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Quo vadis CA Plex?

  • 1.  Quo vadis CA Plex?

    Posted Jun 21, 2018 08:32 PM
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    Whom it may concern.

    The members of the German CA Plex CA 2E Usergroup (D-A-CH) had a well-organized event last Thursday, with very interesting lectures. The presentations and documents I will share at the UserGroup site, as soon as I received them all. Maybe I start with what I have now.
    However, I was surprised by the roadmap for CA 2E and CA Plex we got presented by CA's new Product Owner and Product Manager for 2E and Plex
    . Surprised not in the positive sense. Most members felt the same way, as I learned from their reactions.

    In fact, it's very unfortunate with how little new functionality and features CA is delivering to its Plex customers after that long time without a major release.
    What is announced now for March / April 2019 with r7.3, indeed is a joke. I downloaded r7.2.1 in August 2016. From August 2016 to April 2019 is nearly 3 years without a major release. I will upload the roadmap for CA 2E and CA Plex here.

    How important are the products for CA. Is it the mainenance fee?

    Instead of developing the products and keeping them technically up-to-date all the time, CA has overslept a long time. Whereas in the first 8 years (1996-2004) technical innovations were still acceptable with a delay of approximately 2-3 years, the inaction on the part of CA has raised the gap in terms of how developers work with and what tools they use today.

    Mention should be made of the editors in CA Plex (AD, Model Editor), who nearly come from the Windows 95 era, the long lag behind in the compatibility with Visual Studio (that is less now since r7.2.1)  and some other technical innovations that are missed.

    How long has 64-bit technology been on PC's and since that time Plex is not ready for? Well, that comes with Plex r8.x, but with no timeframe specified!

    Dynamic arrays and dynamic datasets have been available for the generated languages for over 15 years. We can't use it.

    I know that sounds a bit cynical and bitter. It should. Hopefully someone will wake up at CA.

    The really positive thing that I and some others took away from this event was, in addition to the UG internal contributions, the really fantastic support from the staff of the CA Germany GmbH, who supported us in the preparation and implementation so that on The end of a successful event. Many thanks @Christiane Ploesser and @Thomas Klar, both from CA Germany.

    I think CA could do more! Much more. 64-bit support and native string handling alone are not enough. And one major release within 3 years is definitly not enought.

    It would be fair to tell us what CA is planning to do with the two products. No lip service please. Tell us about CA's future strategy for CA 2E and CA Plex.

    So much of me.
    This is a discussion, so what do you think?.

    Best regards

    Axel Oberländer

    (President of the UserGroup)


  • 2.  Re: Quo vadis CA Plex?

    Posted Jun 22, 2018 03:42 AM

    Thanks, Axel for putting voice to Plex users & customers.

    At this time, maybe a shortcut to future would be exposing the model api, and generator api (if one), in order to put in hands of customers and application developers the posibilities of "aggiornamento".

  • 3.  Re: Quo vadis CA Plex?

    Posted Jun 24, 2018 05:56 PM

    Thanks Jorge,

    I fully agree, maybe you will be asked to post this on the idea wall to save it for the next 10 years. I'm wondering if CA Plex will be pushed onto the siding. It would be interesting to hear, how many developers they have still there to improve CA Plex. What do you mean?

    So, to widen model api and open a generator api is a real good idea.

  • 4.  Re: Quo vadis CA Plex?

    Posted Jun 25, 2018 03:23 AM

    Thanks Axel for your efforts for the CA Plex CA 2E Usergroup (D-A-CH) event.

    I totally agree with you.

    It doesn't give much confidence for the future, if you have listen to the words of the last product owners, regarding the development of Plex and 2E (and there were some of them in the last years). For me it looks like they have the same few developers who are working on Plex and 2E (and perhaps also for other products?).

    As software developers we can't tell our customers "you will get something, but we don't know what and when and perhaps you will get nothing this year". But that's what CA is doing over years.

    It really looks like CA is only interested in the maintenance fees and "milking" the Plex/2E-customers as long as possible, knowing that we just can't easily and quickly replace Plex/2E.

  • 5.  Re: Quo vadis CA Plex?

    Posted Jun 28, 2018 02:37 AM

    [WEBCAST] CA Communities CA Plex/2E Community Event July 11th

    I'm really curious what they will tell ....



    CA Plex users will not want to miss the CA Communities CA Plex/2E Community Event Tuesday, July 11th. The CA Plex Product Manager will be presenting and taking feedback on the New CA Plex Roadmap.
    According to the CA Plex Product Manager, "the CA Plex team has been working through the backlog and we think we finally have a great balance of features that will enhance the usability of CA Plex".

  • 6.  Re: Quo vadis CA Plex?

    Posted Jun 28, 2018 06:44 AM

    Hello Markus,

    do you really expect something different? I don’t think so, but what if?

    I‘m looking forward to hearing what they will tell us. Do you have the time, to join the webcast? Would be greatful if you post your thoughts here, afterwards. 

    Thanks in advance, Markus

  • 7.  Re: Quo vadis CA Plex?

    Posted Jul 25, 2018 04:47 AM

    It was the same presentation as at the UserGroup-Meeting (also with the difficulties with understanding the presentation).


    But with this news, I suppose, there will be no effort in the near future.

    Broadcom to Acquire CA Technologies for $18.9 Billion in Cash - CA Technologies


    As always we will have to wait and see.

  • 8.  Re: Quo vadis CA Plex?

    Posted Jul 05, 2018 12:59 AM

    I suspect CA Plex will be around for many years to come but will never reach the potential the 1990’s  CASE tools promised. I think Plex delievered on the promise but no one was listening including the plex developers who struggled with inheritance, polymorphism, separation of concerns, single responsibility. 


    Outsystems was created not too long after Plex has just been given 350million dollar funding by KKR & GS ! They nearly went bust twice before this new lowcode wave took off. They are the newest Unicorn on the block but I remember at a plex conference in Chicago and a Portuguese company had brought and demoed Outsystems to anyone who was interested.  Hardly anyone showed any interest and there lies the problem neither CA nor users are technologists. When I look at the alumni of our community, not many after leaving plex have done startups or ‘****’ stuff either, it was if the 1990’s was their time and plex was bleeding edge then. CA Plex is like a time capsule of that time.


    Obsysdian (Synon) if it remained private might have gone bust and where would we have been, then again it could have been up against Appian, Mendix and  Outsystems pushing for traditional IT acceptance today. Staying private was key and for what ever reason the stakeholders sold out on their vision, Outsystems did not and nearly paid for their stubborn vision (going bust) that there must be a quicker way to model business into code.


    Working for a vendor as I do today I can tell you most likey the amount of technical debit within the ide and generators would probably make it uneconomical to add anything major, its simpler and cheaper to start afresh.


    Using other tools I miss how rock solid the plex ide is, it had years of stabilisation granted, but still impressive and testament to CA.


    i don’t see where plex fits into today’s landscape, client server is long gone, there is no big data support, no nosql support, no swagger support, poor integration support, no web/mobile out of the box support, modern field types etc etc


    so I think CA duty is to its existing customer to keep it rock solid and do not risk introducing change to business as usual by embarking on ambitious road maps.


    What at a great tool CA Plex was and I miss it daily but really it is time to move on as you will dwindle your careers away fighting a cause only we even know exist. 

  • 9.  Re: Quo vadis CA Plex?

    Posted Jul 25, 2018 09:17 AM

    Hi George, hi Markus

    I hope you‘re doing well. I fully agree with you, George. As you can see - so much feedback from the CA guys here. Any question is answered.......

    Nobody is interested in what customers want to know an need for future development. I needed a long long time to realise. In fact, I don’t think that anybody at CA cares about Plex and Synon in the future. I think it’s the maintenance fee thing they care about. 


    Well, I‘ll have a look at OutSystems now...


    P. S. 

    I have been waiting for such a long time, Markus. If they don’t care about the products we use, I don’t care, too. 

  • 10.  Re: Quo vadis CA Plex?

    Posted Aug 28, 2018 09:57 PM

    Let's just face the truth.  Both Plex and 2E have been in long term maintenance mode.  This will not change whilst the recurring revenue trail is so strong.  At the point this revenue trail dies the tools will to unless they are brought by a low-code pioneer or a senior partner.


    On the plus side I've enjoyed a varied and rewarding software development career and worked on both of these tools for far longer than I anticipated when I started nearly 30 years ago.

  • 11.  Re: Quo vadis CA Plex?

    Posted Aug 30, 2018 07:16 AM

    Hi Lee,

    good to hearing from you. I hope you’re well and everything is ok with you. 

    Yes man, you are absolutely right. I feel it the same way and I‘m still hungry. There is always a lot to do, to satisfy customers needs. 

    Nevertheless I can see the Plex/2E-path is getting smaller and we can use a wide range of knowledge nowadays. 

    All the best for you + family. Who knows, maybe in a few years I come and visit Australia, hoping you are still there....


  • 12.  Re: Quo vadis CA Plex?

    Posted Aug 31, 2018 05:07 AM

    Rather sad that this is the top post on the CA/Plex message boards as I pop by to see what's going on.


    Having just watched the "Roadmap" presentation, I have to say I can't disagree with the sentiment being voiced here.


    Oh well, back off to my rock...