MultiValue Solutions - New Technologies Address the Evolving Requirements of Customers

Valuable data and trusted applications are dependent on MultiValue databases at many organizations, but there is also a need to integrate that data and those applications with other systems and provide access to users in new ways. In this special section, DBTA asks leading MultiValue vendors:

What is your organization doing to help customers modernize and stay current with new technologies to address the evolving requirements of customers?

Mike Ruane
President and CEO
Revelation Software

Revelation Software constantly evolves our flagship product OpenInsight to integrate with current technologies while preserving our roots in MultiValue. Our most recent release, OpenInsight v9.3 includes Data Encryption at Rest which encrypts your MultiValue data using industry standard encryption routines. Also included is OpenInsight for Web which provides the ability to create Web 2.0 forms, reports, dashboards and menus as well as support for mobile devices, such as tablets and smartphones. A Banded Report Writer is available to create easy-to-use banded reports that are compatible with Access and Crystal models. Our entire suite of tools contained within OpenInsight can be used with not only our own database but also U2, D3, mvBase, OpenQM or SQL.

Looking forward we will implement 64-bit technology and evolve our form designer to generate HTML5. The OpenInsight Development Suite will continue to leverage the skills of MultiValue developers with new technologies.

Susie Siegesmund
Vice President and General Manager- Rocket U2
Rocket Software

Rocket Software provides multiple ways for U2 customers to embrace new technologies and integrate via the latest interfaces.

Our new U2 RESTful Web Services provide an easy way to integrate U2 assets with smart mobile devices and web browsers. Representational State Transfer (REST) architecture provides a simple HTTP-based interface and exchanges data in the lightweight JSON format. When used with dynamic languages such as U2 Basic, JavaScript, PHP, and Python, U2 RESTful Web Services let you choose how and where to connect.

SystemBuilder Extensible Architecture (SB/XA) extends the user experience with your existing solutions. SB/XA leverages the .NET framework, WPF and XAML to separate the user interface from the business logic cleanly and efficiently. SB/XA developers can change the look and feel of their applications more flexibly. We also continue to enhance SB/XA development capabilities and deployment performance for existing and new customers.

External Database Access (EDA) extends existing applications and leverages current technical skills to achieve integration from Basic and Query to Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, and other database systems.  EDA can access external data on the same server or on a separate machine.

Finally, we look forward to enhancing and integrating our .NET offerings in 2012. Our .NET tools cover the range from low-level, native API to MultiValue-centric tools to standards-based interfaces. With our .NET interfaces, you can use Microsoft Visual Studio for development, along with other Microsoft tools for integration, business intelligence, and reporting.

Ken Dickinson
Managing Partner
Kore Technologies

While there are still a number of independent MultiValue application vendors today, we continue to see a consolidation of these vendors through acquisition or merger. These consolidations create fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) as to the fate of the MultiValue application and companies become stagnated. Kore's Kourier Integrator product continues to be the safest technology investment for companies that are looking to improve operations but are unsure of the longevity of their current MV application.

Kourier Integrator is multipurpose software that enables companies to get the most out of their MultiValue application whether that's through best-in-class integration (e.g., CRM, Warehouse Management, Margin Optimization) or implementing a SQL Server-based data warehouse for business intellgence reporting. The latest release of Kourier Integrator has the ability to create RESTful web services to expose vital application data over the web so you can quickly extend the capabilities of your existing storefront, portal, or mobile application. For companies looking to implement a more advanced ecommerce solution, Kore offers its KommerceServer webStoreFront and webPortal applications, leveraging the latest Microsoft technologies. By using Kourier Integrator to integrate to KommerceServer you can extend the life of your MV application while preserving your investment in ecommerce regardless of your ERP application. Should you decide it's time for your company to move to a different ERP application, Kourier Integrator can even help you migrate your data.

Kourier Integrator takes the FUD out of the equation by offering a flexible and robust environment with a rapid ROI.

Lee Burstein
Product Manager
InterSystems Corporation

InterSystems provides a host of  interfaces that enable MultiValue customers to seamlessly access and leverage new technologies while preserving their mature core MultiValue business logic, data and skills.  These breakthrough capabilities include:

  • Zen, a rich web development environment and innovative framework for rapidly creating complex, data-rich web applications that have sophisticated and highly interactive user interfaces.
  • Active Analytics technology that can provide insight and drive intelligent action throughout the enterprise. Authorized users can access up-to-date analytics based on structured and unstructured data aggregated from all of their systems.
  • Easy-to-interpret dashboards that can be used to display information in real-time.
  • High availability configurations that include distributed data and application servers that can be made redundant with database mirroring.

For maximum flexibility, InterSystems also offers a wide range of connectivity choices that enable client-side development in Java, .NET, C++, Objective-C, Perl, Python, ODBC and JDBC. Not only do MultiValue applications run on Caché and Ensemble, but the skills that built those applications can be used throughout the InterSystems technology platform. As a result, customers can move forward with their development environment of choice while taking full advantage of the MultiValue systems that are the mainstay of their organization.

Fred Owen, President
Information Tools, Inc.

At MITS, we continue to enhance the value of installed MultiValue systems and extend their life by making the valuable information that they gather and manage easier to access and understand.

The analytic and dashboard capabilities of MITS Discover are valuable to management and executive teams as they are increasingly called upon to compete in a fast-changing business environment. This year, the addition of full-screen graphic dashboards and subject-specific scorecards have really helped many of our customers leverage their existing information into a strong competitive advantage.

The ad hoc reporting capabilities of MITS Report are helping busy IT departments free up resources that were formerly dedicated to writing reports. With MITS Report, the IT department does the database mapping, then the nontechnical end users can easily modify existing reports, or create entirely new ones, on their own.

Both products include the ability to access data from MultiValue systems, and relational databases, as well as send reports or dashboards by email, on an automated schedule.

At MITS, we strive to deliver complete solutions, rather than the components to make your own. We are finding that resource-constrained IT departments appreciate a system that is ready to deploy, and are turning away from do-it-yourself projects.

Doug Leupen
President and CEO
Entrinsik, Inc.

While many among us have learned to appreciate MultiValue (MV) databases for their ease of software development, scalability, and simplicity in handling complicated relationships, their unique structure (i.e., nonrelational) has  often limited their data availability for reporting and sharing with other applications. Also, as MV databases have never gained mainstream notoriety, new technologies have been slow to penetrate this MV world.

These are the needs that our Informer product began addressing in 2002.  Informer uses the latest web technology and Google Web Toolkit to gather data directly from MV databases (U2 and D3), and present it in all forms useful for reporting, analytics, and KPIs. Moreover, its ability to simultaneously connect all SQL databases and warehouses, even joining real-time data from different database sources, makes Informer the ideal reporting BI solution throughout an organization, regardless of the number and types of databases employed. Perhaps most importantly, its extremely friendly and intuitive user interface makes it the perfect tool for pushing reporting, analytics, and BI out to the end user, where real operational BI decisions can be made.

More than 1,000 organizations have discovered how Informer has increased the value of their MV applications.

David Cooper
Lead Developer
BlueFinity International -A Member of the Mpower1 Group

BlueFinity's core pro-position is the supply of Microsoft-centric tools which allow MultiValue developers to create applications using the very latest technologies while retaining their valuable and often substantial investment in MultiValue software and knowledge. These tools embrace the growing need to create application interfaces and components that are able to support the use of an ever-increasing diversity of platforms, namely: web (browser), mobile (phone and tablet), desktop (rich-client), and web service.

The challenge that BlueFinity is rising to is to provide products that support strategies for achieving the above in an affordable, comprehensible, and timely manner. To assist in doing this, it is developing partnerships with technology leaders in a range of areas in order to facilitate the integration of MultiValue technology and know-how with the very latest products and toolsets.

Over the coming year-a year which is going to see Microsoft and others introduce a raft of important technology innovations-BlueFinity will be announcing a range of initiatives to allow these and other technologies to be used effectively by the MultiValue community, which are in addition to those already provided by BlueFinity today.

Ultimately, it's all about being able to create solutions that address the needs and expectations of users and customers. There is a rapidly growing trend, fuelled by the rapid uptake of smartphone and tablet devices, for IT strategy to be driven by end-user expectation and personal purchasing activity. The successful organizations will be the ones who are able to respond effectively to this fundamental power and expectation shift. BlueFinity's goal is to allow the MultiValue community to be in the forefront of this exciting opportunity.

Tim Spells
Onsystex Corporation

Through our application server suite known as Oasys, Onsystex offers an evolutionary path to modernize MultiValue applications. Oasys tools for normalizing, replicating, and synchronizing data between MultiValue and relational databases allows MultiValue data files to be used seamlessly with widely used BI tools and paves the road for better integration and interoperability with third-party enterprise solutions such as SAP, Oracle Financials, and others.

Oasys MultiValue-aware connectivity middleware tools extend MultiValue's intrinsic functionality to the .NET and Java environments, allowing software developers to evolve, migrate, or replace Basic legacy code to more modern, maintainable, and popular programming languages such as Java and C#. This is the chief functionality required to build highly scalable and secure service-oriented applications required for interfacing MultiValue applications with external sources.

Oasys native support for multiple development environments for browser- enabled development, offers more options to extend MultiValue applications to the cloud and SaaS, allowing reusability of existing business rules and deploy as commercial web applications on the latest mobile devices such as the iPad, iPhone, and Android.

Mark Pick
Vice President

Excellent question. So many times when we speak to MultiValue customers, they want to move their system to something "more modern" and spend thousands and even millions trying to do it when all they wanted was a slick ERP-like GUI front-end for the newly hired CFO or even something as simple as accessing their database through a web service-all because they didn't know what their system was truly capable of.

One of the photos in Pick World magazine of my father, Dick Pick, has a banner in the background that reads "Pick-the system you grow into not out of." That is as true today as it was back in the 1980s. Here at Northgate, we truly believe that and we let the people we speak to every day know that too.

As Northgate consistently evolves its MultiValue database and operating environment, we are well-positioned to help existing and new partners retain Reality for many years to come.

By always adhering to the fundamental efficiencies of MultiValue, Reality excels in the marketplace with extreme resilience, interoperability with external data interfaces and many other unique features. Extreme high resilience is provided using a robust Pick/MV Virtual Machine and fully scalable "process per user" architecture across key host platforms. Further resilience comes from standard transaction logging and optional fail-safe and remote disaster recovery systems. 

All Reality features, new and old, together with flexible pricing models, continue to allow MultiValue applications to address the evolving requirements of the web, mobile data access, integration with the SQL and NoSQL world, reporting and BI toolsets, virtualization as well as being cloud-ready.

David Peters
Sales Manager
jBASE International-A Member of the Mpower1 Group

There are two strings to non-BASIC, non-jBC, development at jBASE-with Java/JEE and Microsoft .NET. Microsoft .NET has a much higher adoption rate but that's down to customer preference!

New web and browser-based UI developments and complete application UI modernization have become a day-to-day activity for our customers. From end users through to our larger VARs, with thousands of users, they are successfully using a combination of ASP.NET MVC, WPF and Silverlight. The results are fantastic with the rejuvenated jBASE applications that that are second to none.

Microsoft SSIS integration for data warehousing, reporting, and/or BI are important to our customer base. The seamless population of jBASE data into a central SQL Server database allows companies to use various technologies within their environment and strengthens the arguments for expanding the feature rich jBASE applications.

The hot button for us and the world is mobile device integration providing not only data but application business logic as well. We have customers with specific implementations using Silverlight and cross platform ASP.NET MVC (HTML5) based projects in progress.  

Flexibility is fundamental to jBASE technology and therefore with the latest 64-bit jBASE 5.2 platform we can happily address all of these challenges going forward into 2012.

Doug Owens
Vice President, Sales
Ashwood Computer, Inc.

As an authorized reseller and support provider for MultiValue database users nationwide, our Ashwood Computer team works regularly with the tools the OEM database vendors provide, some of which are unknown to some end users. Leveraging these tools, we provide cost-effective solutions for our customers seeking to update their text-based applications using .NET, providing internet browser-based access, enabling mobile device access, SQL integration, and improved reporting services.

For customers desiring nondatabase dependent solutions, we recommend mv.NET and mv.SSIS from BlueFinity for the seamless integration of MV databases with Microsoft's .Net. These products work well for the update of text-based application software, for providing improved user access, for enabling web- based reporting, for improving access to business data, and for enabling the extensive reporting capabilities provided by Microsoft's SQL Server.

With Reality, we leverage RealWeb, their built-in SQL interface and ODBC and JDBC drivers. With UniData and UniVerse, we leverage their built-in ‘UNI'-tools, External Database Access tools, ODBC and JDBC drivers and U2.NET, along with web session licensing. With D3 and mvBase we leverage TigerLogic's ODBC, OpenDB, .NET and Java APIs, and mvDesigner. With jBASE, we leverage their ODBC and JDBC drivers, data managers, their web session licensing, and the mv.NET and mv.SSIS products.

Ashwood Computer provides solutions that enable our customers to accomplish their goals while further leveraging their original investment in MultiValue database technology.