Progress OpenEdge RDBMS Review

An accessible, rapid prototyping environment which makes capturing business requirements simpler


What is most valuable?

I have been working with Progress OpenEdge 4GL and RDBMS for nearly 20 years now. For developing robust, scalable business applications, I have found myself turning to OpenEdge RDBMS and integrated 4GL languages again and again.

Writing business applications in a fourth generation language, such as Progress, allows one to readily adopt rapid application development, DevOps and agile methodologies.

Prototyping can be done quickly. Straightforward English-like syntax makes learning the language fairly straightforward.

Built-in database support makes working with data sets extremely simple.

Another nice feature is being able to port your application to any environment which supports the Progress OpenEdge RDBMS, allowing the application to remain largely platform/OS agnostic.

How has it helped my organization?

By being able to get more done with less code, development times are reduced, which means quicker to market with new IPs and lower costs.

What needs improvement?

The Windows Character Client.

For how long have I used the solution?

Nearly 20 years, in the transport, manufacturing, finance, and banking sectors.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

None. We have found the OpenEdge RDBMS and integrated 4GL language to be extremely robust. One application we have been maintaining since the late 1990s has been migrated multiple times across on-premise, cloud, operating systems, and so forth, and continues to work just as reliably as it always has.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

None. I've personally never had any issues with a Progress database. It's my 'go to' database if I want a database to just run 24/7/365, year-after-year with absolute minimal downtime. As newer versions come along, even major maintenance operations can largely be done online (though no DB can ever be 100% up all the time).

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

None. Properly tuned and maintained systems can handle very large databases. The main issues you can run into with scalability is code. You need to ensure that your record and transaction scoping are tight.

Also, check index usage and ensure the database is properly structured and the queries are supported by appropriate indexes.

How is customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

I have used the managed MDBA service that Progress Software Professional Services offer. They are very good and proactive.

Technical Support:

Very good, whilst the RDBMS and language are very robust, on the few times I've had to lodge a support ticket, I've found their support teams to be well informed and helpful. We've not had any issues that couldn't be resolved in a timely manner.

Which solutions did we use previously?

I've used other language/database combinations at various times. For business applications in particular, I find the Progress environment to be accessible, rapidly prototyping, which makes capturing business requirements simpler.

How was the initial setup?

The installation process can be a bit confusing for someone who's new to OpenEdge. I would like to see the installation process updated somewhat; entering in combination codes and so forth feels a bit old hat.

What about the implementation team?

Both.

What was our ROI?

Several 100,000/year in hours have been saved in development costs.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I have found them to be easy to deal with. One recent development with an annual subscription model makes the product a lot more accessible than it used to be. Smaller start-ups should take a look at it.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I also work in COBOL. Though I like COBOL, the Progress 4GL has a number of features which I prefer to use.

What other advice do I have?

I suggest reviewing some of the training materials first and become familiar with frames, code blocks, and similar concepts. Their online training material is very good.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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