2013: a quick look back.


2013 in Review

We are coming off an exciting year and bouncing into the new year of
2014. It’s a good time to look back and see all that we have done and
where our ventures have taken us this year.

First up was our attendance at RPG Summit in Atlanta in March. Susan
Gantner and the System i Developer group always organize a great conference
for both attendees and vendors and this was no exception. While at
least 50% of attendees already have our products, it’s still great to
get out there and visit with them on their wants and needs as it
pertains to our products or to technology in general. This show, in
particular, uncovered a gem. Nic Thelen, head of our technical department,
spoke with a customer that really needed some way to log the ‘before and
after’ shot of his team’s interactive SQL statements on IBM i. He
brought this idea back to our office and…..

Knowing there was a need, the technical team rolled out SQL Audit shortly
thereafter for customers to track and monitor any IBM i data touched when
executing SQL. The beauty of this is that journaling on the system does
NOT have to be enabled (although it can be and will still operate nicely).
SQL Audit will automatically journal the before and after picture of the
data for tracking and reporting as needed. We’ve found that it’s also a
great tool for programmers to use who are just learning SQL. They can
execute their SQL statements and see the results of that statement.
They can tweak it, if they have to and play with it to understand how
the data is changed.

So off we rolled to the Spring COMMON in Austin, Texas. SQL Audit was
announced to a warm audience. Right across the aisle in our vendor
showcase we spotted our banner ad for the new product on Penton’s
display. While attendance seemed a little light, we had the opportunity
to have in-depth discussions with many of our customers and potential
customers, as well as ISV’s like ourselves. We spoke with a lot of
attendees who had many disparate systems in-house and their need to be
able to talk to them from the IBM i. This explains the uptick we have
seen throughout the year with our RDB Connect product. RDB Connect offers the
customer the APIs to communicate and access data on platforms other than
IBM i (MS Sequel Server, for example). This product has filled the void
for these customers in their technology centers and they are now sharing
data across platforms.

Over the summer, with the threat of an end to IBM’s technical support
for i5/OS V5R4, we saw a lot of processor upgrades with serial number
changes. We processed and emailed many new access codes and upgraded a
lot of standard DBU licenses to DBU LPAR licenses. This allows our
customer to access DBU on any number of partitions using one access
code. They can add or remove DBU to or from partitions as they need.
DBU LPAR version is really the direction we see many shops moving
towards. With LPAR boxes, some businesses have a development partition
and production partition and with DBU LPAR you can have access to your
data via DBU, live on both partitions. This simplifies our customers
(especially systems administrators) lives!

We also need to note that we celebrated the IBM i’s 25th birthday! While
we celebrated with IBM, we also were reminded of our longevity. We just
hit our 30th birthday in 2011. DBU was actually alive and running on
the System 38 at quite a few companies even before IBM rolled out the
AS/400 in 1987! It’s really amazing to see the longevity and evolution
of this box and our software…..attesting to the quality of these products!

In the Fall, we attended both the COMMON in St Louis and RPG Summit in
Minneapolis. It’s always nice to get back to the Midwest. We saw a lot
of familiar faces. It seemed quite a number of programmers that we knew
at one business, moved to another business. Sometimes the business they
moved to did not have our database utility, but ‘our’ programmers
demanded it! We have a lot of new businesses this year which are
first-time, happy owners of DBU!

Overall 2013 was a good year of business for ProData. We have a lot of
‘buns in the oven’ as it pertains to the web, mobile applications,
Rational Developer for i, optimization of modifications in the operating
system….and the list goes on. We will implement our NEW look for our
website the first of the year and enhancements to our portals and
communications throughout the year. We look forward to even more
excitement in 2014!

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