4 days / 20 talks
Awesome and great speakers

November 3-8

Alex Clay

Alex Clay is the CEO of Suran Systems, Inc. an ISV who creates data management software solutions serving the faith-based and nonprofit markets.

A second-generation Omnis developer, Alex started coding with Omnis Studio in 2000 and ported Suran’s existing Omnis 7-based software to Omnis Studio. In 2006 Alex was promoted to Software Development Manager and began expanding Suran’s development team, including hiring and training numerous recent graduates on Omnis development.

In 2009 Alex introduced Agile software management and test-driven development to Suran. He developed the OmnisTAP unit-testing framework for Omnis Studio and lead Suran’s development team through a transformation into the world of sprints, test harnesses, continuous integration, and clean code.

In 2019 Alex was appointed CEO of Suran Systems. While the day-to-day development of Suran is handled by the development team, Alex remains connected to Suran’s products through decades of product knowledge and client experience. Alex’s current focus for Suran is growth through consolidating and improving products and services, and expanding into new partnerships and business opportunities.

Alex is a member of computer science advisory council at Eastern Kentucky University. He holds a degree in Business Management from the University of Kentucky. Alex was a presenter at the OpenBase 2005 conference, EurOmnis 2017, EurOmnis 2018, the 2018 and 2019 North American Omnis Conferences, and teaches at Suran’s annual user training conference, now in its 23rd season.

Besides Omnis Studio, Alex has developed native iOS apps in Objective-C, extensive back-end logic using PostgreSQL’s stored procedures, web applications using Ruby on Rails, and automation using SaltStack, bash, and numerous other languages and tools.

Alex lives in Lexington, KY, with his wife and 11 year-old daughter. He enjoys the culinary arts, role-playing TTRPGs, and sings semi-professionally at the Episcopal Cathedral in Lexington. He has been fortunate to tour abroad numerous times with his choir and during personal vacations, and his favorite trip abroad was a 17-day visit to Iceland in Summer 2022.

DevOps with Omnis Studio

Using git branching, automated testing and DevOps release management with Omnis Studio applications.

Omnis Studio lets you create amazing solutions for any platform quickly. Since a programmers work is never done; enhancements are inevitable followed by another deployment cycle.

Programming is definitely the fun part. The DevOps approach minimizes the time and effort extensively testing changes and wrapping up your new feature before deploying it to customers. A little effort building your DevOps infrastructure automates your build, testing and deployment phases of the application development lifecycle and gives you back time to focus on your next feature.

Studio’s built in export library to JSON is the key. Git is the ideal companion tool (which is very very widely used in all languages) and provides a distributed code repository (replacing the VCS). It supports feature branching, rollbacks, code compare and identification of who/ made changes and when to specific lines of code in a class or method. If OmnisTAP (automated testing) is implemented as part of the build process, the additional benefit is ongoing regression testing of the impact of your changes. The final stage may be a build to a deployment tool of your choice.

DevOps tools like Jenkins or Gitlab run your scripts incorporating the chosen parts (above). Simply check your code in, and these tools report successful tests, those that failed & why, and, if they all pass, it can build a deployable application or payload to your Omnis server as the need may be.

Whether you’re seasoned using unit testing and continuous delivery with other products or completely new to these concepts, this class is for you. We will cover:

  • Git features
  • Using Git to manage code changes within your team
  • Sharing code on GitHub
  • Introduction to OmnisTAP (automated testing in Omnis Studio)
  • Automating a build
  • Using Jenkins to perform continuous integration and deployment
  • Using the new API’s for Studio 11’s deployment tool to automate more
  • And more!

Most of us already do all these tasks in some form or another. Automation takes best practices to a new level for Omnis Studio and gives you time back!

OmnisTAP In Depth

Add automated testing to new and/or existing code with OmnisTAP for fun and profit.

This session builds upon the Introduction to OmnisTAP (above); by focusing on unit and integration testing, particularly testing of legacy code.

Learn how to update large, “spaghetti code” methods to be unit-testable and how test-driven development helps direct your new code in a clean, quality direction. Bring your current libraries, your questions and we’ll explore the world of testable code. Topics include:

  • Factoring out methods
  • Refactoring code
  • Clean code
  • Mocking in your tests
  • Adding metrics to your test runs
  • Testing for program-wide problems in your app, such as invalid string table references in menu lines

It is recommend that you attend the DevOps session first or that have some prior experience with a testing framework.



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About workshops


You’ll sign up for the session you want to attend on a first-come, first-served basis. Up to 6 participants may attend a session, if full, you can sign up for the same topic at a different time. During the session, the speaker will guide the audience through the main topic but you will be able to ask him/her to deviate and cover related areas. Sometimes participants offer new ideas and solutions to a problem.

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Pursue any question or area not directly related to the core topic. Every speaker hosts at least 4 sessions which means there are about 11 to 12 simultaneous sessions running all the time with an average of 5 or 6 participants

Meet the Speakers

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Flexible conference format means you can choose the best classes for you and at the best time. Some sessions will be repeated, so when you miss one, you can attend the same session later in the day or the week.

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