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Volume 11, Number 26 -- August 16, 2011

Magic Spreads Native .NET with uniPaaS 2.0

Published: August 16, 2011

by Alex Woodie

Magic Software is giving its IBM i customers a path to generating native Microsoft .NET code with the latest release of its application framework, uniPaaS 2.0, which shipped in July. A new server runtime engine in uniPaaS 2.0 generates fully compliant .NET applications, while reliance on the Windows Forms gives a new look to uniPaaS apps. The publicly traded company also announced a 27 percent increase in quarterly revenue.

uniPaaS is Magic's flagship application development tool and runtime environment for creating rich Internet applications (RIAs) that run on IBM i, Windows, Linux, and Unix servers. The tool uses a high-level, metadata-driven development methodology that borrows heavily from the rapid application development (RAD) expertise of Magic's old eDeveloper product.

While previous releases of uniPaaS offered some .NET capabilities, Magic has gone whole-hog .NET with version 2. First and foremost, the company has rewritten its server runtime in .NET, which means that uniPaaS can now generate pure .NET applications that are 100 percent compatible and sustainable within the .NET framework.

The company has also adopted the Windows Forms .NET library as the GUI front-end for uniPaaS 2.0 applications. According to Magic, reliance on .NET runtimes and .NET interfaces gives developers access to a wide range of built-in and third-party .NET and Windows Forms services and controls what they can integrate into their uniPaaS applications.

Magic says the move to .NET in uniPaaS 2.0 will provide an easy upgrade path to .NET for existing uniPaaS customers, including users of older eDeveloper releases. No matter which runtime platforms were targeted by users of the version 1.x uniPaaS or older eDeveloper releases, as long as the application was modeled and developed within the Magic environment, it can be output in the .NET frame of things.

Magic has created an automated procedure for directly migrating to uniPaaS 2.0 from uniPaaS 1.x or eDeveloper 10.1; customers running on eDeveloper version 9 will first need to move to a more recent version before going to uniPaaS 2.0. Also, some GUI components, such as ActiveX controls, don't work in the managed (and more secure) .NET world.

The move to .NET doesn't mean that uniPaaS stops working with IBM i, Unix, or Linux. Only uniPaaS' Windows runtime engine was switched to .NET. Obviously, customers will not get all the fringe benefits of being in the .NET world if they choose to deploy on IBM i or another supported platform.

The IBM i server is still used by a large number of Magic's customers, and therefore the platform maintains a "special" status at Magic. (Check the company's website for mentions of "IBM i Special Offerings." This is to be commended, as many large application developers that still owe a large chunk of their cash flow to the platform seem embarrassed to be associated with it.)

According to a Magic spokesperson, uniPaaS 2.0 supports native IBM i features such as DB2/400, user spaces, data queues, spool files, and CL commands. "One can also access these IBM i capabilities from a Windows server running uniPaaS. It is the customer's choice," the spokesperson says.

uniPaaS 2.0 also supports deployment of clients to Blackberry and Windows Mobile smartphones, a feature that the company announced in May. The company plans to add support for additional devices, including iOS, Android, and Windows Phone devices, in the fourth quarter of this year or the first three months of next year, a spokesperson said.

In other news, Magic announced that for its second quarter ended June 30, revenues increased 27 percent, from $ 21.5 million to $27.4 million, while net income increased 84 percent, from $1.9 to $3.5 million.

Magic CEO Guy Bernstein was pleased with the results. "For an unprecedented seventh consecutive quarter, we have achieved double-digit overall growth, and we achieved continued growth in revenues and profits in all our regional centers of activity," he said in a press release. Magic is counting on uniPaaS 2.0 and its new mobile capability to drive organic growth. Bernstein also said to expect some M&A activity.

uniPaaS 2.0 is available now in the U.S., Canada, and Latin America. Pricing starts at $6,495 for uniPaaS Studio 2.0. For more information, see www.magicsoftware.com.


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