Summer Interns 2014 – Node.js, IOT, … and more

August 7, 2014

Originally posted on June 27th, 2014. Last updated on Oct 11th 2014 – We are now making a pause on IOT work. I’ll publish soon an overview post built on the content below. This summer we will have several interns in our Redwood City office, hosted within Progress’ Office of the CTO.  We will do an “agile” internship, adjusting as we go, but two key themes will be node.js and IoT.  Progress is also hosting interns in Cincinnati, Bedford, Morrisville and Hyderabad. This running post tracks public activities of these interns.



NPM is now the top repository

June 30, 2014

Today NPM overtook Maven Central to become the module repository with most components.  It had previously overtaken RubyGems on June 4th.

Using the data from we can see that NPM is growing twice as fast as Maven Central:

MC-smallNPM is also the youngest of these repositories:

Maven Central – 2002 – Wikipedia, Site.
Java –  1995 – Wikipedia, Site.

RubyGems – April 2009 – Wikipedia, Site.
Ruby – 1995 – Wikipedia, Site

NPM – 2011 – Wikipedia, Site.
Node.js – 2009 – Wikipedia, Site.

Thanks to the NPM folks and to Erik DeBill for

Node.js and IOT Slides from PCA

June 28, 2014

I uploaded my slides from the BOFs I hosted during PUG Challenge Americas:

It’s been a while since I’ve used Slideshare - most of my presentations there are from my Sun days.

Modulus, Cincinnati and The Brandery

June 26, 2014

TBranderyLogohe Brandery is a seed-stage foundry (about) based in Cincinnati.  Founded in 2010, it is one of the top foundries in the country and it has helped launch more than 65 companies.  Its current portfolio includes Modulus, a graduate from 2012 (see Demo Day, Sept 2012)


Modulus has been showcased several times by the Brandery and by local newspapers.  So it was a pretty big deal when Modulus was acquired by Progress.  Not just by the Brandery:


but also by several local media (e.g and Cincinnati Business Courier).  Charlie was also recently showcased by Startup Grind at their event last wednesday, held at the local of The Brandery on Vine Street.


Looking forward to a continued long and happy relationship between Cincinnati, Modulus, and, now, Progress Software.

Also see the photo album.

Enterprise App World Hackfest – June 2014

June 25, 2014

Update – Also check the posts by Xavier and Apps World.


And yet another developer event!  This time its Enterprise AppsWorld, in London, and its companion Hackathon.  The venue is the Olympia National (website, wikipedia); very pretty!


Matt presented on Trends in platform and application architectures (covering Docker, Node.js and micro-services) and Mark  participated in a panel on Embracing and accommodating change – Making your business mobile.  Progress also had a booth in the expo floor that had nice traffic


Our main sponsorship was around the Hackathon.  The event is quite different than HackTech or LAHacks; here the audience is mostly enterprise developers, not college undergrads, the size is much smaller and the hours are more… civilized :).  But the event was excellent and several teams put together solutions using Rollbase (our acquisition of Modulus was too recent for us to incorporate that content here – next time!)


The winners were two teams from the BP Mobile Apps Team, and Nigel who was providing AV support  for the conference and gave it a go with no prior programming experience.  Nigel was 3rd place in the Progress contest but was the overall winner in the competition – an excellent example of a citizen developer!




I will post more details on the hacks if/when I get them.  Or, even better, somebody in the team that organized the event, like Xavier or Gary!

A great time was had by all.  Check the complete Photo album, and the Facebook pages for Hackfest and Progress.   And looking forward to more developer events in the rest of the summer and then in the fall.

team at hackfest


Bloodhound at the MassTLC IOT Conference

June 23, 2014


Progress Software is one of the global sponsors for  MassTLC, the Mass Technology Council, and is an active participant in their activities.  Recently, MassTLC has increased its activity around IOT (they started with an  informal planning and networking event in January) and their first conference was last week.


Main Venue – Photo from @MassTLC

I could not attend, but Colleen Smith represented Progress in the event and participated in the panel on the role of Software in IOT.  Colleen also did a quick overview of Progress products and used the opportunity to introduce Scott Grey from Small Emperor and the latest iteration of their crowd-sourced people searching app, BloodHound.


This version of Bloodhound still uses Apple iBeacon hardware (specifically Gimbal Series 10) communicating with a native app on the iOS.


As before, the mobile app talks with a Tomcat server, but now the device and people information is stored and accessed through a Rollbase instance.  Scott indicates Bloodhound will soon be available at the Apple App Store – I’ll keep you posted.

This summer we are going to be put together some samples demonstrating these types of architectures, though we are going to use Node.js as an intermediate layer to process, aggregate and distribute the events.  More as it happens.

More photos of the event the Flickr album.


PUG Challenge Americas

June 23, 2014

PUG Challenge Americas was June 8-11 in Westford, MA.  This is one of the main events within the community of the Progress Users Groups – similar in intent to the EMEA PUG Challenge I attended last November in Brussels.


This is the first time I am attending this event; last year at this time I was still at BlackBerry.  It was a good conference;  MC was Tom Bascom, and they main keynote was a joint presentation from Phil Pead, Tom Kincaid, and Karen Tegan Padir.

I was told attendance was significantly up from last year; the general session certainly could have used a larger room.


It was Tom’s first keynote role at Progress and he presented on the Roadmap, while Karen announced the Modulus Acquisition:


I had other commitments during my trip to Boston, so I mostly focused on the events around Node.js.    On Monday evening I hosted two BOFs, one on Nodes.js and another on IOT.  The BOFs overlapped with the party and the conversation was good and lively – we closed the venue – actually, they kicked us out :).  Thanks to everybody that attended and I’ll post the slides after I do a cleanup pass, probably tomorrow.


There were 3 other Node.js-focused sessions.  Monday afternoon Julian presented an updated version of #42, with the main change being that Node.js is now hosted on Modulus.


Tuesday was a presentation on the first startup from our community that is focused on the intersection of Node.js and Progress Technologies: whoGloo, a consulting and products company that includes Julian, Robert, Thomas and Tom.  Very interesting, and great logo!


And, on Wednesday, Dustin from Bravepoint, showed how to use Node.js to create a chat app, also using Modulus.


See a full set of pictures in my Flickr album.  The event was very successful event from my perspective and I’m looking forward to see increased synergies between the OpenEdge, Rollbase, Pacific and the Node.js technologies and communities.

A great kick0ff to the summer.

Node On The Road – Cincinnati

June 22, 2014

This last Thursday was Modulus’s opportunity to host Node On The Road at  their office in Cincinnati, on Elm Street (across from Findlay Market).  The presenters were TJ Fontaine (Joyent), Gary Borton and Alex Vernacchia (Exact Target), Kevin Decker (Walmart) and Reid Burke (Yahoo).


Modulus is very well connected within the software community in Cincinnati and there was great attendance – the panorama below is from Karen Tegan Padir, Progress’ CTO


The picts below are from Emily Tanaka from Joyent.


Mingling before the event


Ghuffran welcoming the attendees


KP Decker


Gary Borton and Alex Vernacchia


Q&A Panel

Some of the presentations are already available online, though the videos are not (yet?) available.


Kevin Reid Prezo


Kevin Decker’s Prezo


Alex and Gary’s Prezo

I’ve uploaded the picts I’ve found to the this album (pictures are either from Karen, the Modulus folks, or from Emily; unfortunately I could not attend the event due to conflicting commitments) (btw, my photos from the event in Boston are here)


AKIOMA CRM Leverages Node.js and Corticon

June 9, 2014
One of a series of posts that showcase Node.js technology

A simple but powerful use of Node.js is to provide an open connection (via a module like or primus) to a client application in a browser.  This connection then provides event streams between the browser-based Application and the rest of the system, possibly also performing additional processing on the events.


AKIOMA Software is a Progress partner headquartered in the South of Germany that develops CRM systems for medium-sized companies.   AKIOMA recently released a new version of their CRM that uses Node.js in two main ways: as a connection tunnel via, and as a framework for the UI interface.

AKIOMA has many years of experience using Progress Software including OpenEdge but in their latest version they wanted to deliver a modern and powerful browser-based client. One of the new features was to allow customization of their CRM with rules ( things like “if field F contains a specific value” or “once field F changes value…” or “value A is only valid if …”) that would be interpreted to provide sophisticated validation, triggers and presentations that can modify the UI to do things like hiding fields, changing options, setting values, and disabling fields.

These trigger and validation rules are expressed in Corticon Rulesheets that run in the server.  The rulesets are triggered from each UI action with the request and the response being sent through Node.js and


AKIOMA CRM also uses Node.js to implement the UI using a proprietary framework called SWAT.  Unlike WApp, SWAT is not a “pure” Node.js framework and instead builds on Progress’ Webspeed.

If you are interested in more details on the use of Corticon for the rules, check out the Use Case story from Progress’s web site, which includes some quotes from Mike Liewehr, the founder of AKIOMA.


Welcome Aboard, Modulus!

June 9, 2014

I’m very happy to report that today Progress Software has announced the acquisition of Modulus.  I’m looking forward to working more closely with the team – I’ve really enjoyed all my interactions with Charlie, Brandon and Ghuffran and it will be fun to meet the rest.  I already scheduled a get-together in Cincinnati with our summer interns!


Modulus provides a PaaS to host, deploy, scale and monitor applications using Node.js and MongoDB.  The Modulus platform is offered as a hosted service and can also be deployed by enterprises in public, private and hybrid clouds as well as in an on-premise infrastructure.  This flexibility is fully aligned with what we offer in the Progress Software product line.

The Modulus team has been doing an outstanding job with their platform, adding new features like multi-region and multi-provider scalability; you can expect continued new features with the extra resources that come with the acquisition.


We continue to see strong adoption of Node.js in the industry and we are starting to see increased use of Node.js within our own customers of Progress Software.  Node.js also opens many new ways to leverage our offerings; for example, Node.js is a natural way to interact with the services needed for IOT applications,  and Rollbase and Node.js are also natural partners – check the posts from LAHacks for early combinations.

In addition to a great team and a great product, Modulus is also built on up-to-the-minute technology.  It is a very young company which means it leverages all the modern building blocks that we, and our customers, need to face the needs of our changing industry – from  Joyent JoyentCloud and Amazon’s AWS to LXC.  The code is also very well architected, reusable and scalable.  The platform is all written in Node.js except for the new load balancer, which is written in Go - more on that in some future post.

More details of the synergies between Progress Software and Modulus is at the Modulus site.  You can keep track of the goings of the Modulus team at their blog, and I’ll also provide highlight and commentary here too.

Very much looking forward to a great summer!





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