Keeping MultiValue Current - Industry Leader Q&A With Pete Loveless, Director, Mpower1 International

DBTA: This year is Mpower1's 7 th year in the MultiValue industry. How has the MultiValue sector of the industry changed in the past 7 years?

Loveless: For many years, application providers in numerous industry verticals have been experiencing the considerable and unique benefits of the MultiValue solution. However, MultiValue developers have realized that they need to do what it takes to keep those valuable applications tied into the current technology of the day. Integration between MultiValue and emerging technologies such as XML, Web Services, and .NET has become increasingly important for growth. We've seen a huge surge of customers demanding our .NET development facilities.  

DBTA: In addition to jBASE, which offers a suite of database management products and development tools, Mpower1 has three additional MultiValue companies-BlueFinity International, SC Systems, and BAS International.  What is the role of each?

Loveless: BlueFinity International's flagship product-mv.NET-is an extensive toolset designed for creating Microsoft .NET-based applications requiring access to MultiValue databases. The suite of products also includes mv.RSDC for Microsoft Reporting Services functionality and mv.SSIS for full SQL Server integration and data warehouse developments.

SC Systems offers OSMOSiS, a modern 4GL Rapid Application Development product for MultiValue databases providing an automated migration process from SB+ and System Builder. 

BAS International provides an application development service for any MultiValue database or .NET user who does not have the in-house skills or time to develop, migrate, or enhance their systems themselves.  

Each of these companies is a testimony to Mpower1's commitment to investing in forward-thinking products that enable increased connectivity and flexibility.

DBTA: How are the needs of MultiValue customers changing in terms of requirements for interoperability with other technologies, such as Microsoft .NET, web services, and SOA?

Loveless: The time is long past when the unique attributes of the MultiValue database model alone provided sufficient justification for the use of the technology.  Developers in the MultiValue community need to continue to demonstrate their ability to participate in an ever increasingly open application delivery environment.  This open application delivery environment has many facets: open data access, open development tools, and open standards.  One of the upshots of all of this is a much greater demand on the breadth of skill sets being required of software developers, a challenge with which even the large software houses wrestle to meet. There are things that even the smallest of development establishments can do to mitigate this relentless learning curve, one of the most important of which is strict adherence to the principle of not reinventing the wheel.   By fully engaging with the concepts of interoperability and integration from the ground upwards (i.e., starting with open and interoperable development tools and designs used to create the application in the first instance) an organization will be better placed to meet the interoperability and integration challenges being presented by the market now and in the future.

We consider MultiValue databases to be world-class technologies in their own right, but when you enable integration with these key technologies they provide a potent solution.

DBTA: With customers looking increasingly at getting more for their IT dollar, what is the Mpower1 value proposition?

Loveless: While it's relatively easy to choose a system that will meet today's needs, it is much harder to choose a system that has the flexibility to meet tomorrow's requirements.  We believe the products available from the Mpower1 Group provide true longevity. 

Tools such as BlueFinity's mv.NET allow developers to evolve MultiValue applications using mainstream technologies lsuch as Visual Studio and .NET. And because BlueFinity is advancing development of mv.NET at the same rate that Microsoft advances .NET itself, users can rest assured that their applications will stay current. The introduction of products like mv.SSIS and mv.RSDC enable seamless integration between MultiValue databases and Microsoft SQL Server and Reporting Services. Since BlueFinity products are available for all major MultiValue databases, customers can select the vendor or environment to suit their own needs whether this is low cost, high performance, local support or any other factor. These kinds of things effectively future-proof applications and allow MultiValue users to grow their applications exponentially while still retaining all of the unique functionality provided by the MultiValue database model.

jBASE International's jEDI enables seamless integration with foreign databases. So, any jBASE developed application can read and write to whichever database is required for data storage such as the native jBASE database but also Oracle, DB2, SQL Server and others without a rewrite.  An application can be truly open, operating on multiple platforms and databases without restriction. This provides customers with considerable options relating to future direction. In terms of pricing, we believe jBASE is the most competitive of the main database vendors in the market. Along with price freezes on licenses, jBASE offers free upgrades, significant discount options on migrations from other MultiValue platforms and flexible payment plans tailored to the needs of the business.

Our products provide freedom in an IT environment by ensuring that there are no barriers to growth. Developers don't need to design their applications around a database, but rather design it around the needs of the business using the best of breed tools available from Mpower1 and the latest mainstream technologies.

DBTA: What is Mpower1's next step?

Loveless: Clearly defined road maps are in place for jBASE and BlueFinity for enhancements to the existing product range as well as the addition of brand new, innovative products. These road maps include an increasing investment from Mpower1 as we move forward into in the next era of development.

Mpower1 also plans to continue our investment and commitment to forward-thinking products. We're currently investigating other opportunities to expand our MultiValue market footprint through further acquisitions and partnerships.