Ask Reuben

The Process : New Features

Something has changed in Genero, I would like the previous functionality.

There have been a number of support questions recently where customers are upgrading to Genero Enterprise 4.01, and commenting on some changes we have made to our product.


As background, I would like to make two main points.

  1. We have two main types of customers.
    • Independent Software Vendors (ISV’s) who build a system using Genero, and sell and support that system to many customers and end-users.
    • Enterprise customers who maintain a Genero system for their own internal use

For an ISV, they need to focus on what the market wants and produce an application that meets the market.  An Enterprise customer does not have that same commercial pressure.  In the early 2000’s, ISV’s needed an application that worked with Windows GUI Desktops, hence the growth of these customers and Genero as they used the Genero Desktop Client (GDC) to transform their TUI applications into GUI applications.  The ISV’s needed a GUI application to stay relevant and continue to sell.  In recent years, those same ISV’s have needed a Web application in order to stay relevant and continue to sell.  These ISV’s have typically transformed their application to run in a browser via the various incarnations of Genero Web Client and now Genero Browser Client.  An ISV’s product is continuously evolving, and the ISV is continuously evaluating and incorporating new features as they are added to Genero.

  1.  The timeline of 3.20 and 4.00 releases is as follows

The Problem

Genero customers, typically Enterprise Customers, are upgrading to Genero 4.01 from versions older than 3.20.  As they do so they are commenting on changes made to our product.  As I write this in the first quarter of 2023, these are changes typically implemented in 2018/2019, over 4 years ago.  These are changes that have been adopted and used by our ISV community for a number of years.

The Process

With a new release, we run Early Access Programs.  This is where you have the opportunity to participate in the improvements and changes we are making to our product.  It is preferable that we tweak and refine changes during this period.  Once something has been released, it becomes more difficult to make these refinements.

To learn what is new and what has changed, the following resources are available to you.

  • Read the Release Announcements as they appear in the Product News section of the Website.  You should be alerted by forum post notifications, and you can also create RSS feeds and their equivalents on these pages.
  • Read the Documentation
    • Each set of documentation has two sections…
      • New Features – this is the fun to read section that has the new features available for you to play with and incorporate in your system if desired.  I encourage you to go back and read these sections for earlier versions to see what you may have missed or may have a need for now.
      • Upgrade Guide – this is the must read section where we do something where we consider you review your code and possibly make changes.
    • Make sure you read each products documentation, don’t stop at the BDL documentation New Features.
  • Issues Tracker – as well as issues that make the New Features and Upgrade Guide sections, the Issue Tracker will include changes that aren’t considered as notifiable i.e. bug fixes.  Sometimes we find we have fixed a bug only to find that some users were happy with the wrong behaviour
  • Watch and read WWDC Presentations
  • Participate in the Early Access Programs.
  • Your local support contacts

What You Can Do

Make sure that you stay informed.  Make use of the resources listed above to note what changes are being made as they occur.  As an example, the concept of Universal Rendering as Standard should not be new to you.  The concept of the Top Most Normal Window and how many applications are rendered in a single Browser Tab should not be new to you.

I can understand customers not wanting the business disruption of upgrading every time we issue a release.  However that does not stop you in your development or QA area, downloading a release, recompiling your Genero application, and running your basic QA tests.  This allows you to make sure we have not broken anything important to your application, and feedback you provide can be incorporated closer in time to when the work is done.

If you have fallen behind, there is no magic bullet to help you catch-up.  You can seek assistant from your local support contacts who can pass on their experience from working with early adopters.