The world of enterprise software has changed for everyone with the introduction of device-first applications. Devices can include PCs, laptops, tablets and smartphones. The days of operating system and developer tools releases every two years, or even annually, have gone. The competitive nature of the competing Android, iOS, Windows, and Linux environments, with developer tools supporting all of these platforms, means the OS and tools vendors are adopting an agile approach to release cadences with monthly updates that are not just hotfixes and security updates. The agile vendor release process is now designed to get product updates and improvements out faster, knowing that if something breaks, it can be updated the following month, especially with developer tools.
For example, when Apple releases a new phone/tablet, they update their development stack. This is usually a forced update, and application developers always want to support the new hardware and current iOS release that is automatically available to all devices. This has the knock-on effect that all layered tools (for example Xamarin tools) also have to update to support the new Apple release, usually on the day the release ships. Then companies like Synergex have to update their tools, layered on the layers below them.
The newly announced Windows 10 will have fast and slow cadences for enterprises to choose, but Synergex will need to test for the fastest cadence to ensure compatibility. Visual Studio updates ship as CTPs monthly, with quarterly release track updates. For non-Windows development, Xamarin provides bi-weekly updates for the whole stack for iOS and Android.
So what does this mean to the Synergex customer base? Some Synergy customers do not update their Synergy versions regularly. If you are one of these customers, and you move into the world of devices, you will also need to move into this agile development mindset. Just as you are forced to accept monthly .NET Framework, Java, and security updates, you will also have to accept regular Synergy updates.
With Synergy/DE 10.3.1, Synergex has taken a new approach to help customers needing to keep up with the agile world we live in. Our Visual Studio .NET product set no longer includes the traditional Synergy runtime packages. This allows us to ship hotfixes and continual product updates matching those of the products on which we layer as frequently as bi-weekly, while keeping the traditional runtime and tools at a more stable level. We realize that due to its nature, this agile process has the potential to introduce bugs, and sometimes there will be a code-breaking change that requires a quick fix, but we believe it’s necessary to align with other vendors in this regard. The Synergy device runtimes for iOS and Android are also NuGet packages, allowing us to update them independently of the core Synergy product as new features and support are required. Customers choose whether to take the latest runtime packages on a per-project basis. Finally with 10.3.1 Synergy .NET, we allow the development tools to generate code that’s compatible with earlier versions (10.1.1 for 10.3.1), so customers can take advantage of the latest tool and code generation improvements without having to update every customer’s Synergy/DE installation.
In conclusion, the new device-first world is changing the way we develop and ship software, and all who participate in this world will need to change with it. Synergex has been making changes to meet this challenge, and we can help you meet that challenge while still providing stability to your end users.
For more information about Synergy/DE 10.3.1, visit the Synergex web site.