Our final Software Developer for 1997 focuses on development environments, and the cool things people are doing with them. The next Software Developer section will focus on the magical thing called "minimum requirements". We want to hear from developers of a range of applications, from games to databases, about the hardware spec you're writing for on any platform, and why. Contact Matthew JC. Powell on (02) 9902 2729 or e-mail email@example.com before the 19th of January. - Matthew JC. PowellUK-based ProIV develops and distributes ProIV RAD (for Rapid Application Development), a 4GL development environment, and supports developers who build applications using ProIV RAD. It has implemented a concept it calls World Wide Product Flow (WWPF), as a means of leveraging its global customer base to distribute third-party software developed using ProIV RAD. It is now seeking partners in Australia to distribute these third-party applications.
According to ProIV's business development manager, Marion McDonald, the company sells the ProIV tool directly, rather than going through resellers, but derives most of its revenue through the licence fees paid by third-party developers. Its role in the WWPF is to act as a facilitator in partnerships between developers and resellers.
According to ProIV, the main advantage for a reseller to be involved in WWPF is in access to high-quality tested applications. Resellers will also have access to source code, to enable them to localise products and develop them to their own needs, whether they are targeting niche or vertical markets.
For developers, the advantage is in gaining exposure to new markets, even global markets, that they would not have been able to cover without considerable expenditure. The advantage to ProIV, obviously, is in greater licence fees from sales of third-party software and greater exposure for ProIV RAD.
ProIV RAD enables solution vendors to deliver a single application based on their own choice of database (Oracle, Sybase, Ingres, DB2), on a wide range of hardware platforms ranging from PC through NT to Unix, VAX and mainframes. The latest version includes particular support for the 32-bit Windows environment, enabling developers to build industrial-strength applications for that platform. Since ProIV itself is year 2000-compliant, so is software developed under it. ProIV also has tools to enable developers whose applications were built under older, non-2000-compliant versions of the package to update their code and distribute it to their customers.
Amongst ProIV's existing Australian customers are such names as AMP, National Mutual, World 4 Kids and Casino Canberra. Worldwide, they count Mercedes-Benz, TNT Express, BASF and many others amongst their customers. While most of these large corporations use ProIV RAD to develop in-house applications, a few have used it to develop applications with a potentially wider audience. McDonald said that part of the role of the WWPF is to enable these developers to reach an audience that they may not have even tried to reach.
Among the applications currently being offered to resellers by ProIV are: Entrepreneur, a wholesale/retail distribution system; Duty Management System, developed by the UK police department but equally applicable to service or management environments involving staff rosters and duty/shift patterns; Travelpro, an integrated solution for business travel agents, consolidators and mixed business agents including enquiries and an airfares database; Softwear, designed for manufacturing and distribution environments, with the ability to handle style codes for size, colour, width, and to group styles by season or type; and Vetstar, a veterinary hospital management system already used by large teaching hospitals.
ProIV is wanting to hear from resellers interested in carrying these kinds of applications, and also developers (preferably using ProIV) who want to make use of the WWPF to distribute applications they have developed.
Tel (02) 9231 0556
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