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GeneXus™ FAQ

What is GeneXus™?

GeneXus™ is a Software Development Suite that simplifies and automates the tasks of creating and maintaining enterprise applications and IT systems.

Sorry, what?

Simply put: GeneXus™ is software that makes software. It also maintains programs and databases - automatically.

What problem do you solve?

We think that software development has become increasingly complex over the years. Apps are easier to use than ever, however creating them requires more knowledge and skills every day as new programming languages, databases and platforms are constantly created. We work every day to solve that problem, making software development easier.

How?

To make software development simpler, we automate everything that can be automated. So, GeneXus™ uses a simple, agile, three-step process to create an application:

1. Definition (Modeling), which is done in a simple, declarative way.
2. Generation (Automation), where an app is created from the previous model.
3. Validation (Test), where we validate the app to see if it meets the needs of the user.

Why automate?

This one is a tough question, faced by every industry since the invention of the steam engine. Yet, again and again, craftsmanship is automated, productivity is increased and our quality of life improved. Why should the software industry be different? It shouldn’t! Not with the ever growing demand for software. Craftsmanship is nice, but not in tune with the speed the world we live in requires. There’s a more efficient way of producing software than by hand: It’s automation, and GeneXus™ leads in that path.

What kind of applications can be made with GeneXus™?

We like to say: “Mission Critical Applications,” meaning, literally, built for the information, processes and technologies, most critical to your business’ main mission. GeneXus applications are not just data-driven; they are built to harness your most important business data, e.g. Core Banking, ERPs, CRMs.

Is GeneXus™ Model-Driven Development (MDD)?

It is, and it isn’t. GeneXus™ has its own way of “Modeling”, using its own descriptive programming language. In addition, these “models” are created based on the user’s Business Knowledge and needs. This approach allows users to focus on "What" they need technology to do while GeneXus™ automatically handles the technical side of the “How”. The benefits are clear: easier to learn, easier to create apps, and easier to switch between platforms and technologies when technology and market evolve. It’s a “Describe once, deploy everywhere” model, and much, much more.

What does “capture the reality” mean?

It’s the process of understanding how a business works, and translating that understanding into software tools that serve the business’ unique strengths and needs. Business realities are transcribed into a Knowledge Base, from which the applications, services, and databases are programmed automatically.

What is that “knowledge base” you talk so much about?

That’s the name we give to each GeneXus-based Software Project. For each project, GeneXus™ stores in a Knowledge Base -in a technology-independent way- the user’s Business Knowledge, descriptions and requirements for the software project that later will be used to generate the described application.

Does GeneXus really, really automatically generate applications?

Yes, GeneXus™ automatically generates native code, based on parameters and data that you define. We are talking about millions of lines of code, generated without human intervention. The human imagines and describes, and a machine running GeneXus is the one that generates the application. GeneXus™ also generates the databases and backend services, automatically - making it the only such development tool in existence.

GeneXus also maintains the application, database, and services, automatically; implementing updates, live, as changes are made to the Knowledge Base. It’s cool –time-saving- stuff!

Is GeneXus™ a new company and technology?

No, we’re not young: We’re experienced! We’ve been around for 25 years, and as technology changed and evolved, so did we. We’ve been (accurately) forecasting Platform dominances for a long time now and we’ve come a long way, from AS-400’s to creating top-notch Mobile and Web Applications (also generating for any market relevant platform in-between), and we’re on the cutting edge of it (IT).

How did you survive so long?

Bootstrapped. Eating light. Thinking fast. Running faster.

How much does GeneXus™ cost?

Don’t worry about that! Price isn’t normally an issue as we have several options for different scenarios and company sizes. If you’re a Software House (ISV) we’ve got something for you, also if you’re creating apps in a big company, corporation or government. If you are a single developer, there’s also the Free (trial) version to start working, now. If you’re a Startup, let’s talk! Whatever your company size: If you are interested in GeneXus™, we’ll find a way that benefits us all. Talk with us!

Is GeneXus™ flexible?

Gastón Milano (our CIO) explained it in the best way possible:

"Though hand-coding could be more flexible in the short-term, if you’re thinking cross-platform, multiple systems or databases and are worried about the future technologies (playing the long game), then GeneXus™ is as flexible and adaptable as it gets".

Do you have competitors?

We used to have, but they didn’t survive. Currently, we don’t think so. Sure, there are different tools to develop software. Many also make software development somewhat easier. Some focus on the WHAT also but don’t generate the 100% of the solution. Then, there are also some great Web or Mobile app Solutions around, but none is so complete, cover so many platforms, languages and databases as GeneXus™. No one makes it so easy to integrate and maintain different systems, extend legacy systems or create new pieces of software that can stand the test of time.

What are your limitations?

We really don’t cook well.

Does GeneXus™ model with BPMN?

Processes. Yes, we do that too. BPMn for process modeling, XPDL for importing and exporting. If you like that kind of thing, you’re also covered.

What makes GeneXus™ different?

Our approach to software development. It’s really a different paradigm. Many don’t get us, many don’t like it, but we believe it’s the right way. And our clients love us for it.

Why should we use GeneXus™?

Do you want to develop faster? Have you a big organization with multiple systems? Are your applications stuck in the past and want to add mobile support? Do you want to extend your systems without losing data? Do you want to integrate something old, something new and something blue? Then GeneXus™ is for you.

What are you best at?

Data. One of our single greatest advantages is the way that GeneXus™ handles, reorganizes and moves information across platforms and devices (even data in production). We kind of rock at doing that. So if you’re interested in preserving your business knowledge and data and in the same time evolve your systems, then there’s no match to GeneXus™.

What’s new in the newest GeneXus™ version?

Curious, are you? We have a whole page to explain that. Go on, take a peek.

Who uses GeneXus™?

Sony, NEC, Doutour Coffee, Mitsubishi, Faber-Castell, Grupo Salinas, Bantotal (one of the biggest Core Banking in South America) and over 8.500 other companies and governments around the world use GeneXus. We are present in over 50 countries and our strongest markets currently are Japan (1st), Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Uruguay (@home).

Wait. what? aren’t you from Silicon Valley?

Well, no. Not every appealing, cool, technical-savvy solution is made in California. Or in the US for that matter. SAP is German, Amadeus comes from Spain, Flappy-Bird comes from Vietnam and GeneXus™ is from Uruguay, a small south-American country with nice beaches. We have that in common with California. And the Wine.

What is your worst characteristic?

If we don’t refrain ourselves, we start getting passionate about our job and start talking about automation, algorithms, database normalization, artificial intelligence and the caveats of traditional development. At that point, we usually start throwing technology acronyms around like DB2, 3NF, 4GL, HTML5, RPG, DBF, IBM, SQL, etc. We’re trying really hard to avoid that behavior on this FAQ.

Great, but what happens with my current -working!- systems?

Simple! Integrate what you already have and works, continue using what you want, drop what you don’t like and create what’s missing. With GeneXus™ you have both the choice and the possibility.

If it’s that good, why don’t everybody use it already?

In the world of Business, there are only two ways of growing: With external money (Investments) or internal money (re-investment). The first one is the fastest way, but you lose control over your own company. The second one is slower, but you remain in control. We love GeneXus™, what it is and what it stands for and we want to control our fate, so we walk the Bootstrapped walk. But don’t worry: it’s a long game, and we’re aiming high.

I’m loving everything i read, how can i try or buy GeneXus™?

You may try GeneXus™ for free for 60 days, downloading our trial. However, we know that the best projects done with GeneXus™ started with a cup of coffee, chatting. So, give us a call or drop us a line. We just love IT and would love to hear what you want to achieve. We know we can help you!