All posts by Aad van Schetsen

The 6 Most Common Problems in Software Development

Today I would like to take a look at problem solving. Now what is a problem? According to the dictionary, a problem is “a matter or situation regarded as unwelcome or harmful and needing to be dealt with and overcome”. Fast.

What I will do below is discuss the 6 most common problems in software development –  segregated by different stages of a Software Development Life Cycle – and obviously will tell you how Uniface helps in a very simple way.

Problem #1: Requirements Gathering

Garbage in, garbage out… Any design is as good as the completeness or correctness of the requirements.  If the requirements are not good, the project will fail. Because people will hate the result.

Uniface helps as it is a very agile ; it help developers and end-user to quickly develop a prototype that further clarifies the correctness of the design. And then revise the, quickly built the next prototype. And so on. Prototyping with Uniface is straightforward and simple.

Problem #2: Planning & Estimation

Very often estimations of cost and duration of projects are too optimistic resulting in overspending and a much reduced time to market. And frustration from management, something you don’t want.

Uniface helps as it simplifies app development by separating the design from the actual technical implication(s). Building an app becomes simple, hence everything else about it becomes simpler as well. Simple.

Problem #3: Development

Moving targets, feature creep: it does happen. Requirements do change. I am not one of those religious nut-bags that will tell you “thou shall not change the requirements, ever”. Change happens. Change is upon us. Full Stop.

Uniface helps as many objects are defined in one unique place. Which makes Uniface very versatile and a Uniface app very easy to change. Uniface is made for change. Because it’s so simple…

Problem #4: Testing

Bug-free software doesn’t exist. Learn to live with it…YOLO

Uniface helps as it needs 7 times less code that Java. Less code, less bugs. Simple.

Problem #5: Collaboration

Project Management and multi-user development are key processes that need a lot of attention.

Uniface helps, as there are no multi-user and collaboration issues. Uniface is multi-user. By design. Simple.

Problem #6: Deployment

One more thing, Uniface runs on many platforms too – from mobile to mainframe and you can actually change from one of those  platform to another just like that. Without any redevelopment. It’s really that simple.

There’s just one simple decision you now need to make for yourself: build your next app with Uniface.

Develop Once, Fail Everywhere

Java became known many years ago with the statement “Develop once, Deploy anywhere”. After a while the hardcore 4GL developers liked to taunt the Java community by claiming that this was actually different and should “Develop Once, Debug Anywhere”.

They were too kind…

A recent research of Bit9 revealed that IT administrators have essentially been lied to for 15 years. They have been told that to protect themselves from the latest security vulnerabilities in Java they should apply updates and apply them frequently. What they didn’t know is that  for many years applying updates to Java left the older versions still present…Hackers are able to use those older versions.

“Develop Once, Fail Everywhere…”

Java fail

Java rules… NOT!

The free development language Java is of course useful for many projects. But this statement changes as we move into the landscape of the high-end, mission-critical, 100K+ function points development projects. The typical market where Uniface stands out.

I have seen too many of these business critical, larger projects developed in Java fail, while in this high-end market space Uniface projects almost always succeed and get deployed. And stay deployed, for 25 years or more while dealing with changes in infrastructure.

This is not only because Uniface is a superior development technology for these high-end projects. It’s also because Java is unstable, there are too many technology breaks in a too short time frame and of course too many security issues. Not convinced? Just look at this (shocking) web-article.

Votes Count in Uniface


I visited Israel this week and attended the launch of the new version of OneView, the ERP app from our #1 business partner One1, here in Israel. Considering there were just elections in Israel, it was a pleasant surprise to hear that the application that is used to count votes is developed in Uniface and works flawless… Maybe an idea for some other countries such as my own…

The Knesset, legislature of Israel

State of Independence


Sometimes people ask me how it is possible that the Uniface business is doing so very well and – despite an economic crises – is growing…

The main reason for this is the Business Unit structure we implemented in April 2009. This new “state of independence” changed a lot for us, especially in the things we focus on:

First we’re passionate about real innovation. You can only be credible as a supplier if you can deliver great products that add value to your existing customers’ day to day business. We are listening to what our customers want and make sure these wishes are somehow coming back into the product. Uniface 9.6 is the ultimate proof of this, many people consider this the best and most innovative Uniface version in the last 10 years!

Second is customer focus. We do things different now that we’re in the Business Unit setup. Our main thing is nurturing and collaborating with our existing customers and VARs. These are the companies and organizations that depend on us, are very loyal to us and therefore deserve the best service they can get. Therefore there is an enormous focus in our team on user-events, customer-roadshows, workshops and so on, all intended to explain and help our customers how to use Uniface in the best way possible. Or – to take it to the business level – make sure that our customers always get the best ROI out of Uniface.

Innovation and customer focus, that’s why we’re doing well. Simple, isn’t it?