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UK Revelation User Group Meeting 2014

Published almost 7 years ago by Elkie Holland

23 September 2014 at a hotel in West London was the venue and the date for the Revelation User Group meeting.  Mike Ruane, Andrew McAuley, Martyn Phillips, Carl Pates, Aaron Kaplan and Bill Paisley from Revelation were all there.  The day was well attended with the room full to capacity.  As ever, delegates came from a mix of software houses, end users from within the UK, Ireland and Europe.

What I love about the Revelation User Groups is that they are well organised, informative and interactive.

Revelation Today

Revelation currently has 12 employees including 2 new hires and a new Asia Pacific Representation, Richard Bright.  Revelation have continued to be profitable and recently have been selling 750 new seats a month but this averages to 600 over the last 18 months.  They have been trying to keep prices stable (the price for Works has not increased in 14 years).    In the last part of 2013, their website was redeveloped using their own technology (integrating Joomla and O4W).  Revelation continue to advertise and be featured in DBTA and more recently in Presort First Class.   There is an abundance of articles and technical bulletins and YouTube videos put out by Revelation too.

Software current versions include OpenInsight v9.4, Universal Driver / UD Heavy Version 4.7.  OpenInsight versions below 9.0 are no longer supported nor are RevG and ARev.  There is current development work on OpenInsight 10.0, UDH 5.0 and O4W.

Is it all mobile ?

Mike Ruane is a big advocate of mobile but realises that whilst mobile is important, it is not all about mobile.  This opinion is borne out by research:

  • There are more than 2 Billion (2,000,000,000) smart phones in use today
  • 2.23 billion go online via mobile a month
  • The total number of mobile phone internet users will rise 16.5% in 2014 and maintain double-digit growth through 2016
  • Users of smartphones don’t care where the data they access comes from, but they want it now.
  • Revelation wants their customer to get and keep those users.
  • Worldwide PC shipments dropped 13.9% in Q1 203 etc

However, is it all mobile?  The answer is No, again borne out by research:

  • A survey in August 2014 of 2200 real world developers found that 51% do not develop mobile. 
  • 80% are focusing on desktop development. 
  • 59% to focus on future mobile development.

With this research and Rev users’ own feedback, Revelation are developing OI 10.0 to build systems for both Desktop and mobiles.

OpenInsight 10.0

The development of OpenInsight 10.0 has near enough touched every part of it.  Some parts have just been amended and some with full overhaul both for the 64-bit and 32-bit versions.  Both 64-bit and 32-bit will have the same features.  The 32-bit will have a 2gig memory maximum. 


Major new parts include:

  • Management Console.   This is like a Database Manager on steroids.   It is browser based and includes the webserver in OEngine, System Information, Configuration Settings, Engineer server settings and other goodies.
  • GIT Integration. This is a version control system.  It’s free and can use local servers.  It’s well-known and easy to use.  Mike recommends this highly for multi-sited developers on one system as you can see what’s in etc.  All using the same code and visually see what changed.
  • Authentication Module - this came from user requests.  OAM provides a standard interface to create and modify user logon and security policies.  It uses Industry Standards.
  • A totally new and modern Integrated Design Environment (IDE), matching today’s developer’s expations.
  • RCL (Revelation Communication Link) which supports encryption.
  • Entirely new Presentation Server.  New and enhanced core objects (SYSTEM, FILESYSTEM etc).  Also support for non-UI objects (IMAGELIST, HTTP etc)
  • New Custom Controls – Panel and Property Grid.
  • A New “New Form Designer”.  The original New Form Designer was in v8 but unused.


Other highlights to include:

  • Less exe / dll files (currently 62) have been cut by half.
  • 64-bit and 32-bit sets of binaries from same code base.
  • It will be highly DPI aware.
  • A new database Engine, designed for Multithreaded operations.
  • Enhanced <> Angle Bracket
  • Better “Big Number” integration again.
  • Code Compiler – even now more accurate.  64k limits have been removed from the object code format.
  • It will be Backwards compatible but not forwards compatible.
  • Indexing - still have the 4 types of indexing (Btree, CrossRef, Relational, Bitmap) but now it’ll be faster building and rebuilding with Tunable Index Notes with faster access.  There are also going to be additional Wildcard Characters (*).  Enhancements to Btree.Extract to allow the use of previous results eg a “Back” button.  Great for a user.  This will be done as a cache results and they will be unique per user / per station.
  • Select Overhaul – can use Escape key and it’s much faster, and provides more feedback to the user.
  • BRW – Branded Report Writer on super speed in one direction about 1/3 of the current time in the other direction.
  • HTML Quickhelp, but really showing HTML editing capabilities within fields on data entry forms.
  • Cloud Integration – ability to use cloud databases as a data source.  Uses the same “connector” technology and able to use a highly available, disturbed, NoSQL datasources eg Couchbase.
  • Currently they are developing UD 5.0 for both Windows 64bit and 32bit versions and Linux 64bit version of the server.
  • UDH 5.0 is now faster and ability to change the server state from the command line.  More changes still in pipeline.


O4W Mobile 

O4W Mobile is also receiving attention with:

  • Reports auto recognize mobile devices without any additional work for developer.
  • jQuery Mobile has been tweaked
  • API enhanced. 
  • Better re-use of existing code between Browser and Mobile.


Most of Revelation’s future plans will depend upon directions and trends in technology, rates of adoption, and whether or not it relates to Revelation and its customers. Today they feel it will include: 

  • Multi-threaded engine.
  • Tighter Cloud Integration and might create OpenInsight Appliances.
  • Mobile platforms.


Revelation also showed their CBBFS  - Cloud-based Base Filing System.  Their customers have been asking for cloud-based data stores and Revelation delivered, showing their connector to Couchbase .  Revelation chose Couchbase because it’s a popular NoSQL Database, built atop Memcached, so it has very fast key/value access, low latency. They expect to develop connectors for MongoDB and others shortly

After lunch there were more demonstrations of the items described above.

Overall, a good informative day.

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