Monday, August 26, 2013

Reason # 20: We See Sharp So You Don’t Have to C#

20 Reasons to Migrate Magic eDeveloper, uniPaaS and Magic xpa to .NET by Upgrading Rather than Converting

I’ve said it before, at Magic “we see sharp so you don’t have to C#!” Others have said that by upgrading to Magic xpa, you “combine the wisdom of the past with the power of the future!” But let’s face it, these are just marketing slogans. Behind the slogan, however, is a truth born out of decades of effort by Magic and our customers in what can only be acknowledged as very smart technology. With Magic xpa you benefit from the combined wisdom of our community of users, our vision for the future and our long-term staying power and commitment to your support.

I’ve been asked: “What’s the best way to migrate a uniPaaS application to .NET?” By upgrading an older Magic application to Magic xpa, you will actually merge your knowledge, experience and everything you love in our platform with all the advantages of the .NET Framework and more. How can this be true? Because Magic xpa today is fully .NET based and yet it is not bound by the limitations of C# or ASP. Magic xpa should have been named magic.NET++. Then all would have been clearer.

Magic xpa provides full .NET Framework compliance and enables full integration with Microsoft and 3rd party .NET assemblies, controls and more. This brings a more attractive user interface with a modern look and feel. Our community vision has called us to make Magic xpa mobile-ready. That means you can now leverage the same development effort for all mobile operating systems (iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile) and devices (smartphones, tablets). The comprehensive aspect of our Enterprise Mobility Solution means we can also offer real-time back-end integration and mobility management services to our customers. And by upgrading, you help to make your existing applications future-proof because Magic xpa is constantly enhanced with new features and technologies to meet market demands and business requirements. Unlike code conversion companies that have no legitimate long-term strategy, Magic has a commitment to you and continues to provide all the support you need. Our large active developer community includes more than 3000 independent software vendors. We offer 24/7 global eService customer support, telephone support, maintenance, professional services, and unparalleled access to R&D.

For many of you reading this, your uniPaaS or eDeveloper application has served you well, but you’ve decided it’s time to upgrade. An upgrade allows you provide more features and functions leading to a better user experience. With the rise of smartphones, enterprise mobility, and BYOD, you really need to support mobile access for multiple devices and operating systems. An upgrade to Magic xpa will preserve your past investment. Upgrade to the latest version to Magic xpa and you will benefit from our mobile-ready application platform and continuous feature and technology enhancements that let you outperform the future.

But you need to beware of Other .NET Migration offers that leave you out of this community, close you off from this vision and abandon you with no real support.

Other vendors may offer .NET migration but beware, you will not be moving to a pure .NET engine, you will be locking yourself to their engine. It is simply impossible to do everything Magic does (as summarized in our twenty reasons) without proprietary or untested and unproven C# library extensions that go far beyond simple .NET. Ask yourself, what will happen when I need support? How will I migrate beyond this point? Code generators offer terminal migration and no vision for the future or commitment to platform improvements. Who will lookout for your future needs? And how will you handle the need to provide mobile enterprise apps and to add other new features and technologies?

With Magic you get the best of all worlds – full .NET compatibility, a comprehensive and cost-effective mobile-ready solution, and continuously enhanced features and technologies that enable you to best meet the demands of today and tomorrow. And I simply cannot understand the logic of moving backward to C#.

With all due respect to people who collect garbage for a living, I do not want to be a garbage collector. Moving from the Magic xpa application platform to a C# pile of code is like moving from a beautiful mansion to a garbage dump.

The frustration of programming in C# is that you spend so much of your time doing unpleasant things, like garbage collection,  that you are forced to spend less time on your real applications, more overtime evening and weekend hours working on non-productive code, or both. I don’t make this stuff up, folks. Microsoft’s “Conclusion” is very clear: “The .NET garbage collector provides a high-speed allocation service with good use of memory and no long-term fragmentation problems, however it is possible to do things that will give you much less than optimal performance.” In other words, stepping into a C# programming project means you are entering a highly risky world where you can easily spend excessive amounts of effort and end up with extremely poor performance.

C# is Microsoft’s archaic imitation of Java. We all know Java is an overly complex, bloated pile of code as well, but in C# Microsoft managed to release a language that is very poorly suited to today’s business challenges. Let’s be clear, C# is not a cross-platform mobile language. Depending on kluges like Mono, is a highly risky business strategy for creating mobile apps because the future of these approaches is highly uncertain. Mono recently had to get another $12 million to stay afloat and there is no indication that they have a strategy that will stabilize their rocky history.

C# is dependent on APIs in extension libraries. If you are only ever going to program for today’s requirements, this may be fine. But what happens when you need to run your applications somewhere new? Let’s be clear, C# is not a platform and it is not cross-platform. If you depend on API extension libraries, you are inviting yourself into a development dead-end.

Maintaining C# code is extremely difficult, especially when you are trying to work with someone else’s code. For example, a section of code can look exactly the same but behave differently depending on whether it is actually a class or a struct. I get nightmares just thinking about it.

An application platform provides a world of benefits and saves you from a world of hurt. At Magic, we see sharp so you don’t have to C#. 

For additional information on how an upgrade to Magic xpa is superior to Magic to .NET conversion please convert here.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Reason # 19: Enterprise Mobility Apps

20 Reasons to Migrate Magic eDeveloper, uniPaaS and Magic xpa to .NET by Upgrading Rather than Converting

Basically, anyone who would migrate their Magic application to C# would lose out on the built-in capabilities of the Magic application platform for server-side and client-side mobile apps.  The Magic RIA client for iOS™, Android™, BlackBerry® and Windows Mobile® is a native operating system (OS) application for any of these devices, implementing the Magic RIA client protocol. Using the Magic RIA client for the different mobile devices, developers can deploy highly interactive enterprise RIA applications on the various mobile devices. This is another critical reason not to migrate Magic eDeveloper, uniPaaS, or Magic xpato .NET in C# or ASP.
Magic xpa is indeed Mobile-ready and you leverage same development effort for all mobile operating systems (iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile) and devices (smartphones, tablets). All C# can do is act as a piecemeal backend server in an all too complex mobile kluge, whereas Magic xpa provides a comprehensive enterprise mobility solution including real-time back-end integration and mobility management services. Let’s look at the details.

Developing mobile RIA applications using Magic xpa requires the same skill set as developing desktop RIA applications. However, since the devices’ capabilities, user interface and expected user experience are significantly different from a desktop computer, there are obviously important differences that need to be taken into account when designing the application screens and planning the user interaction.

Devices differ in screen size, fonts, expected interaction device features (such as a camera and GPS), security related features and more. Consider, for example:

Screen size and orientation – Mobile devices have various resolutions and screen sizes in both landscape and portrait orientations.
Keyboard devices – Some mobile devices have a full QWERTY keyboard. In addition to a keyboard, some devices have a dedicated Menu key, an Esc key and a trackpad or trackball that are equivalent to the desktop keyboard arrow keys. The trackpad also provides a dedicated Fire action when pressed. Keyboard-only devices have a fixed screen orientation and cannot be rotated.
Touch devices – Some mobile devices have a touch screen or hover screen, some in addition to a full keyboard, and some without a keyboard. Touch devices support screen rotation and provide an on-screen virtual keyboard when a full keyboard is not available.
Windowing model – Mobile devices support a simple stacked window model. Each application can open multiple windows, but each new window is stacked on top of the previous windows and is inherently modal. As there is no mouse pointer, windows cannot be manipulated (moved or resized) by the end user. When an application is run, its main window (and subsequent stacked windows) occupies the entire device screen.
Form navigation using trackpad – Some mobile devices (such as BlackBerry) are optimized for keyboard navigation and input. Typically, the trackpad is used to navigate between fields on the form, while the Fire action is used to select values and perform actions. Unlike a desktop keyboard, there is no TAB key so there is no standard key to move to the Next Field or the Previous Field. All navigation between fields and inside a field (an Edit control), is done using the trackpad directional actions.
Form navigation using touch keyboard – Touch devices use an on-screen virtual keyboard. Some devices rely on tapping on form controls (fields) to navigate between the fields while others have Tab functionality in the virtual keyboard. The navigation inside a field (an Edit control), is done using a long press on the field content.
Context menu – The context menu is an important and central user interaction tool. Since the screen size is relatively small, it is common to perform most tasks using the context menu, instead of “wasting” screen space on buttons and on-screen menus.
Input modes – The Edit control is always in Insert mode. There is no equivalent Overwrite mode on the mobile devices.
Running in the background – The mobile devices’ OS is a multi-tasking OS, meaning that each application can run either in the foreground or in the background. The end user can see the running applications and switch between them. An application running in the background is not suspended and continues to run, but does not have access to the screen.
Offline mode  Magic xpa's new offline mode allows clients to continue working on their app even when the connection has been lost and restores the application states when the connection is restored.

C# has absolutely no capability for dealing with any of these challenges while Magic xpa has built-in support for smartphone and tablet features that allow you to build apps for multiple devices with ease.

For additional information on how an upgrade to Magic xpa is superior to Magic to .NET conversion please convert here.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Reason # 18: Distributed Application Architecture

20 Reasons to Migrate Magic eDeveloper, uniPaaS and Magic xpa to .NET by Upgrading Rather than Converting

Magic xpa Application Platform utilizes a Distributed Application Architecture that offers a high level of choice between different computing environments. The interoperable nature of Distributed Application Architecture also means that Magic xpa applications have the ability to operate in multi-database, multi-platform, and multi-network data processing contexts. Using the simple interface common to all Magic xpa applications, every user, from any workstation, can access any type of local or remote database, execute queries, and update the data. As we shall see, Magic xpa Application Platform provides capabilities for distributed architecture, application partitioning, MDI, and secure communications out-of-the-box. When converting Magic eDeveloper, uniPaaS or Magic xpa to C#.NET, these advantages are lost.

In an environment where multiple computers are connected by a Local Area Network (LAN) or Wide Area Network (WAN), Magic xpa’s distributed application architectures automatically utilize a specific form of distributed processing.

Fortunately, when you install Magic xpa, you don't have to know how the distributed application architecture is set up, however you can adjust the settings if desired. The diagram below illustrates what is happening behind the scenes in Magic xpa's distributed application architecture.

The process begins when a client, such as a browser or Rich Client application, makes a request to the enterprise server. It does this via a requester, usually a Web server. Each client has its own requester.

The requester uses the broker to communicate with the Magic xpa enterprise servers. This is a Magic xpa Runtime engine (MgxpaRuntime.exe) functioning as an enterprise server. The broker scans its list of prioritized servers to find a server that is not busy and informs the requester which engine is available. If all the engines are busy, the event is added to the broker's request queue.

Once an engine has finished handling a request, the Runtime engine sends the request results directly to the client and notifies the broker that it is available to process the next client request. A check is made if there are pending requests in the queue which are for the same application as the one loaded in the Magic xpa engine. If there are pending requests, the broker extracts the requests with a higher priority and sends it to the engine.

The term application partitioning is used to describe the process of developing Magic xpa applications that distribute the application logic among two or more computers in a network. In the simplest case, the application can run on a single PC, as a remote service, and send task requests for execution to a server. In more advanced cases, the application logic can be distributed among several servers.
The first step in creating a partitioned application is choosing which components of the application run on the server system or systems. The criteria for making the choice are the components that would most benefit in performance and maintainability, if they were to run on the server. Note that the decision whether a program or task runs in the Requester Client or in the system need not necessarily be made when the application is designed, but the design must take this into consideration as only background-mode tasks are applicants for partitioning.

In Magic xpa, background enterprise servers and Online programs are multi-threaded. This gives you the ability to have parallel task execution in your projects.

Each thread accesses a different Runtime context, and does not interact with other threads. To work with multiple threads in Online programs, Magic xpa provides you with Multiple Document Interface (MDI) and Single Document Interface (SDI) functionality.

Communication between the Magic xpa client and the Web server (requester) is compressed while communication between non-Magic xpa clients (such as Web clients) and the Web server (requester) is not. The Magic xpa developer secures these communications using the https protocol. The https protocol (SSL\TLS) encrypts the communication between the client and the Web server and ensures that the server is a trusted one.

Communication between the requester, broker and engine is encrypted using Asymmetrical and Symmetrical encryption. No hard-coded keys are used and it is possible to define the Symmetric encryption mechanism and the key length.
For additional information on how an upgrade to Magic xpa is superior to Magic to .NET conversion please convert here.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Reason #17: Magic xpa has a Built-In Licensing Mechanism

20 Reasons to Migrate Magic eDeveloper, uniPaaS and Magic xpa to .NET by Upgrading Rather than Converting

One of the deficiencies of C# as it compares to Magic xpa is that it lacks any sort of licensing mechanism. Licensing is important for software publishers who want to use Magic xpa to create and protect commercial software. It also provides an added measure of security and risk prevention to corporate software users. Licensing mechanisms help to prevent unlicensed software usage and therefore reduce the risk that a company can be sued for copyright and other violations. When considering migration of Magic eDeveloper to C#.NET or ASP.NET or Java (or uniPaaS or Magic xpa), it is important to consider your need for licensing mechanisms.

 Magic xpa’s built-in license-metering mechanism uses your local area network (LAN) to communicate between Magic xpa instances running on different machines on the network. As part of our ongoing commitment to comply with the latest and highest industry standards, Magic introduced a new policy for the activation of our software licenses in 2012. The improved process, implements a highly secure, automated method of license protection, enabling you to better monitor the use of your licensed software.

You activate and receive your licenses after validating your Product Key on Magic’s License Activation Portal. The metering mechanism helps organizations avoid any unintentional violation of the license. The license-metering module ensures that no more than the allowed number of connections uses Magic xpa concurrently.

Magic xpa includes a license management scheme. The license management system comprises three main components: a License File, which stores all the license information for a specific site; the Magic xpa Engine, which uses data from the License File to allow or prevent user access to an installed Magic xpa product; a License Server, which provides license information to the Magic xpa engine, and also counts the active users of the installed product.

Magic xpa offers three license modes: no license, demo license and permanent license. The Magic xpa License File, when initially created, contains a default demo license. This demo license has no time limit but is limited in its functionality and cannot be used for the development and deployment of mission-critical applications. Permanent licenses have no time limit. When you load Magic xpa with no license, essentially without specifying a license name, the Single User Edition will run.

The single-user limitation is relevant for both the development of the application, as well as its deployment. Magic xpa Single User Edition provides almost the complete range of features found in the commercial edition of Magic xpa, excluding multi-user related features and capabilities.

Magic xpa also includes convenient mechanisms for counting licenses and running floating licenses. To count licenses, you can run MGSTATIONS.exe from the Magic xpa directory to verify the license count of a specified license on a network.

Magic xpa's default behavior is that you have to define the number of licenses that each server uses during the execution of a project. This number is checked across all the servers in a multi-project environment to ensure that it is within the license limitation. For example, if you have a license with 20 threads, and you have two projects running in a multi-project environment, you have to distribute the threads in advance. Project A might receive 15 threads, while Project B receives 5.

In a multi-project environment, each server runs a different project. This means that the capacity of each server (project) is a key issue, and the ability to share licenses (threads/users) is very important.

Magic xpa's floating license mechanism lets you make optimum use of these licenses in a multi-project environment, by sharing licenses between servers. Therefore, when a particular project is idle, other projects can utilize its licenses.

Because the Magic xpa broker controls the servers and their capacity, it needs to know the total number of licenses that are available for its servers. The broker adds up the total maximum threads and users belonging to each server. The broker uses this figure as the total number of available threads/users. If the broker sees that a particular server is not using its allocated number of threads/users, the floating license mechanism means that they can be used by other servers.

Using C# to manually license software is a fool’s errand. Using C# to bind in a third-party licensing scheme is also very expensive and time consuming. The advantage of the Magic xpa Application Platform is that licensing is built-in to the platform as a protection to both corporate end users and software developers.

For additional information on how an upgrade to Magic xpa is superior to Magic to .NET conversion please convert here.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Reason #16: Straightforward Security Management

20 Reasons to Migrate Magic eDeveloper, uniPaaS and Magic xpa to .NET by Upgrading Rather than Converting

Magic greatly simplifies security issues for developers, giving them the power to create highly secure applications without a lot of hassle. This is another reason why Magic eDeveloper or uniPaaS to .NET migration via C#.NET is a mistake compared to upgrading to .NET with Magic xpa.

User rights management is simplified in Magic because the developer and administrator/supervisor use Magic xpa’s built-in Authorization System, Active Directory or LDAP. The Authorization System enables developers and certain users to control access to Magic xpa projects in Studio modes. This control is achieved through setting access keys to various Magic xpa project elements, and by assigning specific rights to users and user groups.

As a repository based system, Magic xpa is vastly superior to the tedious coding required for rights management in C#. The Magic xpa Rights repository lists the name and keys of all the rights defined for a project. The developer can define a bank of rights and assign them to the project's various repositories and elements. Any project element that has an access right assigned to it will be blocked to users who have not been assigned this right. Project-layer security is always defined during development.

In addition, Magic xpa includes a flexible authorization system to control what each user can and cannot do in Magic xpa. The authorization system lets the application developer or system supervisor limit access to various activities in Magic xpa to those users specifically authorized to have such access.

The authorization system exercises its control through sets of rights and the use of built-in Magic xpa functions. Rights can be thought of as keys to locks. Rights assignments connect users, who are classified by role, with the application’s components, which are classified by accessibility. This means that certain classes of users are allowed to access certain parts of an application.

The person in the role of Supervisor can assign rights that give each user access only to the activities for which that user is authorized. Any activity that is not specifically restricted by the Supervisor or the developer remains accessible to all users and does not require any rights assignment. To access the authorization system repositories, the developer must log on to the system as a user which has the SUPERVISOR GROUP assigned to the user. This group is reserved by Magic xpa, and is automatically included in any Magic xpa system. In addition, a Supervisor user (which has this group assigned to it) is also automatically included in any Magic xpa system.

Typically, when one is implementing a security system in Magic xpa, rights are granted according to the user’s job function, which corresponds to a Magic xpa Group. That is, a user who is a bookkeeper will have a different set of menus and screens than a person who is in Sales. Other rights, however, may only be granted to certain individuals, such as the ability to approve paychecks or adjust time cards.

Managing rights in C# can be like looking for a needle in a haystack. Instead of having to search through potentially millions of lines of code to find everywhere that a role is checked, Magic xpa provides a single, consolidated location known as the Rights Repository. What a nightmare it would be to have to parse an entire code base to learn and document what roles are assigned to what permissions.

For additional information on how an upgrade to Magic xpa is superior to Magic eDeveloper to .NET conversion please convert here.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Reason #15: Magic xpa Surpasses C# in Interoperability for .NET

20 Reasons to Migrate Magic eDeveloper, uniPaaS and Magic xpa to .NET by Upgrading Rather than Converting

The Magic xpa Application Platform is a particularly strong platform in terms of interoperability of applications. While C# .NET is designed to be proprietary, Magic xpa Application Platform, while .NET based, is designed to deliver greater interoperability. This is one of many reasons why converting a Magic eDeveloper, uniPaaS or Magic xpa application to .NET in C# using a code generator makes no sense. 
Developers looking for fully .NET applications should instead upgrade to Magic xpa.

That’s why Magic xpa provides direct support for technologies like Java, SNMP, MSMQ, JMS, WebSphere MQ, LDAP, Active Directory, Java Script, VB Script, Client Certificates, Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE), IMAP, POP3, etc. All of these internal Magic xpa functions provide direct support for technologies that are otherwise quite difficult or impossible to support with C#.NET. 

The ability of a single programming environment to interface with so many different, unique and tedious environments at a high-level provides tremendous advantages, reduces risk and helps to future-proof your applications. For example, Magic xpa provides direct  Java support including support for Java classes and objects called in a Magic application and Magic applications exposed as Java classes and objects for use by Java programs. 

The idea that C# can handle a converted Magic application is ludicrous. Sometimes developers have no choice but to deal with older technologies like DDE. So even though you might be able to convert your code, without the Magic engine, there is no automatic way for raw C# to handle DDEs.

Let’s look at another simple example like SNMP. Magic xpa supports Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) functionality. This lets Magic xpa programs and the Magic xpa engine (the broker and the requester) send SNMP compliant messages to a monitor. It also gives the system administrator control over various Magic xpa modules via an SNMP monitor.

SNMP governs network management and monitors network devices and their functions. Magic xpa is SNMP enabled, so the Network Management Station (NMS), also referred to as an SNMP monitor, can query and manage the Magic xpa broker (including its registered enterprise servers) and the Magic xpa broker can report traps (alarms, failures, or other exceptional events).

Messaging is another great example of Magic’s superior interoperability compared to C#. In distributed applications, two different applications often need to communicate with one another to transfer information. One of the ways to accomplish this is message queuing, which ensures guaranteed delivery.

Message queuing lets applications send messages without waiting for a reply and to continue with other processes. Other applications can receive the messages at their leisure and continue processing according to the data received.

Message queuing is a method by which program instances can exchange data using an interface to a system-managed message queue, which is managed by the operating system. Application programs create message queues, and send and receive messages using an application program interface (API).

There are two main ways to send messages:

Send / Receive – This is used when there are one or more senders who want to send messages to one receiver. Each message is addressed to a specific queue, and the receiver extracts the message from the queue.
Publish / Subscribe – This is used when there are multiple senders (publishers) and many receivers (subscribers). The publisher sends messages to a central location, the topic, which sends the messages to anyone who has subscribed to this specific topic.

Both of these methods provide the user with guaranteed message delivery and are supported out-of-the-box with Magic xpa. Not so with C#.

Every access to the message queue is done using a set of functions, such as open, close, and send. Magic xpa provides a message queuing component with interfaces to three standard messaging queue systems: MSMQ (Microsoft), JMS, and WebSphere MQ (IBM). C# does a passable job only with MSMQ.

For additional information on how an upgrade to Magic xpa is superior to Magic to .NET conversion please convert here.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Reason #14: Web Services

20 Reasons to Migrate Magic eDeveloper, uniPaaS and Magic xpa to .NET by Upgrading Rather than Converting

Today's entry in the reasons not to convert Magic eDeveloper, uniPaaS, or Magic xpa to C#.NET code is Web ServicesIf you ask Microsoft how-to incorporate Web Services into an application, they simply refer you to ASP.NET. Why? Because C# is considered an unsuitable match for developing programs that publish or subscribe Web Services.

But let’s suppose you decide to be stubborn and persist in migrating your Magic Web Services to C# which uses a line-by-line coding approach.

In a simple example, just to pass a SOAP header, your C# code would look something like this:

<%@ Page Language="C#" %>

<asp:Label id="ReturnValue" runat="server" />
<script runat=server language=c#>

 void Page_Load(Object o, EventArgs e)

  MyHeader mySoapHeader = new MyHeader();

  // Populate the values of the SOAP header.
  mySoapHeader.Username = Username;
  mySoapHeader.Password = SecurelyStoredPassword;

  // Create a new instance of the proxy class.
  MyWebService proxy = new MyWebService();
  // Add the MyHeader SOAP header to the SOAP request.
  proxy.MyHeaderValue = mySoapHeader;

  // Call the method on the proxy class that communicates with
  // your Web service method.
  string results = proxy.MyWebMethod();

  // Display the results of the method in a label.
  ReturnValue.Text = results;

Here’s how you do it in Magic xpa: interact with the dialog box Header field.

Also, when consuming Web services (either by using the Invoke Web S or Invoke Web S Lite operation), the Magic xpa engine does a lot of work for us.

Magic xpa lets you call a Web service directly or uses the Systinet Web Services framework (named "Systinet Server for Java") for providing and consuming Web Services.
Magic xpa provides rich Web Services support including:
·         SOAP 1.1 and SOAP 1.2
·         WSDL 1.1
·         WS-I Attachments Profile 1.0
·         MTOM/XOP support
·         WS-I Basic Profile 1.1 Compliance
·         Transport level security – SSL\TLS

·         WS-Security 1.0 – authentication, encryption and digital signing of SOAP messages

Ask yourself this question: Is my company in business to write programming code? If writing code is not your business and not at the heart of the charter of your company, then why spend so much time managing code when you can manage applications that support your business instead?

For additional information on how an upgrade is superior to Magic to .NET conversion please convert here.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Reason # 13: Maintainability of Applications

20 Reasons to Migrate Magic eDeveloper, uniPaaS and Magic xpa to .NET by Upgrading Rather than Converting

As we mentioned in our previous discussion of software quality, maintainability of a program or maintainability of code is one of the six key measures of software quality. It is also the area where the Magic xpa Application Platform absolutely shines over alternative means of software development and deployment such as C#, ASP and Java.

Maintainability of C#.NET code is such a common and ongoing problem for developers that Microsoft, although unable to control bad coding practices, created a maintainability index that tells you just how bad your code is. If you are considering migration of Magic eDeveloper, uniPaaS or Magic xpa to C#.NET instead of upgrading to .NET directly with Magic xpa, then you shouldn’t ignore the problems of maintainability in C# versus Magic xpa. Here’s why:

C# software projects are commonly derailed by bad engineering decisions that make the code un-maintainable. These bad decisions often fall into one of two categories: over-engineering or under-engineering.

Under-engineering results in spaghetti code. This is particularly common with code conversion projects. The code conversion creates a giant meatball of code. Thick, impenetrable and impossible to understand. Those charged with maintaining that code by manually programming in C# start by adding a string of spaghetti here, a string of spaghetti there. Pretty soon you have a giant wad of overcooked, undercooked and raw spaghetti smothering your poor meatball. There was no plan, no experience and no recipe for code maintenance. The situation gets worse when a renegade hacker is called in to rescue the code. But all they can do is add more spaghetti of their own and the code gets worse and worse.

With Magic xpa, the platform itself provides the needed “applistructure” for an easily maintained application. Magic xpa applications are more like a finely layered lasagna, well thought out, uniformly structured and therefore highly maintainable.

Over-engineering results in bloated code. A great many C# developers, including those who create code-generators, are overly enamored with patterns. Since they have no application platform to work with, they are forced to create application design patterns and it is extremely common to go overboard with these code snippets. Developers who inherit migrated code are also highly likely to overcompensate and be pattern-happy. It is almost impossible to see it in the early stages of code maintenance. The over-engineering of converted code is problematic however, because it causes incremental  amounts of overhead code to be added for each new change or piece of functionality implemented. Over-engineering will crop up when trying to cope with new operating system and database changes as well. Over time, these chunks of overhead snowball and negatively impact maintenance costs, lag schedules and ultimately cause projects to be abandoned and fail.

The Magic xpa Application Platform provides the applistructure that allows you to focus on business logic. Maintaining code is never a matter of over or under engineering but instead a focused activity of measurable improvements.

The vulnerabilities of C# are also found in the area of code redundancy. Whereas Magic xpa leverages a platform, C# programmers have to create their own application architecture from scratch. The .NET framework is not an application architecture, that’s why the word framework was carefully selected because it is neither platform nor architecture. While every developer knows the DRY principle: Don’t Repeat Yourself. The problem with a code generator is that it is impossible for the developer to know when they are repeating code that was generated elsewhere. The converted Magic applications become so bloated and complex when deconstructed into C# code that the code to be maintained ends up having massively repetitive aspects. While efforts will be made and assurances given, it is just impossible to avoid code bloating by duplication of nearly-matched patterns.

Since the code generator won’t see the repeatability within complex patterns, it will simply engage in wholesale duplication of code. The code is not DRY conformant and therefore nearly impossible to maintain over time.

Magic xpa’s repository-based development approach enhances project organization. Rather than dealing with mountains of text, you work in well-organized Magic xpa repositories. C# on the other hand allows for wreckless programming. Poorly organized code can lead to the introduction of dumb bugs and will result in slipped schedules or worse.The superior organization of a Magic xpa application means that it is easier to on-board a new Magic xpa programmer from scratch than it is to orient even an experienced C# programmer to code-generated projects.

For additional information on how an upgrade to Magic xpa is superior to Magic to .NETconversion please convert here.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Reason #12: Converting Magic to C# Leads to Loss of Portability

20 Reasons to Migrate Magic eDeveloper, uniPaaS and Magic xpa to .NET by Upgrading Rather than Converting

While it is tempting to assume that the need for portability is subjective, normalized standards for software quality do look at portability as a key component of software quality. If you convert Magic eDeveloper, uniPaaS or Magic xpa to C#.NET you suffer a significant loss of portability.
ISO 25010:2011 provides a standardized way to evaluate software quality by defining six sets of attributes by which we can evaluate software. These attribute sets are functionality, reliability, usability, efficiency, maintainability, and portability. So what do we mean by portability?

Portability, is the ability to run applications in new environments. This can also be impacted by the developer, and not simply by the tools used. Attributes of portability include 

  • Adaptability
  • Installability
  • Co-Existence
  • Replaceability
  • Portability Compliance

The Magic xpa application platform and all previous Magic versions provide you a pathway to portability. Magic xpa currently supports Application Servers in all of these environments:

Microsoft® 32-bit Windows on Intel processors:
·         Windows XP
·         Windows 2003 (Standard Edition)
·         Windows Vista®
·         Windows 2008
·         Windows 7
·         Windows 8
Microsoft® 64-bit Windows on Intel processors:
·         Windows 2003 (Server Edition)
·         Windows 2008 (Server Edition)
·         IBM AIX – 5.3 to 6.1 on PowerPC processors
·         Sun Solaris 10 on SPARC processors
·         Linux Red Hat Advanced Server 5.5 on Intel processors
IBM System I (requires PASE)
·         System i V5R4 on IBM servers with PowerPC processors
·         System i V6R1 on IBM servers with PowerPC processors
·         System i V7R1 on IBM servers with PowerPC processors

With Magic xpa, you have a software development environment for application development, testing, and deployment that enhances software quality through portability.

Portability in high-level computer programming is the usability of the same software in different environments. The prerequisite for portability is the generalized abstraction between the application logic and system interfaces, something completely lacking in C#. When software with the same functionality is desired for several computing platforms, portability is the key issue for development cost reduction. So portability has a number of benefits:
  • Long-term viability of the application: There’s no need to completely rewrite your applications to make them usable from one version of an OS to the next or from one OS to another.         
  • Resource allocation: With Magic xpa, developer resources can be focused on new features and products because developers aren’t spending time debugging for the latest OS version or porting applications to other operating systems.         
  • Scalability: Portable software is inherently more scalable and can be designed to accommodate users elastically with either small or massive amounts of data.         
  • Versatility: It’s easier to add features and have the assurance that they will run on all platforms.         
  • Future-proofing your application: An application platform approach that supports multiple servers across different operating systems gives you the flexibility to adjust to changing future requirements including the new operating systems of the future. The new mobile client operating systems and Magic xpa’s ability to support these is a great example of the benefits that a portable application platform provides.

For additional information on how an upgrade to Magic xpa is superior to Magic to .NET conversion please convert here.