Manufacturer: Magic Software Enterprises
Pros: Mature, State of the Art development platform, Client server, RIA web, Saas. Right one version and deploy as needed.
Cons: Licensing, Not well known in U.S.
Magic Software Enterprises has been around for almost 25 years. I started using this product in 1989 (V4.1). At the time I was working on a Sys/36 using RPG II. We had just started a family, my wife had quit work, and I needed to moonlight to make up the loss in income. I needed a PC development tool. What attracted me to Magic was the “engine”. It had the same “Cycle” logic like RPG. This also made it very easy for me to learn. I paid $700 for it back then and when it all fit on one 5.25 floppy I thought “my God, I really got took”. WRONG! Incredible DOS based product. Fast forward to 1994. The MFGR company I worked for needed to automate a continuous process shop order system quickly because a key individual was retiring. With his cooperation and Magic I was able to exceed everyone’s expectation in a fraction of the time and was nominated for the corporations “MFGR Award of Excellence”. The 1st services dept employee ever nominated. I was nominated by the production manager himself. Magic made me look like a Wizard! Magic has continued to evolve but has always been compatible with all the current systems. Magic is an IBM partner (since 1998) and has a native version of Magic for the iSeries (AS400). Now with the latest version re-branded from Edeveloper to UniPaaS they have created a single development environment in which you can “generate” a run time for the production environment you need. Yes – it will generate the .net code for an RIA web environment or, client/server, or an HTML/merge environment. You pick. It is compatible with all viable database architectures, including XML. It is truly enterprise scalable. It has the ability to get the file definitions of some or all physical files stored in an AS400/Iseries library(or SQL, or Access, or whatever) automatically!! You can use client access ODBC or for native DB2 performance they have a product named Easycom which runs in a subsystem on the 400. (recommended for processing large files in batch programs). Easycom also provides direct access to AS400 CL from with in UniPaaS programs as well as passing parameters between them. You may also display/access spool files, etc. The big deal here is the ability to do all this and provide a GUI interface to AS400 data. It is the fastest AND most cost effective way to do this. So what is the catch? It is hard to find Magic programmers in the US. Magic programmers you do find are like AS400 programmers. They know what they are doing. They are professionals. But, as I said at the outset, if you have an RPG shop that is open to learning a state of the art RAD tool, this is the easiest tool for an RPG programmer to learn. Not having to learn HTML or JAVA is a big deal too. Check this product out! They have a free fully functional download. It just doesn’t include some of the enterprise stuff you would need. IE you would only MySQL and ODBC drivers, etc. Comes with a training/tutorial guide et al.