Friday, December 11, 2015

Elements of An SLA Agreement

Charting a Service-Level Agreement (SLA) is an important part of establishing quality standards for use of Information Technology in business processes. Realistically, the IT department set standards to acquire or provide basic services at or above the levels defined in the SLA. You need to gauge the importance of the business process and its components to your customers and users. With this understanding you need to make certain that services are maintained at or above the expected level, not simply by setting expectations but by taking measures to ensure delivery.

Things can go wrong. That means that in order to meet or exceed the expectations in your SLA, your going to need error recovery and alternate business processes established for exceptions management. Don't simply copy the service delivery procedures of another IT department, design the service delivery processes to match your resources and requirements. Make certain there is an even-handed way to handle incoming service tickets, projects and problems in a way that applies priority and urgency appropriately.

To make an SLA work effectively, make sure there is a system of rewards in place for good service as well as incentives for technical and non-technical parties to work together. Utilize multi-channel communications and preferred methods for communicating service issues. Solve problems digitally and automatically whenever possible. Use your information technology staff as service ombudsman to make certain that issues that arise  receive the proper attention and in a timely manner. Make certain they have whatever they need in order to support delivery on your SLAs.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Magic xpa Now Includes Windows 10 Support

For those who have been following the minor version releases of Magic xpa Application Platform 3.0, we are now up to Magic xpa 3.0a. The big news with the latest minor release is that Magic xpa 3.0a now officially supports Windows 10Magic xpa was tested and is compatible to work with Windows 10. The support document for Magic xpa lists the operating systems on which a Magic xpa application can run, the databases it can access, the supported Web servers for running Web applications, the supported middleware for messaging functionality, and the supported frameworks and protocols for advanced integration capabilities. When referring to the Microsoft® 32/64 bit Windows operating system, all platforms supported by Microsoft® are also supported by Magic xpa. The list describes the platforms that are actually tested during the QC process and Windows 10 has been specifically tested.

A few other improvements were squeezed into the Magic xpa 3.0a minor revision. An array size’s calculated value has been increased. First off, the default calculated value of the data source’s array size was increased in order to improve performance. In addition, a new environment setting, Cache size for array fetching(kb), was added to the Preferences tab in order to define the cache size to be used when fetching records. Performance improvements have been achieved in the Space Gateway. The performance of several different aspects of the Space gateway were improved. These are transparent to the developer and user. Support for array fetching has been added in the Space Gateway. 
In the Space gateway, records are now fetched by the array size defined for the data source in the Data Sources repository or the Data Source properties. This functionality reduces network calls and improves performance. It is now possible to access a batch task as a selection program. It wasn't included in the initial 3.0 release and is primarily offered for backward compatibility.

While Microsoft might not be making much on sales of Windows 10, the adoption rate is huge, with 75 million activations in less than a month (that's 6.6% of all PCs). This is a fast rate of adoption, especially by Windows 8 standards, and according to NetMarketShare, Windows 10 (which was released in July) has enjoyed a faster adoption rate than previous versions including Windows 7.

Magic xpa 3.0 is a great Windows 10 development tool. Use Magic xpa Application Platform to build highly secure, scalable and interoperable applications for Windows 10 and cross-platform operating systems for desktop client, rich internet application / rich client, Web client or mobile clients.

For additional benefits of developing data-centric business and enterprise applications for Windows 10 on the Magic xpa application platform visit the Magic website. 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Customer Experience vs User Experience

Well, the government has spoken and there is a difference between user experience and customer experience after all.

"User Experience (UX) deals with people interacting with your product and the experience they receive from that interaction. UX is measured with metrics like: success rate, error rate, abandonment rate, time to complete task, and (since we deal in digital) clicks to completion.

Customer Experience (CX), in contrast, encompasses all the interactions a person has with your brand. It might be measured in: overall experience, likelihood to continue use, and likelihood to recommend to others. In essence, UX is part of a broader CX, but CX contains some aspects outside of a product that UX does not."

At our recent Magic Software Users Conference 2015, Eric Overfield of PixelMill presented on the subject of user experience. Eric brought an experienced perspective that has seen design trends come and go. His discussion on “The Thumb Zone” was particularly interesting to a number of Magic developers who quite frankly admitted that they were still designing for mobile with a “mouse and keyboard” mindset.

As discussed in the usabilla blog, left handed and right handed thumb zones are a mirror of one another. In some ways, the thumb zone is problematic because it falls smack dab in the middle of the screen where the eye naturally wants to see content, not icons. There is a natural conflict between designing for the center of interest vs the thumb zone. For this reason, I believe a good design will often allow primary content to fill the center of the screen after an icon in the thumb zone has been selected. The icons that remain relevant may then need to be positioned in the “stretch” zone of the thumb so as to allow the eye to settle in on content that uses the center of the screen.

Good mobile design is essential to mobile customer experiences that help transform business processes in a positive way. Whether software is a part of your business or software is your business, designing apps that engage customers and enhance customer experiences are essential to business process success.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Magic User Conference

The Magic Software Users Conference 2015 held in Huntington Beach, California, USA from May 31- June 3, 2015 was a great opportunity to learn about Magic Software technology, network with other Magic users and enjoy a great Southern California Beach Resort destination.

The conference began Sunday Night with a "Spice IT Up" themed Latin America welcome reception for Magic Software Users from 11 countries. This gathering time allowed longtime members of the Magic community to catch up and to meet the many new customers who were participating this year as well.

Monday's general sessions were very well received with a Roadmap Presentation by Ami Ries, VP R&D and QC for Magic Software Enterprises, Ltd. He was joined by Magic xpa Product Manager Eyal Rozenberg who unveiled "the Power of 3" in the newly released version of Magic xpa 3.0. With the general availability of Magic xpa 3.0 on May 12, the conference was perfectly timed to bring fresh capabilities and new information to developers. Not the least among the new features in Magic xpa 3.0 is the In-Memory Data Grid and In Memory Messaging Layer. Ami Ries also led a high level session on In Memory Computing that was relevant for both Magic xpi and Magic xpa users. The conference general sessions included an excellent presentation on User Experience and GUI Design Standards by Eric Overfield of Pixelmill. Numerous conference attendees commented on how much they appreciated having an outside expert on GUI design participate in the conference. The group also heard from David Schwartz, President of ABI on the topic "Magic and My Success." His presentation highlighted the development and evolution of the ABI Mastermind system which supports more than a million employees working at venues across the United States and Canada and supporting more than half of all major league hockey, basketball, baseball and football stadiums and arenas.

Tuesday's sessions took place in four tracks: Application Development, Enterprise Mobility, Enterprise Integration and a CIO and Executive Forum track.  The themes started on the first day continued into the tracks with more in-depth in-memory computing sessions in the Magic xpi and Magic xpa tracks. An in-depth GUI design standards workshop also was conducted with Eric Overfield of PixelMill and Magic developer Vova Haimov.

Other highlights included Bobby Culbertson of Superior Industries discussing integration with the platform used by and sessions on JSON integration and PDF generation using Magic xpi Integration Platform's XSLT adapter.

Developer Experience was also on the agenda with a great introduction to the use of Visual Studio form editor in Magic xpa 3.0 by Product Manager Eyal Rozenberg. Magic developers took full advantage of the opportunities for 1:1 meetings with Magic employees and one another, all scheduled by the helpful Magic staff at the registration desk.

Ideas are already being gathered for next year's conference. Please contact Glenn Johnson at to propose a speaking session or provide any other input for 2016.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

The Power of 3: A New Kind of Magic is Coming

For those who have followed Magic Software over the last 30 years, you might want to write down this date: May 12, 2015. Magic has always been known for providing a more efficient and smarter way of computing. But in a quiet campaign, labeled “The Power of 3” Magic has announced the release of its latest version of the application development platform upon which the company was founded. It’s Magic xpa Application Platform 3.0. A new kind of Magic is coming.

Not that there has been anything wrong with the old Magic. Magic developers have been winning development competitions and powering businesses for three decades. From 2009 to 2014, company revenues grew 265%. The old Magic was pretty good.

Magic xpa 3.0 is a game changer, however. Magic xpa 3.0represents a transformation in the Magic application platform in three significant ways:

  • by being the first in-memory rapid cross-platform application platform.
  • by empowering mobile business transformation more efficiently than ever, and
  • by leveraging the familiar development platform of Visual Studio .NET.

As the converging trends of mobile computing, cloud computing and social media collide, the volume of data managed by business applications is expanding exponentially. Moore’s law was having trouble keeping up with Big Data. With Magic xpa 3.0, every Magic application will be an in-memory application. With in-memory power, applications can handle up to millions of transactions per second while experiencing sub-millisecond latencies, high availability and 100% operational integrity.

Magic xpa 3.0 also delivers unprecedented mobile app development capabilities to Magic developers who can generate apps for iOS, Android, Windows, Linux, and even legacy environments like IBM i.
And with the release of Magic xpa 3.0, Magic developers will be working in Visual Studio .NET for the first time to build the presentation layer of their applications in the Visual Studio form editor.

Yes, a new kind of Magic is coming. May 12, 2015 will be a very good day.

To learn more about Magic xpa Application Platform, you are invited to attend the Magic Users Conference 2015 in Huntington Beach, California May 31, - June 3, 2015. The detailed agenda and registration link can be found here.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Q. and A. Regarding Magic xpa 3.0

Magic xpa Product Manager Eyal Rozenberg and VP Marketing Itai Galmor recently got together for a little Q. and A. with developers about the pre-release version of Magic xpa Application Platform 3.0.

The session can be seen on video:

One of the highlights of the session is the features chart showing the main new features for users in each deployment mode: Client/Server, RIA, Mobile, and HTML Merge. 

To learn more, please register for the Magic Software Users Conference 2015. See you at the Hilton Waterfront Huntington Beach! 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Ten Reasons to Attend Magic Software Users Conference 2015

Ten Reasons to Attend Magic Software Users Conference 2015

1. Immediate return on investment – Attend educational sessions for IT and development professionals that allow you to leverage ideas from other Magic developers and IT pros in your own projects.

2. Maximize what you’ve got - Take home the latest tips and tricks, knowledge and updates from Magic Software R&D, support and global services. No fluff, just hands-on education.

3. Excellent value for the level of intensive education - Learn from others’ experiences, including case studies, developer show-and-tell, hands-on workshops, ask the experts, discussions and networking breaks. We’re emphasizing two-way interactive learning and sharing this year.

4. Leverage others’ experiences - Discover new and cost effective technologies and processes, budget-friendly ways to expand on your existing development and integration knowledge and real-world developer and IT professionals’ experiences that will guide you in your own actions.

5. Efficient access 1:1 Meetings – Meet personally with leaders from Magic Software in R&D, technical support, professional services, executive, sales and marketing functions who are dedicated to providing you with knowledge, demos and personal answers. We have a dedicated one-on-one meeting area. Schedule meetings with any and all Magic staff as needed. Plus many of our experienced independent software vendors will be presenting education sessions.

6. Everyone from your organization can benefit - Return to the office with new knowledge and experiences. Plus attendees will be given conference presentations and sample files to share throughout their organization.

7. It’s a cost cutting conference - With entertainment and meals subsidized by Magic, the benefits out-weigh the cost any day of the week.

8. Customer selected education – IT professionals and business executives just like you have suggested sessions and guided the selection of the most important agenda items. Unlike sterile trade shows, the content of is focused on Magic xpa and Magic xpi. This is an ideal opportunity for prospective customers to get an idea of how Magic xpa Application Platform and Magic xpi Integration Platform are viewed by real customers.

9. Be in the know – By attending general sessions and executive updates you’ll hear the latest news from Magic Software and its effects on the whole community. See the world premier of Magic Software’s new embedded in-memory data grid technology.

10. Build your professional expertise – Participate in the Magic xpa Track or Magic xpi Track to grow professionally and personally. Send at least two participants from your IT team to cover both tracks. Participants in the conference build friendships that last a lifetime and make career connections and business alliances that extend far beyond the intensive three-day format.

Lot's of fun too: Poolside Welcome Reception, Casino DInner and Cruise, MLB Baseball Game, Traditional California Beach Party!

What are you waiting for? Register now!

Sending Your People to the Magic Software Users Conference 2015

There are more reasons than ever to attend the Magic Users Conference 2015. Here are a few suggestions that might help towards making the case to management for your participation. As soon as you get the go-ahead, be sure to register.

  • This is one-of-a-kind education experience. With education sessions in dedicated breakout tracks for Application DevelopmentEnterprise Mobility and Enterprise Integration you have access to more Magic education than in any other setting. Be sure to send at least one person from your organization for training in each track: App Development, Mobile Apps and Enterprise Integration.
  • You are an asset to your company. All assets require maintenance and enhancements. If instead of being a person, you were a piece of machinery, part of the corporate budget would go towards maintaining and upgrading you. You are an asset to the company. They should be investing the same percentage of budget towards maintaining and upgrading your skills as an IT manager or developer as they do for tangible corporate assets.
  • Offer to train others in what you learned when you return. You can pitch your trip to a conference as a way to bring back skills and knowledge to the rest of the organization. If you have any experience in training or teaching, you can use that as your justification to attend instead of other co-workers. Get extra copies of the tutorial notes from other sessions.
  • Trip report. Arguably one form of teaching others, the trip report is a write up of the sessions you attended, written for other folks in your group. The best trip reports make it easy for folks to dig up the right reference, or trigger people to come ask you questions. There’s rarely much value in 10 page trip report documents: no one reads them. Instead, a 2 or 3 page summary, with URLs and pointers to stuff for specific questions gets much more mileage.
  • Connect the value of the conference to business goals. If ease of use or customer satisfaction are company or division goals, sending folks to conferences on those subjects will help pull in more expertise and knowledge towards helping the business. This argument puts less of the focus on your professional goals, and more on the company.
  • Networking. One of the reasons to send people to conferences is to network with other businesses involved with Magic technology. We have an entire area set up for one-to-one meetings with Magic R&D, tech support, professional services, and business representatives. The Magic Software Users Conference networking opportunities are unbeatable; you are attending sessions broken down into specific tracks for the products you use and therefore are surrounded by individuals of great value to your network. Networking can aid in business development, problem solving, recruiting and innumerable other ways.
  • Professional development. If you have career discussions with you manager, tie your career goals and future development to specific kinds of training or growth opportunities that you need. This year at the Magic Software Users Conference, we have an entire professional development track of education that ties into your career directly. While this year’s session schedule is established, you can still volunteer to contribute to a session presentation on the agenda. 

Monday, April 6, 2015

Magic Software Users Conference 2015

I invite you to join us for the Magic Software Users Conference 2015 as we head to Huntington Beach, California -- Surf City, USA for an outstanding event of networking, education and fun in the sun at the Waterfront Beach Resort, a AAA 4-Diamond Resort. Get up to date and learn the latest about Magic xpa 3.0 and Magic xpi 4.x.

You can see our extensive agenda of educational content already by the "Agenda" tab. In addition, one-on-one education networking sessions are available to give you unprecedented access to Magic research and development, professional services, and technical support.

We look forward to seeing everyone arrive in sunny Southern California for our conference which runs from June 1-3, 2015. Surfs up! Please visit the conference website here. 

Sunday: May 31st, 2015
TimeRoomActivityGeneral Session
6:00 pmTBDWelcome ReceptionMagic: Spice IT Up!
Monday: June 1st, 2015
TimeRoomActivityGeneral Session
8:00 - 9:00 amTBDNetworking Breakfast
9:00 - 9:30 amTBDWelcome AddressWelcome: IT is Hot!
9:30 - 10:30 amTBDKeynote 1The Magic Way: New Features and Roadmap Presentation
10:30 - 11:00 amTBDAM Break
11:00 - 12:00 pmTBDKeynote 2Arriba, Arriba! With Mobile
12:00 - 1:30 pmTBDNetworking Luncheon
1:30 - 2:30 pmTBDTown Hall
2:30 - 3:00 pmTBDMini KeynoteYou look, Marvelous! Get the GUI You Want with the Platform You Love
3:00 - 3:30 pmTBDPM Break
3:30 - 4:00 pmTBDMini KeynoteThe Magic of Bitnami
4:00 - 4:45 pmTBDGeneral SessionMagic and the Internet of things
4:45 - 5:30 pmTBDGeneral SessionHey! You! Get Onto my (Magic)
6:00 - 10:00 pmAngels Baseball
Tuesday: June 2nd, 2015
App DevMobileIntegration
7:30 - 8:30 amNetworking Breakfast
8:30 - 9:30 amBreakout Session 1Outperform the Future: Version Migration Best PracticesRoad to RIA: RIA to Mobile MigrationMay the Force Be With You: Superior Integration for JD Edwards ERP and
9:30 - 10:30 amBreakout Session 2Uno! Dos! Tres! The Benefits of SQL ApplicationsWhere in the World is… My Mobile App: Geolocation ProgrammingMagic xpi Master Class: ERP to CRM Integration Best Practices
10:30 - 11:00 amAM Break
11:00 - 12:00 pmGeneral SessionLicense Portal
12:00 - 1:30 pmNetworking Luncheon
1:30 - 2:30 pmBreakout Session 4For Your In-FORM-Nation: Magic xpa New FeaturesMagic Mobility Master Class: UI Best Practices and Magic xpa Mobile AppsMagic xpi Master Class: The New Magic xpi 4.1 Monitor
2:30 - 3:30 pmBreakout Session 5Scalability and High Availability Training: Magic's In-Memory Data Grids
3:30 - 4:00 pmPM Break
4:00 - 4:45 pmBreakout Session 6Magic and Test Automation: Case Studies and Best PracticesUsing Device Capabilities like Camera, GPS and the Whole EnchiladaMagic xpi QuickTake: eCommerce Integration Best Practices
4:45 - 5:45 pmBreakout Session 7Under the Hood: Magic xpa and Client-Server GUI ModernizationMagic xpi QuickTake: JD Edwards and Agile PLM Integration
7:00 - 10:00 pmDinner Cruise and Casino Night
Wednesday: June 3nd, 2015
App DevMobileIntegration
7:00 - 8:00 amNetworking Breakfast
8:00 - 10:00 amBreakout Session 1Magic xpa Workshop: RIAArchitecture & DesignLucy I'm Home! Getting in Sync With Offline ProgrammingMagic xpi Workshop: Mastering PDF Document Creation
10:00 - 10:30 amAM Break
10:30 - 12:30 pmBreakout Session 4Magic xpa Workshop: Magic for .NET and .NET for Magic: North and South of the BorderHands-On with the Mobile Accelerator FrameworkMagic xpi Hands-On Workshop: Data Quality
12:30 - 1:30 pmNetworking Luncheon
1:30 - 3:30 pmBreakout Session 6It's in There! Advanced Features, Tips and Tricks You Should Know AboutYing: Back-End Integration (Parallel Workshops)Yang: Mobile Integration (Parallel Workshops)
3:30 - 3:45 pmPM Break
3:45 - 4:45 pmBreakout Session 7Extra In-Depth with the MAP PortalMagic and MobiControl Mobile Device ManagementSpicing Up SOA with JSON Web Services in Magic xpi
6:00 - ??Traditional California Beach Party

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Magic Invites You to Vote in the 2015 DeveloperWeek Awards

Magic Invites You to Vote in the 2015 DeveloperWeek Awards

VOTE FOR MAGIC in the 2015 DeveloperWeek Awards!

DeveloperWeek has kicked off its 2015 crowd-sourced awards program to identify the best developer tools. The awards are being hosted on the social evaluation platform Verticalize. Voting is open until January 10th to Verticalize members.

Magic Software’s Enterprise Mobility Solution has been nominated for the Mobile Dev Tools Category under the Developer Industry.

Click here to vote now. (Click the Endorse button in black rectangle above Solution Details). 

Click here to join first. (Join Now button at top right corner)

Thanks in advance for your support!