free) compiler & runtime environment of openedge. I understand the position of Progress as a company, where this is not seen as a core business, but the market of 'fresh' software engineers is very small, and such an initiative can help client to recruit some semi experienced people.
The OpenEdge Evaluation Kit is free. It should help people going.
WebClient is free also. It needs to be used with OpenEdge Application Server (which is not).