ELKIE: What is your current job title these days ?
DAN: Managing Director of Research and Development for U2 Servers Lab
ELKIE: How long has it been since the last major release ?
DAN: The last major release was about 2 years ago when UniVerse went from 10.3 to 11.1. This was a big jump as we completely revamped the replication system
ELKIE: How long was UniVerse 11.2 been in beta ?
DAN: Private beta ran for over 19 weeks. About 18 companies were involved during beta testing and they were based primarily in the UK, USA and Australia.
ELKIE: Did you have any Early Adopters?
DAN: The EAP Programmes actually started back in 2012. These were with people who volunteered or who needed a particular function at the earliest possible time.
ELKIE: What do you think are the most new and noteworthy features in this release ?
DAN: There are 4 main ones and they are: Account Based Licensing; Audit Logging; Replication Performance Monitoring; and Local subroutines / functions.
ELKIE: Are any of those features unique ?
DAN: All 4 are unique for the MultiValue industry. The Account Based Licensing is unique for anyone running multi-tenant on a single based instant. It allows you to allocate limits to individual accounts by simply modifying a configuration file. This will really please the people who are hosting their customers and people who are providing a SaaS environment or anyone whose application runs across multiple accounts.
can check out an account based licensing sample configuration GitHub (click here)
ELKIE: What’s the most requested update that was included ?
DAN: The most requested update for End Users would be Replication Performance Monitoring. High Availability Disaster Recovery (HA/DR) is one of the most active areas that Rocket currently see in the community. I spend a lot of time talking to CIOs about it too – especially following Katrina, Sandy and now the Philippines too. People are now really appreciating why they must have off-site disaster recovery sites. With 11.2’s Replication Performance Monitoring, you can easily monitor and pinpoint bottlenecks in your replication system. You get in-depth performance information across 3 key areas and it allows for a better insight into the infrastructure, enabling the client to be smarter on tuning systems.
ELKIE: What about the most requested update from Developers ?
DAN: That would most definitely be Local Subroutines and functions. This allows Developers to write more maintainable code. It allows for isolating small sections and enables the code to be more easily comprehended. It allows the replacement of messy GOSUBs with a completely encapsulated subroutine or function in the same source file. Simplicity is a prized quality. There was a lot of design discussion for this with the development and support teams and with dozens of customers. A great thing about this feature is that it has been implemented without having to add any new syntax keywords. The reason why this is so good is that all the old code is guaranteed to work without any changes. Rocket always tries to ensure backward compatibility. Another major aspect are the peripheral features we added that allow you to write code in version 11.2 which will still compile in the older versions of UniVerse.
MichaelBallard, a Programmer
at Peak Performance said on the U2 User Group in Groups on LinkedIn “Calls to
internal subroutines that have self-contained variables is something I’ve
wanted for a LONG time.”
ELKIE: Are there any market sectors who will be most pleased with the release ?
DAN: Healthcare, Finance and those with big government solutions have been really excited by this release. This is because they love the new Audit Logging. Audit logs are stored encrypted in a database protected file to prevent tampering. Due to increasing regulations in these market sectors and auditors becoming more savvy, people who have needed audit logging have been spending considerable resource (time and money) trying to ensure that their systems have complete coverage. Now, as this feature is built into the engine itself, it is more comprehensive than anyone could have written on top of the database itself.
As a task for the reader, here is an encapsulated subroutine on GitHub that could be updated to use the new auditLog function. (Click here)
ELKIE: This is second time you’ve made reference to GitHub. …
DAN: Customers always want more examples and easy access to them. So the Team at Rocket is currently working to move all existing examples and creating new ones onto GitHub. GitHub is easier for customers to access and it also allows others to contribute too. It’s more of a social community and allows people to help each other. Actually, we have already received contributions from a few people in the community.
The GitHub link is: https://github.com/RocketSoftware
ELKIE: Is it too early to know the reaction of the
market to this latest release ?
DAN: It has already received some very positive response in the market. On Friday 15th November on the U2 Users List, David Hona said: “This has to be one of the most feature rich releases of UV for a long time. There are many new features and enhancements that we’ve been holding out for a long time…. Well done to Dan & Rocket U2 team for the big effort for this huge release and the keeping U2/UV alive and kicking.”
ELKIE: So what’s next ?
DAN: We’re still keeping ourselves very busy. We’re on Unidata 7.4 which is due for release in 2014 and we’ve already begun on Universe 11.2.1.
Further reading: Blog post by Dan McGrath on Universe 11.2 (Click here)