reporting from the Boston Omnis Meeting

Jim Pistrang jim at
Fri Dec 9 10:02:40 EST 2016

Hi all,

As promised, my report.  Apologies in advance if I got anything wrong or missed anything important - other attendees of the Boston and California meetings are encouraged to chime in.

First, a huge thank-you to Bob Whiting and David Lewis for making the trip to San Francisco and Boston.  There are a few of us who have attended the EurOmnis conferences over the years, but for most North American developers there has been little or no direct contact with Omnis management or the Omnis engineering team for a long time.  This outreach is greatly appreciated!

My overall impression of the new ownership is VERY positive.  Omnis is now owned by a group that understands the product, and the engineering team will be able to focus on the core product without distractions.

We had 18 attendees at the Boston gathering, coming from as far away as Mexico!  I was actually the only Massachusetts native, and all but three of the attendees flew in for the meeting.

The first portion of the meeting was a presentation by David Lewis, one of the three directors of OLS Holdings Ltd, the company that now owns the Omnis business.  Rather than give you too many details here, I'll direct you to some Omnis Blogs:


Other notes from this portion of the meeting:
** OLS Holdings owns the entire Omnis business, including all intellectual property, TigerLogic UK and TigerLogic Germany.  
** TigerLogic USA is still a separate entity, but is no longer involved in Omnis.
** David Lewis is chair of the board and is taking a direct operational role.
** David stressed a number of times that the owners are not 'venture capital investers', their interest is in supporting and growing the Omnis product.  They are all software professionals, and they want to work with the Omnis community.
** Current 'country managers' will stay in place.
** One goal is to rebuild a North American presence.  Hopefully an office in North America?  Hopefully North American conferences in the future?
** The company name will eventually change to 'Omnis Software'.
** Early initiatives will include: webinars on the web and on youtube, 'how to' videos, improved training and programming assistance, better Out Of Box Experience.
** The Omnis Academy in Germany has been a very positive effort, the hope is to roll it out in local geographies.
** Technical Certification at some point in the future...
** Other important initiatives are developer training and bringing in more female developers.
** No pricing changes for at least 6 months.
** All tech support is now in UK (thanks Chris and Nicky!)
** Company is currently profitable.

There was a short discussion on the number of developers worldwide and the number in North America.  David noted that there are many developers who are not currently in the ODPP program, and he expressed a hope that more would join.  [editorial note from Jim - I strongly agree!]

Next was a technical presentation from Bob Whiting, Omnis General Manager:

Strategy moving forward:
  Consistency in work and services
  Partnerships (with developers, clients, partners)

With the new ownership it will be easier to have a structured release schedule with reliable release dates.  The plan is for triennial major releases.

Licensing-wise, they are looking at three-year runtime maintenance agreements, with an annual subscription charge and full access to all updates and upgrades.  Possibly two levels of serial numbers, with an 'enhanced' level that will work with all 'dot' releases.

Enhanced ODPP benefits:
  eBug fault system access available in SDK
  engineering group forum?

Developer Portal Forum.  (Want to be a beta user?  Contact Bob Whiting)

Lots of info on the Studio 8 current release & features.  Rather than repeat them, check out these links:

Release of version 8.1 end of March 2017, version 9.0 in 2018.  Contact Bob if you want to be in the 8.1 beta.

Coming in 8.1:
** responsive forms, including a migration tool
** JSON representation of library, which will enable use of external VCS tools such as Git
** MacOS code signed applications
** server time function
** method editor view > 255 chars in a line
** additional fat client controls
** additional js controls
** footer support for headed list
** deployment enhancements
** performance & speed enhancements
** enhanced VCS

Final note from Jim: I am really excited and encouraged by the new management.  I don't expect change to come quickly, but I am hopeful for a greater presence in North America and worldwide.  I'm looking forward to the future of Omnis!


Jim Pistrang
JP Computer Resources

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