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Rob_Jago Member since 2015 41 posts
Rulesware
Posted: 3 years ago
Last activity: 3 years 6 months ago

The Value of the Pega 7 Platform: A developers view

With any product, methodology or framework, the “glossy” papers will often outline the benefits to the organization or business in their ability to increase value for clients by doing many things. This is most often true but in many situations the impact to the development teams can be negative and painful. This impact and the lessons learned from this exercise are sometimes too late or expensive to resolve which can result, at times, of the product being dropped at a high cost.

The Pega 7 Platform is the same as any other project by offering these “glossy” papers. The difference is that the Pega 7 Platform empowers the development team and increases their overall productivity. Here are just a few items that empower the development teams to meet or exceed clients’ expectations.

A Different Mindset

Sometimes you can tell a vision of a company by the certifications they offer. Pega is no different. Many of the certifications have the word Architect in them. You won’t find any “developer” certifications in the Pega Academy for one simple reason: Pega “developers” need to consider architecture throughout development. This is also implies the design-first mentality that not all developers experience or have experienced yet. If I create this component is it re-usable for just this application or could others use it? This question alone requires a developer to think more about design then development. It also implies a design thinking mentality first versus a development thinking mentality first.

Re-use

Many aspects of Pega Out of the Box (OOTB) support the ability for re-use. If you think of typical web application development, the typical re-use attempts start with well intentions but often lead down a path where the re-use is only applicable to the current application and re-use with other technological-similar applications is difficult. The re-use is usually confined to certain frameworks within a given application: one framework for re-usable business objects, another framework for the re-use of some UI components, and yet another framework for re-usable integration aspects. Therefore, to make these constructs re-usable, it requires all of the frameworks to be moved over as well which might not feasible and thus prevents the re-use. With Pega, the OOTB re-use is immediately seen upon creation; the only caveat is that you think of the re-use possibility and implement the solution in the correct layer.

New but not new

For some, the use of Pega may be new but if you understand the underlying architecture, the whole premise of the fine-tuned machine of Pega is based on years of evolution in the premise of web application development. The core part of platform lies within the relational database architecture that has existed for years. Although based on the J2EE application servers knowledge of Java is not a prime requirement. For those that have the knowledge of the J2EE application servers, their custom configurations, usage and management still apply. Infrastructure items such as scalability (horizontal/vertical), automation techniques such as virtualization and Infrastructure as a Service (Iaas) or Platform as a Service (PaaS) still apply. The architectural design strategies associated with Single Page Architecture (SPA) still apply in determining how best to present a User Experience (UX) that ensures the developers focus on solving the business needs and not the “plumbing” of an application.

Everything in one tool

In typical enterprise products, the tools required to deliver a product to the client include such things as the following:

  • Integrated Development Environment (IDE)
  • Requirements capturing tool
  • Application Runtime
  • Bug tracking tool
  • Performance monitoring tool(s)
  • Debugging tool(s)

Granted, sometimes you can get an Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) tool suite that assist with these by providing an integrated solution but sometimes this often requires custom development to glue some of the pieces together. Also, at times, you want to enhance the IDE to provide extra integration points with other products within the organization to increase the productivity of the team members. To be able to do this, the varying skills of the team member increases. With Pega Platform, all of the above items are included and the only requirement being a browser to connect to the server. The extra skills are beneficial for working with some of the infrastructure products but not the actual development. Now, with the increased use of mobile devices what would you need to do to make your existing web application mobile ready? With Pega 7 Platform, the answer to this question is nothing special as this functionality is available from your first login. This allows the development team to continue to focus on delivering business value and not necessarily worry about mobile development activities.

Not limited to a specific product industry

Typically, with most enterprise products, once you become an expert at the product your skills are not transferrable to different vertical industries. Understanding how the Pega 7 Platform works opens up the ability to move into different vertical industries that PegaSystems operates in with minimal barrier effort. Why is this? PegaSystems product offerings are all based on the Pega 7 Platform. Thus, with the core understanding of the Pega 7 Platform, a Pega developer can ramp up in the following Pega product offerings with minimal effort:

  • Customer Service Management (CRM)
  • Marketing
  • Sales Automation
  • Field Service

Limitations

All products have their limitations. Some of these constraints could be based on niche product offering, the cost to entry or the enterprise in nature. Pega is no different and it has its limitations as well. The difference in these limitations is the limitation of the enterprise to be innovative and the development teams to be creative. What some Fortune 500 companies and government departments have done with the Pega 7 Platform prove that the only limitation is the creativity thinking of the enterprise.

In the last ten years or so, there have been many disrupting and innovative developments in the technology industry. The Pega 7 Platform and PegaSystems have been disrupting the development mantra for the same amount of time and continue to do so.

(Note: A MS Word version can be provided upon request.)

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