[Progress News] [Progress OpenEdge ABL] What’s New in OpenEdge 12.8: Supercharge Developer Efficiency, Enhance Database Management and Improve Applica

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Jessica Malakian

OpenEdge 12.8, our latest Long Term Supported (LTS) release and the culmination of the OpenEdge 12.3 through 12.7 innovation releases, empowers developers, streamlines database management and enhances application security.

By leveraging the new features and enhancements of OpenEdge 12.8, organizations can optimize their development processes, improve database performance, improve application security and stay current with the evolving technology landscape. Let's delve into some of the new features that will enhance your applications in multiple ways.

Empowering ABL Developers​

OpenEdge 12.8 strongly emphasizes enhanced developer productivity by equipping ABL (Advanced Business Language) developers with tools and features to streamline their workflows.

  • Faster turnaround on builds: With incremental build support, developers change their codebase and quickly rebuild only the affected parts. This significantly reduces build times, enabling faster iterations and accelerated development cycles.
  • OpenTelemetry integration: OpenTelemetry, a powerful and standards-based observability framework, assists with monitoring your production run-time environment and tuning application performance like never before. Developers gain insights into the health of your OpenEdge Database and PAS for OpenEdge components and can trace application behavior to identify bottlenecks and optimize critical areas for enhanced performance.
  • New VAR statement and shorthand operators: OpenEdge 12.8 has the new VAR statement that allows developers to define and initialize variables and arrays in a single statement, with less code. Shorthand operators were also introduced for performing operations and assigning values more efficiently—making code more concise and readable.
  • Count/Average/Sum aggregation: To facilitate efficient data processing and analysis, OpenEdge 12.8 has built-in server-side aggregation functions, such as Count, Average and Sum. These functions allow developers to perform common data calculations efficiently with significantly improved query performance.
  • OOABL Collections: Object-oriented ABL (OOABL) Collections provide enhanced data structure capabilities, enabling developers to manage complex data relationships more efficiently. List, Sorted List and Hashmap Collections are now supported. By leveraging these built-in collections, developers can benefit from improved performance and overcome size limitations of ABL's array.
  • OpenEdge DevOps Framework (OEDF): For ABL applications, the OpenEdge DevOps Framework is designed to help with implementing an efficient CI pipeline that handles compilation, repository integration, testing and packaging. The OEDF tool has been enhanced to support dependency management and resolution. Developers can now create different deployable packages like *.oear, *.war, *.paar and *.oeds files to deploy directly to the Progress Application Server (PAS) for OpenEdge instances.

Monitoring and Optimizing Your Production Environment​

OpenEdge 12.8 brings several advancements in database management, offering improved monitoring and administration capabilities. The following features help optimize database performance and enhance availability:

  • Real-time messaging and data streaming: With Kafka, stream data and events with low latency from and to an OpenEdge application. The capability is useful for a variety of use cases, including messaging of individual or sets of transactional steps.
  • OpenEdge Command Center (OECC): OECC is a state-of-the-art, cloud-ready OpenEdge management tool and offers OpenAPI to simplify the management of your OpenEdge applications. It provides PAS for OpenEdge / OpenEdge Database administration, centralized metrics monitoring and integrations to the popular Application Performance Management (APM) tools likely already in use in your environment.
  • Database online maintenance: This release includes various database improvements that enable more administrative tasks to be performed online. This increases availability by eliminating the need for downtime for offline maintenance operations.
  • Faster validation and repair of database indexes: With multi-threaded Index Check functionality, users can enable faster validation and repair of database indexes. This enhancement improves overall database performance and minimizes maintenance overhead.

Strengthening Application and Data Protections​

Security is a chief concern in today's digital landscape. OpenEdge 12.8 introduces several features to reinforce application security and help safeguard critical data:

  • Hardware Security Module (HSM) support: OpenEdge 12.8 supports Hardware Security Modules (HSMs). HSMs help provide a more secure environment for cryptographic operations, facilitating the protection of sensitive data and supporting compliance with stringent security standards.
  • OpenSSL 3.1 and TLS 1.3 support: OpenEdge 12.8 adopts OpenSSL 3.1, the latest version of the open-source cryptographic library. This upgrade helps enhance security protocols and cryptographic algorithms to promote robust encryption and data integrity for OpenEdge applications. The addition of TLS 1.3 support helps with faster handshakes and more secure transport layer communication among OpenEdge client-server components.
  • External Security Administration Manager (ESAM): The "single source of truth" capability through the ESAM helps centralize security administration, simplify access control and strengthen security governance.
  • Code signing: OpenEdge 12.8 features code signing capabilities, allowing developers to digitally sign their ABL application code. Code signing enhances application integrity and helps facilitate the execution of trusted software —minimizing the risk of tampering and unauthorized modifications.
  • Dynamic Data Masking (DDM): For a Security Administrator or DB Administrator, who needs to enable OpenEdge business applications with data privacy and integrity compliance requirements like GDPR or HIPAA, the DDM capability offers an easier approach to disguise the sensitive data at run time, based on user role permissions.
  • Enhanced application server: The Progress Applications Server for OpenEdge (PAS for OpenEdge) comes with several improvements in this release. PAS for OpenEdge applications supports JWE tokens to help you meet your enterprise security requirements, improves PAS for OpenEdge agent's session lifecycle management, facilitates better control of PAS for OpenEdge agent connections to an OpenEdge database, supports OAuth2/SAML2 token authentication through OpenEdge Authentication Gateway (OEAG), provides support for Legacy WebSpeed mapped web objects and more.

OpenEdge 12.8: Unleashing the Power of Productivity, Management and Security​

With its latest release, OpenEdge 12.8 demonstrates a solid commitment to developer productivity, database management and application security. By taking advantage of features such as incremental build support, OpenTelemetry integration, enhanced administrative tasks, HSM support, upgraded OpenSSL and code signing, OpenEdge empowers developers to build robust, more secure business applications while optimizing performance and helping maintain data integrity.

Whether you're an ABL developer seeking enhanced productivity tools, a database administrator aiming to streamline management tasks or a security-conscious professional striving to protect critical assets, OpenEdge 12.8 offers a comprehensive suite of features to help meet your needs. With OpenEdge, you can enjoy the benefits of a platform that is certified on the latest operating systems and powered by the most advanced technologies. OpenEdge supports JDK 17, .NET 6, and many other features that enable you to create, deploy and manage high-performance applications that meet your business goals.

Upgrade to OpenEdge 12.8 and unlock the full potential of your applications in today's fast-paced digital world.

Learn more about the brand new OpenEdge 12.8 release here.

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