CUBA Platform in 2017: new features, new services, new plans
At the dawn of 2018, it is a good time again to recap what has happened with CUBA Platform over the last year. While 2016 was revolutionary for us with going open source, 2017 was more about maturity: we focused on delivering new features and offering new services to the community.
New features in Platform and Studio
Polymer UI offers a faster way to create front-end portals with mobile-first responsive interface. We recommend it for front-ends with complex UI requirements, keeping administrative and back-office screens developed using the standard generic user interface.
A number of new components were also added to the already rich collection of Generic UI components:
- Pivot Table is a convenient tool to enable end users to analyze data;
- Side Menu provides more flexibility for your app layout;
- DataGrid is a faster alternative for the Table, providing more ways to display dynamic content;
- Support for full-text search conditions in generic filter enables combining standard criteria with FTS results and gives more search power to end users.
Other components include Predictive search, Image, Currency, Browser frame and more.
One of the key focuses here was streamlining the platform API to make it more convenient for developers. But apart of that, we delivered some useful features:
- Value datasources make it easier to work with arbitrary sources of data, while cross-datastore references simplify combining data from different sources;
- Bean validation helps to control all entity values constraints in a single place;
- Uber JAR streamlines deployment of CUBA apps;
- The new BI add-on provides integration of CUBA applications with Pentaho platform;
- Integration with ZooKeeper, support for load balancing in cluster and REST API versioning help managing scalable/distributed deployment configurations;
- Support for JasperReports templates in the Reporting add-on facilitates producing pixel-perfect reports.
In addition to the support of the above-mentioned features like Bean Validation, Polymer UI, and value datasources, Studio got some major improvements as well.
With screen templates you can now automatically generate advanced screens based on built-in or even your own templates, while screen layout controls help to make your generic UI responsive.
And at the end of the year, we released Studio SE - a desktop version wrapped in Electron, eliminating the need to care about launching web server, and enabling automatic updates.
Breaking! This is a teaser for something that has not been published yet, but where we have spent a considerable amount of efforts last year. We are working on a number of new - free and commercial - add-ons, which will be extending the platform functionality and cover more typical features of an enterprise application out of the box.
Here are a few where we have already come far:
- WebDAV - support for the popular remote documents storage protocol;
- LDAP - advanced integration with LDAP;
- IMAP - reads and displays mail over the IMAP protocol, and throws events which can be handled in your business logic;
- Messengers - support for communication via popular messengers including WhatsApp, Viber, Slack and others;
- Dashboard - a dynamic frame which can display user-configured widgets;
- Rich Search - full-text search over menu items and screens;
- JavaMelody - integration with a popular monitoring tool;
- Admin Tools - a collection of tools, which help deploy, maintain and troubleshoot CUBA applications.
We will start publishing the new add-ons this spring on a marketplace, which is going live at the same time.
But we also believe that the marketplace will become a great place for the community to exchange your own brilliant pieces of software, enriching the CUBA Platform ecosystem together.
New website and forum
In October, we’ve migrated our support forum to the cutting edge Discourse engine. This means better search and navigation, markdown support, mobile-friendliness, social features and more. With 200 topics created just over last month, we thought it is important to give the community a convenient space for communication.
New Store went live in November. Now you can not only purchase services like trainings and consulting online, but also:
- purchase subscriptions to CUBA Studio and Premium Add-ons for periods from 3 months to 3 years, with automatic renewal;
- get a free trial;
- manage your subscription, consulting hours and support incidents balance from your account.
I am very pleased to note that the Store is built with CUBA Platform! We combined the new Polymer client for the public front-end with generic interface for the admin UI, and integrated the whole solution with Chargebee to manage subscriptions.
If you need fast and professional help with your project, you can now purchase consulting directly from the website. If your solution is already in production - you can purchase a support agreement with a guaranteed response time for some peace of mind. And by making the basic package less beefy, we dropped the price from $8000 to just $2800 p.a.
Probably the most notable change, however, is forming the Custom Development Team. CUBA Platform was built by Haulmont, an enterprise software development house with over 300 employees currently, so of course we have been offering custom projects before. But from the last year we have a fully dedicated team, which helps CUBA Platform customers deliver their projects.
We offer two main working modes: a turnkey project delivery, where we can do everything from business analysis to post-production support; and a hybrid approach, where our experts enforce the customer team. With this approach, the customer team quickly gets the required technological expertise and at the same time brings in the business knowledge, which is crucial to delivering good software.
Just to sum it up, over the last year we launched versatile services to cover project needs at all stages!
As you can see, this has been a very productive year for the team. I hope many of those who read the blog have already benefited from the new features and services. Now we are looking forward to an even more productive year in 2018, and the roadmap is going to be published shortly. As always, your ideas are very welcome on the forum.
Stay tuned and join the community!