By J. Carlos Romero, Rulesware Lead Engineer
Pegasystems recently hosted their annual PegaWORLD conference and used the event to provide a lot of great information about Pega7. The changes represented in Pega7 are significant to both end users and System Architects like me. I attended the Ask Me Anything session for Pega 7 Business Users in order to go deeper into all the details on this new release of PRPC (PegaRULES Process Commander), now called Pega 7.
Although there were many interesting sessions happening at the same time, the session was packed: it was clearly popular at PegaWORLD 2014 both for experienced developers and for new customers trying to implement Pega7 for the very first time.
Kerim Akgonul, Senior Vice President and Product Manager (aka ‘Mr. Pega7’), along with Don Schuerman, CTO and Vice President of Product Marketing at PegaSystems attended the session too: both are people who have been really involved in the process of restructuring PRPC.
Questions began on aspects like: Migration, Upgrade to Pega7, UI and Case Management. I was able to question the process of reengineering DCO tools, and also inquired about how things are going with the compatibility across multiple browsers. I’ll explore these components more in this article.
To me it’s really interesting to observe how things have changed.
DCO Tools: Why?
When exploring Pega7, it feels like the whole idea is completely different. Things like Application Profiler and Application accelerator do not exist anymore in Pega7.
But having the ability to envision objectives, requirements, and use cases during the complete development cycle brings a huge advantage to business people, Business Analysts and System Architects (among others) – and now that’s the approach Pega7 takes. We can now speed up development and keep the track of every assignment correspondent to the development, enabling great visibility and management that was lacking in previous versions.
Compatibility Across Multiple Browsers
We now know that Pega7 works with HTML 5 and CSS 3, which means no java scripting at all is required. This relieves us of glitchings, misbehaviors and some headaches.
One of the greatest improvements in Pega7 is with the UI components: the functionality has been extended and enhanced, with responsiveness integrated. This is one of the coolest things; it does not matter how big or small your screen is, responsiveness allows the system to render the screen and accommodate the UI depending on the size of the browser or in some other cases your mobile device.
Customers won’t have any problem because compatibility across multiple browsers means that it’s fully supported on the user’s end. And this means that end users will be able to work in any browser they like (including IE, Safari, Opera, Chrome, Firefox).
Developers, however, will have to wait a little more to have full compatibility. Rules like connectors and services are supported only on IE, so be aware that if you need to connect with some services, you will need to use IE. Hopefully next releases of Pega7 will bring 100% compatibility with all browsers (nothing like the feeling of developing on Chrome). And let’s remember that many new features have been added and changed, so waiting a little more won’t hurt at all.
Improvements in application migration
Another great improvement is how to migrate applications. This might be tricky but at least is UI-related. A lot of things have changed: new controls have been added and a lot more have been deprecated; Pega7 now allows the ability to upgrade deprecated rules. Note, however, that this is not automatically done: you’ll have to work a little bit and make the upgrades manually, but at least is a good start.
Packaging Rulesets is something that has not changed at all, but now the branching of Rulesets allows us to work in ways that improve the development speed and collaboration among the team members. And new abilities are provided, such as Multi-Tenant, which brings different administration options and possibilities to implement new solutions.
Pega7 has made a huge step forward. In it, responsiveness is key, along with mobility, and the ability to engage with the customer in so many ways that we were lacking before.
As a System Architect I can say that the change was a little overwhelming, but I believe that all the many advantages that Pega7 brings are worth it.
As an end user, I can only recommend you to move on into these new technologies, remembering that efficiency, fast development, correct scoping, full visibility and processes with more openness to change are now effectively available on Pega7.
And there is no doubt that we’ll see a lot more of “The Power to Change” in the new releases.