Potential New Outsystems Adopter - Early Questions

Potential New Outsystems Adopter - Early Questions

  
Hey there,

I have been looking for a simple to use and highly flexible RAD environment to update/replace all of our company internal systems with (We are currently running SQL Server 2005 and FileMaker 5 through 8).  A year ago I was looking into Microsoft LightSwitch but there seems to be little drive behind it from Microsoft and it still requires a higher level of coding knowledge.

Back end of last week I discovered OutSystems and I have to say I am really impressed and seriously considering pushing this platform with our company.  I do have some questions first though (I am sure some of these could be answered with a little research but thought I would go straight to the source :));

a) If I develop a prototype application with the personal edition to help build a business case will I be able to port it across to an Enterprise/Paid environment?
b) I see there is e-mail capability which is great from the point of communication; can this be inserted within a business process/workflow to do notifications at various stages?
c) Is there the ability to build/display reports?
d) Is there the ability to export data/reports to Word/Excel/PDF?
e) Is user management specific to database users or is there the capability to link it with Active Directory or similar LDAP services?
f) Can you define more finite database elements such as triggers within the environment or do you need to do that separately?
g) One final question, and probably the big one.....Realistically, could OutSystems be used to, over time, build a fully integrated ERP system for a medium to large enterprise?  Cost and flexibility wise, in comparision to ERP systems such as Dynamics AX, GP etc., OutSystems appears, on paper, to be capable - I really hope it is :)

Many thanks in advance for any help provided.



Hiya,

welcome to the forums and outsystems.
to answers your questions quickly :)

a) It's possible, but not as straighforward as you think. better get a trial for enterprise, which makes it slightly easier (especially if you want to stay in the cloud).
Otherwise you end up converting the espaces with a online tool, which is easy.

b) simply said, yes :)

c) depends what kind of reporting you are thinking of. if you say a webbpage can be a report, then yes.

d) excel easy, pdf and word with components out of the forge. and to use them is dead easy.

e) yes

f) yes/no, when using BPT there are sort-of-triggeres implements. basic entities don't have triggers, but again it's easy to create wrappers around inserts to do some household-stuff yourself.
if you use existing-external databases, then it's up to you.

g) imho, yes

J,

Many thanks for the quick response.  From your responses its seems that the OutSystems platform is ticking pretty much all of the boxes I need ticked.  I can't believe I haven't seen this software before (see 25 years in the IT industry and still learning :)).

Regarding c) I am thinking of a webpage report (for example dynamics query, creation of an invoice etc.) that could then be printed or exported as a document.

Our current environment is so old and ineffcicient it is hurting the business.  FileMaker 5/8 and SQL Server 2005 with a database structure that has not been normalised, cleaned or archived since forever is frightning and not worth saving.  We did look at going down the off-the-shelf-ERP Microsoft Dynamics AX route but although it would have provided what we needed the £800K-£1M investment needed is crazy.  Its just a database, with some forms and business logic......Hang on, that is was Outsystems appears to be ;).  Developing a replacement to our systems is critical and I really think OutSystems could be 'the one'....

Am going to tinker some more today within the Personal Environment just to get a better feel for everything (that is when I can download the Development Tool from the website again, keeps crashing at 13MB for some reason).


Hi,

Well "the one" is somewhat ambitious :)
But what you are telling me, I think Outsystems would be the best option.

the link http://www.outsystems.com/home/downloadsdetail/88/1483/

Good luck with the tinkering,
be sure to follow the online-learning http://www.outsystems.com/learn/
and don't hesitate to ask for more.


For reporting (item c), I've been successful using Crystal Reports for report generation configured with Crystal Reports accessing web services as the data source, which is easily created in Outsystems.  It provides all the reporting you could possibly want without having to create direct OLEDB/ODBC connections to the database eliminating some security concerns.
Curt Raddatz wrote:
For reporting (item c), I've been successful using Crystal Reports for report generation configured with Crystal Reports accessing web services as the data source, which is easily created in Outsystems.  It provides all the reporting you could possibly want without having to create direct OLEDB/ODBC connections to the database eliminating some security concerns.
 Curt,

Many thanks for your comment. We use (a very old version) of Crystal Server on our existing environment so am familiar with the concept etc.  Good to know that we could update that and report externally of any created app, removing the need to create a reporting module.