RevCon 2016 and OpenInsight 10

RevCon2016

When, When, When??? Those where some of the final words Mike Ruane had posted in his wrap-up slide for the 2016 Revelation Software User’s conference, which just ended early this afternoon. Clearly he understood that the foremost question on attendees’ minds before the conference (and much more by the end of the conference) was, “When will OpenInsight 10 be ready?” Before sharing Mike’s answer, I would like to refer back to the first article of my 2015 conference summaries, which was published slightly more than one year ago. In that article I wrote the following comments:

From day one of the conference people wanted to know when OpenInsight 10 will be released…My personal opinion is that we will see the beta available near the end of September 2015, if not later…Regardless of how well Revelation Software succeeds in their current timeline, it is very safe to assume that OpenInsight 10.0 (that is, Ten-Dot-Oh), will not be around until early Q2 2016. If you are the cautious type who is x.0 averse, then you will need to plan even longer.

So, how is OpenInsight 10 progressing? A proper answer to that question is a bit complex, and deserves to be handled through multiple articles that cover various aspects of the conference and the OpenInsight 10 product. Therefore, we intend to do just that.

But, to “cut to the chase” (as we say in the United States), Mike gave a tentative timeline of “end of the year.” After making that statement, he asked Carl Pates to back him up…or at least acknowledge that this is a deadline he really wants to strive for. After the wrap-up, I confirmed with Mike that “end of the year” actually meant “when the beta-release would be ready.” Therefore, everyone should set their expectations accordingly. As I posted last year, proper beta testing for a product of this magnitude will require at least 6 months.

During the welcome session, Mike was very candid about the delays with OpenInsight 10. He wants this product to be released as early as the rest of the Revelation community. He admitted that the scheduling problems were due to:

  • Limited Resources
  • Scope Creep
  • Changes of Direction
  • Dead Ends
  • Parts [that were] more difficult than [they] thought

Every software developer can relate to the above. However, it doesn’t make the pain of waiting any easier.

Does the end look closer than it did one year ago? Yes and no. It is easy to see how the product has matured from when it was revealed in Houston. Yet, at the same time, it seems that the goal post has been moved back a ways (c.f., scope creep). Thus, it still feels like time is standing still. It feels the same as when the 2015 conference ended.

To add balance to the above, there were several areas where OpenInsight 10 showed quite well. The maturing of the truly integrated development toolset (IDE) was very encouraging. More than one Revelation presenter commented that development of OpenInsight 10 is now being done from within OpenInsight 10, rather than from OpenInsight 9.4 and then ported over. That certainly indicates the product has turned a significant corner.

What is the takeaway from this? I suppose each one should answer that question for themselves. On a pragmatic level, I will end with one more quote from last year’s article:

Practically this means do not put your projects on hold. One year is a long time to sit on your next release, new features, and future tools. OpenInsight 10 will come when it is ready but we should not be holding our breath. Make progress with the tools you already have.

6 Responses to RevCon 2016 and OpenInsight 10

  • Don Bakke
    Don Bakke says:

    Daniel, I am cautiously optimistic that we’ll see a stable version in 2017, although perhaps closer to 3rd quarter. The major turning point I mentioned in my article can’t be understated. While different “designers” will have their own bugs, the integrated nature of the core product means that all “designers” will fail or succeed accordingly. The reasonable expectation is that the core will be close to rock solid when the beta version is released, and I fully expect the beta cycle to help bring the product to relatively stable version.

  • Hopefully your optimism will prove right, I figure add on a few extra months for more testing and extra features/delays/debugging :). I’d love to see OI10 ship with a whole suite of useful demo applications that show off the new features and sample O4W Apps, Integration with Microsoft Word, Excel etc.. , REST demonstrations, S3 and Azure integrations, WEB API usage samples, most common windows dll declarations already included, and more. The product can be it’s own training tool 🙂

    • Don Bakke
      Don Bakke says:

      Very excellent points! However, the changes made to OECGI to support RESTful APIs is available now. If you are a WORKS member you can download the Alpha v1 release today (they just posted the announcement) and get OECGI4.exe. Alternatively, we have permission to distribute copies to OI 9.x developers. Note, Revelation has not created a backend REST framework. They only made changes to OECGI4.exe (which is backwards compatible to OECGI3.exe…just rename the file) to support HTTP methods that REST likes to use. You still need to write your own replacement to RUN_OECGI_REQUEST to support RESTful URLs. To that end, we have already written our own framework and this was what I used in the REST presentation in Orlando. Thus, we are presently creating REST APIs in OI 9.4 using OECGI4.exe.

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