Tick, Tock: mrc Unveils ’24-Hour Challenge’
December 16, 2008 Alex Woodie
In the hit action TV series “24,” government agent Jack Bauer is given exactly 24 hours to stop a terrorist attack. But what if, instead of thwarting the attack, Bauer was tasked with developing an enterprise Web application in less than a day’s time? That is what the folks at mrc have set upon themselves with the 24-Hour Challenge. The Chicago software company also added a new user defined function (UDF) capability to m-Power, its premier application development tool for i OS and other platforms.
As part of its 24-Hour Challenge, which was announced earlier this month, mrc promises to deliver a custom Web application based on sample data provided by the prospective customer. The offer is good for a single application–such as a reporting tool or a customer portal–and doesn’t cost the instigating organization a penny.
The point of the 24-Hour Challenge is to show the organization how quickly Web applications can be created in m-Power, mrc’s Web application generator that outputs Java code that can run across any platforms and mobile devices. m-Power utilizes a template-based approach to coding that eliminates much of the manually written code. Customers can modify, through basic SQL, the starter templates provided by mrc for common applications, such as reporting, dashboards, shopping carts, Web portals, or wireless applications.
“Enterprise application development doesn’t need to be time-consuming, difficult, or expensive”, says Sal Stangarone, mrc’s senior product consultant. “Give us some sample data and 24 hours and we’ll show you.” Interested parties can sign up for the 24-Hour Challenge at mrc-productivity.com/24hourchallenge.html.
It’s likely that mrc product specialists will be using the new UDF feature that mrc recently added to m-Power as they create sample applications for customers. The new UDF feature will make it easier for m-Power developers to do some nifty on-the-fly calculations in their Web applications.
According to mrc, UDFs are reusable objects that are created to perform specific tasks, such as performing data format conversions, calculating the number of items on hand, or calculating order totals. They are created using database languages, such as SQL, and are reusable.
While UDFs are defined at the database level, their results do not actually live in the database. Nevertheless, values generated by UDF can be treated as database fields, giving developers a tremendous amount of flexibility to select, sort, order, or group the results as needed. m-Power is the first development tool to use UDFs in this way, the company says.
“This is a very exciting and powerful enhancement,” says Brian Crowley, director of development for mrc. “Basically, this enhancement puts the power of the database into the hands of the m-Power user. Anything you can do with a database language, you can now do with a UDF in m-Power.”
For more information on m-Power, visit mrc’s Web sitewww.mrc-productivity.com.