A couple of weeks ago I received a notification in my Gmail that one of my Facebook friends had written something to / about me.
I connected to the link and in the email and discovered a really nice recommendation for me and this blog. The Facebook comment linked back to my friend Sam’s company blog.
Secondly, even before meeting Sam, Magic was one of those companies that fascinated me as a place with a strong brand and a great reputation. The blog certainly lives up to to that; anyhow, I decided to take a look at the uniPaaS Discovery Edition as mentioned/ requested in the blog piece.
I should stress from the get go that I don’t consider myself a developer, I do some scripting when needed but the last serious coding I did was in Pascal and Assembler back in the day.
Still I have tested a big enough variety of software and technology to setup my own criteria and simply put that is what I did here.
Installation – this was well formed, self explanatory and easy to do. I felt confident during the install and resources never went off the charts on a Dual Core, 2Gb laptop.
Documentation – most guys don’t read instructions or ask for directions (thank goodness for GPS right?) but documentation is a great meter to evaluate the overall commitment of a company to their brand and product(s): the Documentation here is excellent, well structured and with a consistent format and layout. I found it logical and easy to follow.
Look and Feel – I like my Web 2.0 sites to adopt a Web 2.0 look and feel and my Development Suites / Enterprise Apps to have an elegant, business-like look and feel.
On running the uniPaaS Discovery Suite I saw a distinctive yet familiar style of environment. The GUI and toolbars are elegant and match expectation for this type of software. Users of Visual Studio etc will feel at home and not forced to relearn the wheel.
Getting to work – I found it simplicity itself to create a new project, refer to the documentation and begin work, but perhaps the best way to display the strengths and possibilities of this type of environment is to bundle one or more small sample applications with source code that the User Documentation refers to. Microsoft SQL Server is a classic example of this where a tremendous, versatile application references itself with the wonderful Northwind database samples that were classically provided for the user.
Playing nicely with others – As I mentioned my test bed was my humble laptop; however uniPaas played nicely with other applications not hogging resources even allowing me to tab between using it, writing a draft of this blog in Windows Live Writer, running Twitter, Facebook, Gmail and Outlook.
I experienced no crashes, hangs or freezes and just kept on working.
Cleanup – one of the clearest indications of professional development that respects their users / customers is how a product uninstalls. Once I had completed looking at uniPaaS I decided to run the uninstall. The process was rapid, simple and on review comprehensive.
I ran nCleaner from NKprods an installed Cache, Temporary Files and Registry Cleaner. It found two registry entries remaining:
This is pretty good compared to other software I have had to clean up after in the past which I could write about should I ever decide to under the heading “The good, the bad and the ugly!”
What else – I am sure I could have gone on for weeks trying different things with uniPaas and I was definitely impressed with it. Magic have identified a niche and provided what seems to be a nice solution within that niche. They have made it easy to learn and use and provided a strong set of documentation for the user.
Going back to the Magic website their motto above the logo is “Do it once, do it right.” well it seems that with uniPaaS they have lived up to their motto and stuck to their brand.
I would recommend two things:
Sam, please pass on my congratulations to whoever is in charge of this.
If you are competitor of Magic in this area you may need to seriously evaluate if your product can compete with theirs.