It’s been a few years since we had an entire conference dedicated to all things developer, and what a conference it was!

Over two days and three-time zones, we had 150+ sessions directly from the field with developers, architects, designers, tech leads, and all people building things with OutSystems giving the talks, ranging from the OutSystems basics to more advanced tracks. The good news is, if you missed the event, want to watch a session you couldn’t join, or simply want to revisit the OutSystems Developer Conference (OSDC), you can now do it right here.

If you’re not sure what to expect or where to begin, here are the highlights.

Unveiling Project Neo



After the big announcement at NextStep, Patrick Jean (PJ), OutSystems CTO, kept the promise he made the day before and put on his Neo shirt to take us on tour under the hood of what we’re now calling (codename) Project Neo, OutSystems’ new product.

As PJ explained, Project Neo lays on top of OutSystems foundational design principles:

  • Build it fast: it’s all about increasing the power and performance without adding complexity;
  • Build it right: a modern cloud architecture with availability for power and performance but secure by design, with availability, reliability, and all non-functional requirements (NFRs) built-in.
  • Build it for the future: an evergreen cloud, always on, always updated, pain-free upgrades.

How is this reflected in the new product? Let’s take a peek under the hood.

Technology Changes

There are a few core technology changes that come with Project Neo; here’s the TL;DR version:

  1. Linux Containers and Kubernetes: with Project Neo, we’ll move VM and IIS to Linux Containers and Kubernetes.
  2. .NET 6: we’ll migrate .NET Full Framework 4.x to .NET 6.
  3. OAuth 2 Identity: we’ll integrate the modern OAuth2 Identity for the use of developers and end-users.
  4. Aurora PostgreSQL: we’ll move away from a heavyweight transactional database system to a cloud-native type system that enables you to implement no downtime auto-scaling.
  5. Modern global Content Delivery Network (CDN) acceleration: we’ll lay out a CDN that allows for things like private path acceleration, caching, web application firewall at the edge.
  6. Open telemetry: we know developers want access to events and logs to understand what’s going on in the application. So with Project Neo, if you have an open telemetry base, or an open telemetry compliant for event management system, you can hook straight in and get that info.

Architecture Changes

Project Neo will also brings a few core architecture changes that will come in waves:

  1. Separated platform and runtime infrastructure: with Kubernetes, you’ll be able to scale your development independently from your apps.
  2. Microservices platform: we’ll decompose our development platform into a series of microservices, each of them containerized, each of them versioned. This way, we can roll out new versions of our platform while keeping the old versions, so you don’t have to worry about downtimes in case of platform updates.
  3. Auto-scale on demand: with Project Neo, you’ll be able to automatically scale the platform and runtime as you need it.
  4. Safe platform upgrades: all the pieces we’ll roll into microservices will allow pain-free platform upgrades.
  5. Event and messaging-based orchestration: you’ll have events and messaging-based orchestration across the entire platform. Think of our platform’s structure:

    OutSystems platform structure. 

    You have the cloud infrastructure at the bottom, the development platform in the middle—the core of Project Neo—, and on top of all that, the apps. All these layers, the full-stack, will be orchestrated via events and messages, fully asynchronous, which is a significant change from the OutSystems architecture you’re used to when it comes to auto-scaling capabilities.
  6. Fit-for-purpose platform storage choices: we’re moving away from solely transactional databases. With Project Neo, you’ll be able to take objects and store them in S3, take transactional data and store it in transactional databases, take documents and store them in document databases—you get the idea, fit for purpose platform storage.

  7. Fit-for-purpose platform storage choices.
     
  8. Global routing at network layer: it’ll give you multi-region routing access across the globe so that you can deploy your app once and access it at any point securely.
  9. Security by design: for every app you develop, you’ll get a container-based scanning of all images, secure edge with WAF scanning, secure API gateway routing, and end-to-end encryption, fully integrated OAuth2 system.
  10. Ring-base deployment: this will allow us to improve the speed of delivery while giving customers the option to choose the risk level. If you need to be more compliant and wait for releases to come out, you can wait and choose to go out in a further ring; if you want the earliest and greatest faster, you can go in the earlier ring.
  11. Communication via REST API and messaging: we’ve had APIs in the past, but Project Neo will give us the opportunity to rationalize APIs surface.

What Do You Get with the New Platform?

You may be wondering:

“This all looks great, but what’s the impact of Project Neo on the way I develop apps and systems with OutSystems?”

Great question! We’re not creating technology just for the sake of technology. So, before he closed his keynote, PJ answered your question:

Project Neo key highlights.


  1. Elastic 1-click publish (1CP) to accelerate compile operations: in Project Neo, the compiler will scale our 1CP operation across whatever containers are needed. This is possible since we’ll move the platform into independent microservices and with complete isolation across all tenants, allowing a faster way to do 1CP.
  2. No recompiling for every environment: with project Neo, when you hit 1-click publish, you’ll get a container and a registry, so you don’t have to recompile, rebuild the software and deploy it again. With Project Neo, we’ll take that container down, store it securely, and deploy it in your environment.
  3. Runtime performance and scalability: we talked about the isolated database, Kubernetes and Linux containers, auto-scale, .NET 6; you pull all those things together, and you get a stacking result and impact, so runtime performance and scalability will significantly improve.
  4. Disaster recovery by design: thanks to the global routing network, you’ll have DC-DR by design baked into your system. You just have to select the option on how you want your app to be deployed, and it'll be available no matter where you want it.
  5. Pain-free upgrades: going a bit more technical here on how you get pain-free upgrades; with the API version routing, we can route for your applications with the API management layer. Think about Kubernetes: you're in version 1, and your existing version is running, and we deploy another version right next to it. So the next version up, it’ll be deployed out very straightforward, with low-risk and availability always on.

After this insightful presentation, PJ passed the baton to Pedro Girão, our Director of Product Management, who explained the OutSystems Development Productivity Model and what developing apps with Project Neo is all about. You can learn more about it and our vision around developer productivity here.

OutSystems Development Productivity Model.  

When will all this be available, you ask? Once again, another great question! Project Neo is now available for public preview ahead of its official launch in 2022. You can learn more about it on our platform page.

It’s All About You

If the first keynote was all about exciting technology news, the second day was all about you: from the senior developer that bet their career on OutSystems to the junior developer just getting started.

OutSystems Community around the world. And there were a few announcements in there too.

Training

After launching new certifications in 2021, namely architecture and delivery specializations, and new bootcamps on platform Ops, front-end development, and base architecture, we’re excited to announce new bootcamps and new online training in 2022! And spoiler alert, security and DevOps are coming.

We’re also working on multi-language training and certification all over the world: coming up is Reactive Web and Mobile Guided Paths in Brazilian Portuguese and Spanish.

And there’s more to come: we’re revamping our training program to be role-based, with gamification, and of course, we’re also working on a new training designed for Project Neo. Check out our Training page to learn more about it.

Education and Social Impact

With the talent pool drought only getting worse, we’ve been introducing new initiatives to grow our developer ecosystem.

Today, we have almost 200 universities that teach or use OutSystems in the classroom, more than 30k students that had the opportunity to learn OutSystems, we’ve onboarded 100 professors in India and Brazil, and we have 75 user groups in 38 countries.

And now, we’re taking our program to the next level.

We’ve partnered up with Code for All to bring a new program and curriculum to universities to help them onboard much faster.

In addition to that, because technology is indeed for everyone, and we have a strong commitment to expanding the developer ecosystem and educational opportunities around the world, during the event, we challenged our attendees to find the several Neos spread across the OutSystems Events app. For each Neo found, we donated money towards three scholarships from organizations for under representative groups in technology:

  • Women Who Code for women who are transitioning into tech and software development while providing a supportive community, mentorship and career opportunities.
  • Blacks in Technology Foundation for Black individuals wanting to enter into tech or advance their career around IT.
  • The Australian Computer Society to encourage transgender and nonbinary people to discover more opportunities in the tech sector and gain new skills.

Finally, after the success of this year's Build for the Future Hackathon, where we challenged our Developer Community and Partner ecosystem to create a set of applications to support a small group of nonprofits' amazing work, we’re excited to announce a new edition in 2022! And you’re all invited to participate, so stay tuned for more details.

Thanking Our Community

We couldn’t close OSDC without giving a proper “Thank You” to our awesome Community. Your ideas, feedback, and support are a gigantic part of what the OutSystems platform is today and what will be in the future with Project Neo.

So to celebrate you, this year, we launched the first-ever community awards, the NEO Awards, where we recognized several members. This is a global Community with over 530K members spread all over the world, so we divided the awards into 15 categories, 11 of which are given per region and 4 global.

So, without further ado, here are this year’s winners!

NEO Awards winners. 

Wait, There’s More

This is just a sneak peek of OSDC. During these two days, developers, architects, designers, tech leads from all over the world had the chance to get hands-on, meet like-minded people, fire up creativity, and left the event with the notion that when it comes to software development, not even the sky (and cloud) should limit you.

If you couldn’t join us, all presentations are now available on-demand, so take a look! You have 12 tracks to choose from, with sessions for the different levels of OutSystems knowledge, from rookie to expert.

OSDC tracks. 

Now, go have some fun, stay safe, and I hope to see you again next year, let’s hope for in-person!