ITMS Uses Revelation Software to Stay Ahead of the Curve


usersThe February 14, 2017 issue of Database Trends and Applications features an article written by Stephanie Simone titled ITMS Uses Revelation Software to Stay Ahead of the Curve.

OPTO Software, part of iTMS Software Pty Ltd, provides manufacturing inventory software, including ERP solutions, to a wide variety of industries. Customers span the fields of manufacturing, mining, civil, fabrication, and engineering as well as distribution, retail and wholesale, construction, and importing and exporting.

Based in Brisbane, Australia, Opto has been providing ERP, material requirements planning, manufacturing and inventory software solutions to Australian businesses since the early 1990s, and in turn, these software solutions have enabled smaller manufacturers to close the technological and competitive gap between their business and larger-scale market leaders.

Used by hundreds of clients across Australia, Opto prides itself on being small enough to be highly flexible but large enough to deliver the latest technology trends to its customers while shielding them from the underlying complexity. Providing steadfast support, Opto seeks to guide customers through every phase of their installation, from evaluation and feature selection to technical support and help desk enquiries.

OpenInsight at the Core

“Our focus is on the manufacturing technologies you use to build things. Surrounding that, we also plug into accounting systems,” said Jeremy Bolton, managing director. “Revelation Software’s OpenInsight is the heart of our business; our whole product is based on it.”

According to Bolton, a key differentiator for ITMS/OPTO is its deep understanding of the nuances of manufacturing. Revelation supports that agility, ensuring that OPTO platform is easily configured.

“We’re very good at making software fit into many applications with the ability to deliver it quickly and cost effectively, while also making it easy to understand,” Bolton said. “What sets us apart is the ability for the OPTO platform to be easily configured to precise customer requirements.”

The company’s partnership with Revelation was forged after OPTO’s CEO sought to build an effective and simplified system to solve manufacturing issues.

Ability to Adapt

Revelation has made OPTO’s platform very adaptable. It’s simple to build on and it supports both emerging and existing applications, according to Bolton.

Because it runs on a MultiValue database, OPTO can add new capabilities to its platform without affecting the data model.

“If someone needs something with Revelation, the architecture of our product enables us to add the new capability without changing the underlying data model of every other customer,” Bolton said. “Our software can fit in many applications.”

MultiValue database technology can be quickly tailored to unusual requirements and it can talk directly to the CRM copy machine, Bolton explained.

“When we are talking to people about layout, normally we have to get spreadsheet, but this technology allows us to do a layout quickly and effectively,” Bolton said. “Revelation gives us the flexibility we need when responding to customer requirements.”

Built for the Future

Reliability and compatibility are also why OPTO has stayed with Revelation for more than 20 years.

The technology helps OPTO support its customers by providing them with a platform that delivers better customer outcomes, quickly, and cost-effectively.

The MultiValue aspect of the platform make it possible to process requests from customers quickly and with a speed that relational database management systems can’t provide, according to Bolton.

“Running Microsoft SQL Server or Oracle didn’t make any sense,” Bolton said. “There is nothing else you can find to handle so much data.”

Additionally, the cost to customize the platform for a customer was “astronomical,” whereas using Revelation makes the platform cost-effective for the client, Bolton explained.

However, if customers do need to utilize relational database management software, the OPTO platform can integrate to any part of the database that’s necessary, he noted.

Innovation with Revelation

Recently, ITMS/OPTO and Revelation collaborated on adding RESTful application programming interfaces (APIs) to ITMS/OPTO’s platform. The new capability allows the company to plug into modern web platforms such as Salesforce.

Moreover, the use of RESTful APIs means that ITMS/OPTO doesn’t have to do heavy manually coding to add capabilities as it did before, Bolton explained. Using RESTful APIs will enable integration with the increasing number of best-in-class cloud-based, mobile, and niche applications.

“Before, if we needed a CRM system, we’d have to ‘be’ the CRM system,” Bolton said. “Now, we can just plug into the world’s best CRM system.”

This has been a key step in the right direction as OPTO looks to integrate more web-based products, and to allow third parties to connect into its systems.

Opto gets requirements from customers and can build what they need, but in the past, Opto would be constrained, said Bolton. “What we want to do is make it so that any third party can pick it up and do an order.”

The company already utilizes integration in the cloud effortlessly, according to Bolton.

“Integration in the cloud becomes much easier, that’s one of the big benefits you get from RESTful APIs,” Bolton said. “Cloud-to-cloud products integrate almost seamlessly. From a customer’s point of view, the backups just get done.”

Previously, the company experimented with OpenInsight for Web (O4W), a user friendly web development environment that allowed the company to run its platform on a handheld device. Though it worked well, the company eventually needed a heavier mobile development environment and implemented a third-party connector, moving toward Revelation’s RESTful API tools.

Looking Ahead to the Future

The feedback from ITMS customers for over nearly 20 years has uniformly excellent, according to Bolton.

“Some may actually know that Revelation’s OpenInsight is platform the underlying our product, but many do not know, and this is in fact a benefit as the platform is transparent to the customer so they can focus on the business outcomes,” Bolton said.

As the manufacturing business changes, Bolton says Revelation continues to help his company stay ahead of the curve.

“There’s a complexity that we solve that very few other organizations can,” Bolton said. “Revelation helps us do that in agile manner.”

According to Bolton, Revelation also continues to deliver enhancements to OpenInsight in each release that keep the platform relevant and up to date.

“There are a series of features that are coming in the next release with OpenInsight 10  that we believe we will be able to use in continuing to deliver successful business outcomes to our customers,” Bolton said.

 

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Alternative Method to Maintain Indices Or Any Other Repetitive Processes


If your site is running an engine server, you can take advantage of the built-in “System Monitor” feature to automate regular processes such as index updates.  If you edit, with notepad or similar application, your engine server’s configuration file (normally eserver.cfg, located in your OpenInsight folder), you may find a line that starts:

System Monitor=

Following the equal sign, you can specify the process you want to run, along with the application, user name, and password where the process should be run (comma-delimited).  Multiple processes my be specified, separated by semi-colons.

You can find out more about this useful OpenInsight feature in the OpenInsight Knowledgebase or by simply clicking here.

OpenInsight 10 – Alpha 7


OI10whiteRevelation have made some good progress with the OpenInsight 10 Alpha and I’m currently working through my bug list and closing a nice number of reported issues from earlier alphas, something that I’ll continue with over the weekend.

In line with their open and transparent policy for OpenInsight 10, they Alpha v7 is now available for download to all Works Members.

The Alpha v7 is available as a full install. So, if you have worked with earlier alpha’s please use the AppBackup facility to backup your old alpha work and restore it into the new alpha.  This is what I do but one word of warning.  If you keep your data, images and other supporting files in a specific folder (I keep things in C:\RevSoft10.6\MDPmyApp) you’ll need to copy that folder from the earlier alpha and into the new alpha once installed.  The app restore will then use the new folder and the restore should run just fine.

This version includes many enhancements to the IDE, Form Designer, Table Builder and O4W, so it is well worth a look and to take the opportunity to report any issues that you find to Revelation and have those issue addressed before Revelation releases the beta.

OpenInsight for Web (O4W) v2.0, included in the OpenInsight 10 Alpha v7, is a rapid application development tool that lets you generate responsive forms, reports, and dashboards.  Use the powerful GUI drag-and-drop to lay out your forms and then test in both desktop and mobile browser mode. Or use the toolset’s full-function API to create the most sophisticated web pages.

Alpha v7 is set to expire on April 4, 2017.

Will you be at RevCon 2015?


Revelation software Conference 2015
Revelation software Conference 2015

Personally, I can’t wait for this year’s Revelation World Conference.  The format will be slightly different because only those people working on OpenInsight 10 will be talking and there will be an opportunity for all of the attendees to watch all of the main OpenInsight 10 sessions as they will be repeated.  There are only three general technical sessions on the Friday that will not be repeated – at least looking at the online schedule.  This is great news for me because I always struggle to decide between two compelling sessions and I won’t have those dilemmas this year.

Along with the informative technical sessions, Mike will be opening and closing the conference with the usual addresses and our Keynote Speaker will be Dan Lier.  There will also be an opportunity to ask questions and show what you have been doing with OI during an informal evening session, a BBQ by the pool and it’ll all kick off with a Welcome Reception on the Tuesday evening.

Those of you that saw the January Revelation newsletter will know that the Early Bird Discount rate was extended until the 30th January owing to publication issues surrounding the printing of the hard copy conference brochure.  Hat only leaves you with a few short days to get your place booked on the number one premium learning event in the Revelation calendar.

If you are developing with OpenInsight, planning to develop with OpenInsight in the near future or a user wanting to learn more, then this is the event for you.  The wealth of knowledge that is available for everyone to soak up is amazing and it will only lead to a deeper depth of product knowledge that usually leads to the ability to do more, faster and at less cost than now.

If you are still undecided and tempted, please check your education and training budgets.  If there is a little left, then this event is a prime candidate because of the amount that you will learn from my colleagues taking the talks.  Yes, there will be some fun, yes there will be the opportunity to network and make new friends and share development experiences, but mostly it’ll all be about helping you to get a head start with OpenInsight version 10, regardless of whether you are an early adopter, someone who simply wants to get the most of the beta, or a hardened OpenInsight fanatic who’ll jump straight into the new version on release day.

I’ll be tweeting and blogging my way through the conference, but it’ll be no compromise to actually being there!  Tempted and want to know more – download the conference brochure here and contact Revelation through the conference website.

I hope that you can make the conference.

RevUK 2014 RUG & Aus and NZ Wrapup


Mike’s recent visit to Australia and New Zealand has really raised the OpenInsight 10 profile and some of the amazing things that Revelation will be delivering within that new version early in 2015.  He’ll be over here in London for the EMEA region’s leg of his world tour this year, so please put Tuesday 23rd September in your diary today.

Mike will be at the Hilton Doubletree hotel in Ealing, London on the 23rd September to headline our next Revelation User Group (RUG) meeting.  He’ll be talking about all the good things in OI 10, updating us on where the company is at that time and further plans for the future – the usual popular agenda.  But, it will be OI10 that will steal the show and I’m also hoping to have Carl Pates at the RUG to talk about his work on the OI 10 presentation layer, which is seeing some huge, dramatic and quite wonderful changes.

Please drop me an email to register your interest for the RevUK RUG on the 23rd September.

Mike will be flying into London on the Monday and he’ll be free to visit people on the Wednesday, Thursday and Friday morning if not too far from London.  I already have some meeting pencilled in, so please get in touch as quickly as possible if you wish Mike to address your development team whilst over here and to discuss business matters with your management team and your future requirements from OI.

For those of you that cannot wait to learn more about the new release and the highlights of what Mike was saying whilst in Australia and New Zealand recently, please checkout the trips wrap here.

DBTA pick up on Rev’s Aus trip success


DBTAMike’s recent trip to Australia and New Zealand was a huge success and this success has been picked up by Database Trends and Application (DBTA).  The key topics on the agenda were OpenInsight 10’s cloud base filing system which will support Couchbase form the off and there are plans to extend that to include MongoDB and most likely Windows Azure shortly after.  Mike also spoke about OpenInsight’s new user authentication and security controls coming in version 10.

The positive impact on those people that Mike spoke to was enormous.   To the point, where most of the developers and users that are running 9.4 at the moment actually wanted to get their hands on OpenInsight version 10 right now, rather than waiting for the expected launch in Houston during March 2015.

Please click here to view the entire DBTA article published online.

The article also touches on Mike’s planned trip to the UK for the next EMEA RUG.  I’ll be blogging more details about that trip early next week, so please watch the blog closely.

Ardbrook & Merit Software Embrace Social Media


For sometime, I have been an advocate of social media for getting more company and product exposure online.  Many of you will know that I use Twitter for just in time snippets of news, this blog for larger articles (news items, technical info, etc.) as they come to my attention, LinkedIn to get the Revelation brand noticed, alerts to see when people are talking about Revelation and OpenInsight, etc.

In recent months, we have seen many of the key online social media resources opening up opportunities to host company and product pages.  Revelation have several such pages, Sprezzatura has been running a tech blog for a while (providing a more technically deep resource than I could ever hope to achieve) and I’m pleased to find my alerts flagging up some of our VARs first steps into using social media.

Just recently, I have had alerts for Ardbrook’s (Ireland) LinkedIn company and products pages and also those for Merit Software (Wales).  Ardbrook are also making good use of their blog for news items

Both companies have also begun using Twitter, with Merit just announcing the forthcoming launch of their new website and with Ardbrook announcing their new LinkedIn pages as they were published.

Many organisations of all sizes are seeing the business benefits of these resources and it is good to see some of our clients embracing these new opportunities.  Oh, and it does not have to take over your life as there are a wealth of monitoring tools available to bring all of the information together.

Please comment below if your organisation uses any social media resources: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, a Blog, a YouTube channel, etc.