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Recently, we had the presentations of the first Creative Sprint and let me tell you it was a great success. I’ll start by taking you back in time while sharing what are the thoughts which drive this initiative.

The Uniface’s lab is still a startup, yes! A 35-year-old startup in that sense. As with all startups, we thrive through the innovation that comes from the brilliant minds that continue to form the Lab throughout these years.

When working on technology, one tends to adapt the new high-tech trends to produce business value. This is a creative quirk. This challenge rewards the individual with satisfaction and fulfillment. To maximize the benefit from such experience, one repeats the process with certain periodicity, making it part of the development process.

In general, Agile is associated with a creative/iterative development process, following that line of thought, it is common practice in technology minded organizations to include a moment to trigger the creative spirit and embed it on the execution cycle of the production of software. Additionally, that moment serves as a source of wisdom to individuals who use that time to attempt new ways, find new ideas, discover new possibilities.

At the Uniface Lab, we are no different. Already for a few years, we have been trying to stimulate this inspirational flare in between our regular sprint schedule. To spark imagination a bit more, we have adopted a Creative Sprint; a one-day sprint where the goal is to ignite curiosity, play with new ideas and have fun.

Our creative sprint is also a welcome break in our tight schedule. A break which is an investment too. A break as it allows us to step out of the production harness and an investment because it spawns our technological paraphernalia (ideas and tooling).


As competitive as we are, we want to deliver the outmost in one day, producing great value for our time. To illustrate that, I want to share some of the ideas from the creative sprint:




·       Apply cucumber and selenium to web testing

·       Investigate using JavaScript as the scripting language for Uniface’s ProcScript

·       Prototype a message/service bus

·       Use Node.js as a Web-server for a DSP application

·       Investigate enhancements to our threading model

·       Calling Uniface functions from Python

·       Prototype using regular expressions in ProcScript

·       Prototype porting sources to C++ 11 compatible

·       Entries for field, collection and/or occurrence entries as extensions of only component


The results were astonishing, a lot of enthusiasm and tons of valuable information which serves as food for thought. All in a very short span of time. Besides there is more to come as we get a chance to spend some time on innovation every two weeks. How great is that!

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4 Comments

  1. Hi Jorge

    Nice to see that UnifAce do have "design lab" for crazy ideas. Brain storming is always a good thing.
    But please implement a few of this ideas in UnifAce (UF 9.7)
    The pressure from out side the UnifAce world is immense. Our chiefs are thinkung about to switch to  .NET/C# as in there terms UnifAce is old fashioned. And I do not have an argument against this.
    Thinking about the IDE: Also the new UF 10 is far behind Eclipse&Co. Where are proper formating, X-reference or refactoring tools?
    There are no grids or other moderen widgets. HTML is not a solution, as this ist not longer UnifAce native. You have to rewrite all code to support HTML. Don't push all "problems" into applications outside UnifAce.
    In your creative sprint, switch the point of view to us, your customers and how we have to fight against our customers/market and our chiefs. The told us, that there are no UnifAce developers avail and .NET/C# is much better to impress the market.

    Please, in your next creative sprint, think about this.
    The countdown for UnifAce running and only you can stop the clock

    Ingo

    1. Thanks, Ingo, for your comment.

      Your points about enhancements to the product are channeled through Product Management and Sales.

      The Uniface roadmap reflects the plans which drive our daily work. The Lab works every sprint on the priorities defined by the organization.

      The Creative Sprint is only meant to spark curiosity, investigate new ideas and have fun. It is intended to keep us up to date on technological improvements, which we will use when implementing functionality in the product.

      Rest assured on all our work, we think about you, our customers and users. Not only on our next creative sprint.

      I can share with you, that there is some value to Uniface, as an example: for my contribution to the creative sprint, I worked with machine learning, and I had to write all the code and continually install/download stuff. I really missed the Uniface way in the sense of low code and high productivity. 

      Have a nice weekend! 

      Kind Regards,

      Jorge



  2. Very interesting!
    Few considerations:

    • "Investigate using JavaScript as the scripting language for Uniface’s ProcScript": I have proposed it 4-5 years ago getting back a "We have Proc Language for that!" imperative answer! Thanks for showing I wasn't on the wrong side...
    • "Using regular expressions in ProcScript": if I remember well it is a wish since early Uniface9 stages...
    • "Entries for field, collection and/or occurrence entries as extensions of only component": it is a daily effort on the field trying to implement something at this level; many times a function or an instruction is missing in the basic Uniface runtime structure; this lead to a small wish to be asked for. Hopefully yours will be taken in considerations.

    Regards,
    Gianni

    1. Thanks for your comments, Gianni!

      Again the enhancements to the product are channeled through Product Management and Sales.

      We were playing with challenging technical ideas to generate thought and experience. No commitment or stake in the ground in that sense.

      Anyway, nice to hear you like it!

      Have a nice day,

      Kind Regards,

      Jorge