Uniface in the Land of the Rising Sun (日本)

Those who know me will know I’ve always had an affinity with Japan. During my previous stint in product management it was my second home. So it’s always good to come back, catch up with old friends and customers, some of who I have known for over 15 years.

We had two user conferences this year, one in Osaka, serving the Kansai region of Japan, and one in Tokyo. We follow a slightly different program for the Japanese market, where we have a shorter program without the usual 9.6 workshops, which we are looking at doing as a separate event.

Japan is an interesting country from a business IT perspective (it’s an interesting country anyhow!). Despite being very technically advanced, it’s also a culture that is quite conservative when it comes to business technology and business apps. For example using old versions of Uniface connected to old versions of databases and we even have one customer who is still using a deployed application on Windows NT 4!

So I was really interested to hear the customer presentations at this years events, as one of them, NTT Data Business Brains (yes!) have built a Uniface  web  app (aka RIA or Web 2.0) and deployed it in the cloud. This was based on Uniface 9.4, which was the first RIA release, and in all honesty I would have expected that the work done in Uniface 9.5 to expand the functionality would have been necessary for them.

But the app is deployed and in use, and some of their end users are even using it with IE6, which bought them challenges, which they have worked around.

Talking to them afterwards, they are keen to take a look at 9.6, and the pagination functionality, as they said they ended up doing a fair amount of work with stored procedures to make sure they kept performance where they needed it to be. (I’m glad we’ve put the functionality into the product!).

During their presentation they had a couple of slides discussing security. They are bound by some corporate standards, which included the testing by a separate division within NTT, and tests both the application and also the deployment components. I couldn’t get details on what their criteria was for the testing, but I know that we had one issue in the web (wrd) layer, which we resolved (this was earlier this year).

We’ve actually done quite a lot in the area of web security, initially working on a project with Minnesota State, and resulted in us engaging an external company to regularly test our deployment bits and pieces. Maybe something for a future blog ramble.


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