Magic Puts Focus Back on eDeveloper with Giveaway, Contest
February 22, 2007 Alex Woodie
Magic Software announced last week it will give away copies of eDeveloper, its development environment for writing applications for Windows, the Web, and i5/OS servers, as part of an effort to boost the product’s visibility, especially among young programmers and students. The company also announced a contest to see who can create the “coolest” applications with eDeveloper, with the winners receiving Apple iPods, which are undeniably cool.
Times have been rough recently on Magic Software, a publicly traded company based in Israel with U.S. headquarters in Irvine, California. Following poor financial results and management missteps in Europe, the company embarked on a restructuring plan last fall to get itself back on track and to get out of the red.
Key elements of that plan were laying off about 10 percent of its workforce (or about 50 people) to get costs under control, selling its CRM division, and refocusing the company’s attention on the product getting the most traction in the marketplace: iBolt, an application integration tool based on eDeveloper.
The company expects the moves to bring the company back to profitability during the first part of 2007. We should get a hint as to whether the company is moving in the right direction Thursday, when Magic will announce financial results for the fourth quarter ended January 31 and fiscal year 2006.
But as it turns out, iBolt won’t be getting all the marketing attention, as the company is rolling out an initiative to boost the visibility of eDeveloper, its flagship fourth-generation language (4GL) development language.
Last week, Magic unveiled a plan to divide eDeveloper into three editions, including a free edition for students, a scaled-down version for small to mid size businesses (SMBs), and an enterprise version for client-server applications.
The free edition, called eDeveloper Studio Discovery, is designed to introduce people to the development environment and to enable them to develop and deploy basic Windows client and Web applications. Magic says it’s appropriate for students, new developers, and those developing applications for personal use.
A step above the free edition is eDeveloper Xpress, which Magic says is ideal for users developing and deploying small- to mid-scale desktop and Web applications based on Pervasive‘s PostgresSQL or MySQL, which are both open-source databases, although they’re not free.
At the top of the list is eDeveloper Enterprise, which delivers the full range of the product’s capabilities, Magic says, including large-scale client-server applications, Web applications, and service-oriented architecture (SOA)-enabled applications.
Magic says two of the three editions support the iSeries. Users can access DB2/400 and OS/400 files with Discovery edition, but developers wanting full compatibility with the iSeries should look to the Enterprise version, which runs natively on the System i and making full use of all of its objects, a Magic spokesperson says.
The three new editions will make it easier for users to match the development functionality they need at a price that also matches their need, says Amit Ben-Zvi, vice president of marketing and products. “We are especially enthusiastic about the free-of- charge eDeveloper Discovery edition that provides students and those new to software application development with a great introduction to the benefits of using Magic’s rules-based framework.”
Magic is counting on its “Win an iPod” competition to generate a bit of buzz around eDeveloper Discovery. The contest is open to anybody 18 years of age or older who downloads Discover Edition and develops an application with it. If a panel of three judges–including two Magic employees from development and one from marketing–determine that you’re application is “cool” (i.e. it contains elements of innovation, design, quality, use of advanced features, and being holistic) then you will win a 4 GB Apple iPod Nano. The runner-up will get a 2 GB iPod Nano.
The most creative solution will win, says Ben-Zvi. “We want everyone to be able to experience the power of eDeveloper, and we intend to have fun with this contest. It’s always amazing to see how creative people can be, both in the nature and scope of development projects, and in the ways they find to develop and deploy those applications,” he says.