We hope you're as excited as we are for ProgressNEXT, which begins today! We'll be bringing you all the latest updates from the event live on this blog post throughout the day, so be sure to come back often to see what's going on as this post will be updated regularly.
First things first - if you can't catch it in person, we will be livestreaming the ProgressNEXT Keynote Speakers, so that you can watch it from wherever you are. Just follow this link or click below to stream the keynotes live. The keynotes begin at 8:30am ET.
Watch the Keynotes
Our CEO, Yogesh Gupta, gave a powerful keynote covering the wide range of what Progress has to offer today (he promised we'd cover the exciting stuff going on in Progress Labs at the forthcoming keynote by our CTO, Dmitri Tcherevik). He emphasized the essence of what Progress is about - and that's to make the life of software developers easier. Really, that's always been our goal, and it's just the way to do that which has changed over time. Yogesh related a story about Einstein when he was a professor, where a student complained that he had given the same test in consecutive years - how could that be fair? Einstein noted that though the questions were the same, the answers had changed, and that's definitely the case with software development today.
It wasn't Yogesh alone making this point. Tom Stein from NASA (pictured) spoke about how much faster they could share their work with the public thanks to our DevCraft tools and the customer support he received. We also heard a lot about the power of Kinvey to easily integrate with backend legacy data from Schneider Electric, and how it powers the Progress Health Cloud to securely handle sensitive health data from Canopy Health. We saw how Infor was able to quickly take their on-prem OpenEdge implementation to the cloud with minimal code rewriting, and how companies like TVH are saving time and money through predictive maintenance. There were also an inspirational story about how an app like Hello Tractor, which is built on Progress, is helping farmers in Africa get better access to tractors.
Some of the customers who features in Yogesh's keynote also had the opportunity to share their story in more detail. It was fascinating to hear these journeys using different Progress technologies, all in the service of creating modern, more efficient software.
Before we broke for lunch, Loren presented the first trio of our App Innovation Awards!
After the keynotes ended, we broke for lunch. While enjoying the excellent food, I discovered that ProgressNEXT is officially the #1 top trending topic on Twitter for Boston.
Join in the conversation! #ProgressNEXT18 is the hashtag to use - let us know what you think!
While lunch was being served, there were also a number of demos on display for attendees to enjoy. The demo booths covered everything that Progress had to offer, as well as some interesting demonstrations from our partners as well. Above, you can see our Progress Labs team showing off some of our latest work around AR/VR.
After lunch there were a range of breakout sessions covering everything from NativeScript to DataRPM to Sitefinity to OpenEdge and more.
One of the big pieces of news from the Telerik R2 2018 breakout (where I was) was the Conversational UI that is coming across our Telerik line of developer tools (as you can see in the slide above), which is really exciting - it's an industry first. A new beta of Telerik UI for AR/VR was displayed too. There were also important reminders about the versatility of Xamarin for mobile, the strength of ASP.NET Core, and the latest improvements in our leading desktop and reporting tools.
In this breakout, VP of Technology Strategy and Kinvey expert Sravish Sridhar led a panel of customers and partners who implementing Progress Kinvey to propel their business forward. There was a lot of discussion around the benefits of letting a partner handle much of the technical and compliance end, and allowing developers to focus on innovative new ideas and solving business issues. As Neil Gomes of Thomas Jefferson University noted, when you can push out new ideas quickly you can change mindsets when people think there's no point in having ideas because change can't happen. Having a knowledgeable partner you can call on, a fast and flexible platform to build with, and buy-in from the top of your organization were highlighted as keys to making effective digital progress.
In case you missed it, Sitefinity 11 debuted today! In this session Jordan Ilchev took us through all the new features in the latest version. As someone who blogs daily, I can tell you, content creators will be happy with these changes as easier content creation was a priority for this release. Context menus and widgets do a better job of getting out of the way, leaving more space for content. Improved navigation and UI controls (direct from Kendo UI) help you get to where you need to go faster, and the HTML editor is cleaner now with color coding and suggested completion (in fact, Jordan told us they included the exact and much loved editor from Visual Studio Code). Posts also don't lock until a user changes the content, so there will be a lot less accidental locking. On the security front, HTTPS is now mandatory and a new Security Module helps keep you protected.
Tony Lavinio explained to us the basics of REST connectivity and the not-yet-complete DataDirect Generic REST Adapter (codenamed Sagamore). He described it with a Star Trek analogy - the reason Scotty had to identify all the engine problems by crawling into a Jeffery's Tube in the original, and LaForge could just access all the info he needed in a console in The Next Generation, is because the Federation ponied up for our new Adapter (this got a lot of laughs - even though nobody raised their hand when he asked who was a Star Trek fan a minute earlier). He described the increasing prevalence of REST, the challenges of working with "REST-ish" implementations, and how Sagamore can easily work with Progress products. If there's one thing to remember, he said, it's that "we turn SQL into REST."
And that's it for the keynotes and breakouts on day one! Next attendees will enjoy a reception and dinner. We'll return here tomorrow for more coverage of all the action on day two!
Daniel is passionate about technology and has been writing about the industry for the better part of a decade. He is excited to be part of the communications team at Progress, and is dedicated to creating and optimizing the very best content around the company.