UcompOS RPF is Commercially Released

We are pleased to announce that the UcompOS RPF is now available for commercial release as of May 17, 2011!

Since its alpha release in late 2009, a lot of work has been put forth to ensure that the UcompOS RPF is a rock-solid platform from which developers can deploy Rich Portal Applications. In fact, the UcompOS RPF is a foundational component of our new Octane product offering. The power and flexibility that the UcompOS RPF offers has proven itself time and again as we’ve worked to bring Octane to the market. This fact is a key reason why we believe it is time to make the UcompOS RPF commercially available so it can do the same for you.

For more information about obtaining a license for the UcompOS RPF for your own site, please visit our Pricing Page.

UcompOS Rich Productivity Framework is Now in Beta

Over the last 6 weeks, we have been diligently working to move the UcompOS RPF project from Alpha to Beta and as of this morning, that effort has come to completion.

There are numerous enhancements and bug fixes that are introduced into the Beta release. Also, we are compiling the project against the Adobe Flex 4.1 SDK nightly builds.

Major UcompOS Updates Coming

It has been a while since I’ve posted, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have some great things in store.

I am in the process of finishing up a number of enhancements, including a number of bug fixes as well as some new UcompOS Portal Proxy Components.

I plan to get caught up on documentation this weekend, and to put forward some new tutorials and roll out Milestone Public Alpha Release 0.4 this Monday.

There will probably be one more Milestone Public Alpha Release after this next one before we officially move the project to its Public Beta sometime in May.

Develop Against the Latest UcompOS Build Without Needing to Download the Build

Each time I make a change of substance to the UcompOS Rich Productivity Framework’s core components, i.e. the UcompOS Portal or the UcompOS SDK, I roll out an incremental version update.

At the Downloads link, the most up to date releases of the UcompOS Developers Packages (which contains the UcompOS Portal client-side files and the UcompOS SDK) is available.

If you are actively developing and helping me find bugs and make improvements, the process of continuously downloading the developers package may get tedious especially as I am rolling out incremental updates fairly continuously.

I have devised a streamlined implementation model.

The way my development configuration is set up, the UcompOS implementation at http://ucompos.ucompass.com represents an implementation running on the very latest, most current build of the UcompOS Rich Productivity Framework.

Now with your UcompId account, you can associate your UcompId with your own Dock Manifest URL.

When you log into the UcompOS Portal at http://ucompos.ucompass.com with your UcompId, the authentication process will use the dock manifest URL that you have registered.

In this configuration, you may still have to make frequent updates to your UcompOS SDK files (I’ll be posting about best practices for that soon) but you would at least not have to go through the process of downloading updates to the UcompOS Portal.

Rich Portal Applications and the UcompOS RPF

All the world needs are more acronyms, and I am introducing you to not just one, but two new acronyms here in my initial blog posting:

The “RPF” in UcompOS RPF stands for “Rich Productivity Framework” and with the UcompOS RPF you can build “RPAs“, or “Rich Portal Applications.

Now that we’ve got a little of the jargon out of the way (unfortunately, I am afraid to say this project necessarily has a lot more jargon associated with it), I’ll talk a little bit about my perception of what I think an RPA is and how the UcompOS RPF lets you build them.

The central player in the UcompOS RPF is an entity called the UcompOS Portal.

Technically, the UcompOS Portal is a Flex 4 SWF that can be considered the “Main Container” and run-time for a specific type of application I call UcompOS Applications.

The UcompOS Portal is equipped with a number of visual and non-visual entities that create an experience that I have tried to parallel with the experience offered on Windows or Mac OS X desktop implementation.

Visually, there is a Menu Bar and an Application Dock as well as an MDI (Multiple Document Interface) windows implementation.

The UcompOS Portal’s features are exposed by an API and an SDK has been created for JavaScript, Flash, Flex, and AIR developers that allows for the creation of UcompOS Applications.

Built into the SDK are a number of Proxy Components, which is the name I have given to a client implementation that executes an API method exposed in another UcompOS Application.

Because UcompOS Applications can also be authored as Adobe AIR applications, a UcompOS RPF implementation can transcend the web browser and extend to the end user’s desktop.

I feel the name Rich Portal Application is more appropriate to describe the UcompOS RPF than just Rich Internet Application, however, clearly I feel the UcompOS RPF is also a Rich Internet Application.

More completely stated, I would describe the UcompOS RPF as an implementation for the management and coordination of multiple Rich Internet Applications working in conjunction to create a complete portal-like experience for the end-user.

I believe the technologies I have chosen to build the UcompOS Portal (i.e. Adobe Flash, Flex, and AIR) and some of the early core UcompOS Applications with are very adept at creating experiences that are truly “rich”, or, at least “richer” than legacy web-based applications.

I have been working with Flash-related technologies since 1997 and I have been working on the UcompOS RPF since April of this year (2009) having come up with the idea for it the previous January and I have not been as excited about a project as I am about the UcompOS RPF.

I am not exactly sure where the project will go to but I am looking forward to taking it to great heights.  Ideally I’d like to find at least a reasonable population of Flash, Flex, JavaScript, and/or AIR developers who try it out and give me some valuable feedback and ideas.

Commercially, at least at this juncture, I don’t have any intentions of trying to monetize the framework.  There are a million frameworks and very rarely do any seem to find a way to actually make any money.

My main bread and butter will be an e-learning application called Educator 2 that I am building entirely on top of the UcompOS RPF and I think it will be a good indication of the UcompOS RPF’s success or failure.  Educator 2 is a continuation of an e-learning software I wrote back in 1999 that has been used by well over a million students in the past decade and is still being used commercially in some areas of higher education and K-12 education in the United States.

As I build the Educator 2 RPA on the UcompOS RPF in 2010, I’ll be working hard to continuously grow and improve the entire framework.  As I do, I am planning to write about it and document it extensively in this blog.

If you are a developer and any of this sounds interesting, follow along.  I’d enjoy working with you and collaborating with you.

To learn more about the very basics of the implementation, I have put together a number of QuickTime Video Tutorials and I plan to add to that list frequently.