Progress Software Goes After Salesforce Lightning with UI Customization Vendor Acquisition

Charlotte Dunlap
Charlotte Dunlap

Summary Bullets:

  • The client-side app development tools trend continues following Salesforce’s intimidating release of updated PaaS UI, Salesforce1 Lightning.
  • Progress Software continues a steady build-up of platform services and mobile app platforms, following three key acquisitions in a year.

The mobile app development trend continues around client-side tools that will serve LoB users within enterprises that are realizing the need for both external-facing and internal-facing mobile apps. Numerous front-end app platforms have been announced in recent months by practically everyone playing in the MEAP space, most prominently by Salesforce’s Lightning UI.

Progress Software is the latest to bet big on this technology with plans to acquire Telerik for its UI development tools while it simultaneously establishes key cloud and ISV partnerships which offer developers flexible cloud deployment scenarios and tools to speed the app development process. Progress has been building up its arsenal of mobile and cloud technologies and standards support over the past year, following a massive scaled-down corporate restructuring in 2012. Progress has been focusing all its energy on modernizing its cloud-enabled OpenEdge application platform, along with data management and data connectivity products.

Progress’s Pacific PaaS includes data connectivity and app development, along with a mobile app platform enabled through its Rollbase acquisition six months ago which provides a rapid application development (RAD) component. Pacific is available on Amazon AWS and eventually on other IaaS platforms, or it can be used on-premise. And this is how Progress aims to displace chief rival Salesforce, by providing its 1,400 ISV partners with the app platform to create business apps which run on any cloud. And it won’t stop there. The company hopes to win over new customers through its next-generation architecture that leverages application PaaS and mobile services, and addresses big data connectivity and analytics issues. New partnerships will focus on systems integrators, service providers, and potential cloud giants such as HP.

Recapping the three key acquisitions which strengthen Progress’ cloud and mobile offerings: Telerik UI provider; Rollbase, which strengthens its PaaS by offering customers a platform for the rapid creation of SaaS solutions; and Node.js vendor Modulus, to speed and scale Node.js and MongoDB app development and deployment.

Progress is not without its challenges as it faces platform services leaders such as Salesforce, Microsoft Azure and Red Hat OpenShift, and MEAP vendors IBM, Kony and Appcelerator. The company is still assembling its cloud and mobile services after dealing with a disruptive restructuring two years ago which dumped half its technology offering and undermined partner and customer trust. Progress needs to lure developers with its lightweight, flexible deployment solutions, while competitors make similar claims alongside comprehensive technology offerings.

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