Surround's Winning Solution

Challenge Accepted and, well, crushed! Surround's Modernization Superheroes took on the Common UI Modernization Challenge in winning fashion, crushing what the other vendors had to offer.

If you weren't able to attend Common or catch our session, we provided a Webinar the following week with what we presented. Register below to watch the recording.

Following the Rules

Surround stayed well within the challenge rules. We did not need to change any of the underlying programs at all. We did not even have to create any underlying program structure, services programs, or business logic before the session. In fact, besides review and understand the system, the only development prep we did prior to the session was the following:

  1. Created Company and App Logo’s – This wasn't part of the requirements, but it was a simple undertaking for our graphic designer.
  2. Created an Image Table – A simple Table to store the image paths for both the customer and product images.
  3. Found images for Products and Customers – By far, the most time-consuming part of the prep work.
  4. Built an Open Generation Technology, OGT, Plug-in –This is a small program that works with the Accelerator Generation Wizard information to generate the applications with special rules for that specific database and system. It took an hour to develop for this challenge and included rules such as:
    • Removed keywords from the file description to get a meaningful module name.
    • Converted all column/field descriptions, which were mostly all uppercase, to use Title Case.
    • Added module relationships.
    • Added joins to the image file based on module relationships.
    • Added virtual fields that concatenated any names or addresses.
    • Added a column rule to recognize date fields and use DateTime data type and date picker visualization.
    • Added column rules to recognize and set visualization, formatting and validation for Currency, Phone Numbers, Email, Checkboxes, Radio Buttons, etc.
    • Set what fields to include in Searching, Data Grid Display, Detail Display, etc.
    • Create additional Accelerator Views based on file fields (Accelerator Views allow an end user to select a preset sort and column arrangement).

    Derek discussed more about the OGT in the presentation. Have a look at the presentation recording.

While the requirements stated, "You may create your underlying program structure, service programs, and business logic prior to the session" and it appeared that a number of the vendors did have some pre-cooked stuff ready to go, Surround did ALL the development in about 15 minutes during the session right in front of the attendees. No smoke and mirrors here. Have a look at the presentation recording to see for yourself.

Meeting the Requirements

Watch the videos and run the demos below to see for yourself. Every one of the requirements were met and a whole lot more.

Original Green Screen App

<< Video Coming Soon >>

Responsive Web App

<< Video Coming Soon >>

Native Windows App

Run the deployed system for yourself!

We deployed the system for you to try yourself. Keep in mind we did NOT do any additional development. The 15 minutes of development you see in the presentation is all we did for both these apps.

Responsive Web App

Be sure to give it a go on your desktop, tablet, and mobile devices.

Create an Account and try it out.

Native Windows App

You will need to create an account through the Web version first.

Download, Install, and try it out

By the way, if you want to check out the end results of other systems generated in similar fashion, have a look at our Accelerator Demonstrations page

Surround's Solution was a Clear Standout

The challenge was to just create a modern UI with a few basic features. We went way beyond just that and created fully-functioning, robust applications for Windows, Web and Mobile complete with the supporting Web Services and a service-oriented, modular, n-tier architecture

Below are some of the key differences with our solution when compared to others:

  • NOT just the UX: While the modernization challenge was focused on just UX and that is all most vendors worked with, that was just a small piece for Surround.
  • Rewritten application with new architecture: We delivered a brand new re-written modern application with an n-tiered, service-oriented, loosely couple, modular architecture. Read more about our robust architecture.
  • Web Services: The application generated incorporates a full service-oriented architecture with a complete set of web services for the entire application
  • Both Desktop Style Responsive Web App and a Native Windows App: There were actually 2 applications generated. A fully responsive desktop-style web application that is highly productive from the largest desktop to the smallest of smart phones and a Native Windows application.
  • Mobile Ready: The Responsive Web App works great on any mobile device with a web browser.
  • Productive UX Design: The User Experience (UX) design utilized in the application is proven and well-tested to be highly productive on any size device.
  • Multilingual Support - The application was built with full multilingual support. We even added a few languages to demonstrate this.
  • Built-in Security: Security is built in from the ground up providing everything form perimeter level access down to the field level and the smallest of controls.
  • No additional Technical Debt: This is brand new software that is well architected. It adds zero technical debt to your overall solution and can be used to effectively write off the technical debt from the sins of the past.
  • Easy to Maintain and Evolve The foundational software is framework-based generated code making future changes significantly easier and not reliant on the original developer.
  • No Proprietary Technologies: We do not have our own language or use our own IDE. The code generated is .NET and you get every bit of it.
  • No Technology Lock-in: You will never ever be beholden to us. With our solution, you get ALL the code and can develop the systems further forever. We do pack an awful lot of new functionality into our releases though, so you may want to stay on that maintenance subscription. Just sayin'.
  • No Limitations: Since there are no proprietary technologies and no technology lock-in, there are no limitations. If you can do it in .NET, you can do it in Accelerator.

So how long did it all take?

So please think about how much was delivered. Perhaps go back and review the results section again. Then take in the level of effort involved:

  • OGT Plugin – 1 hour
  • Generation – 15 min. We did it during the presentation.
  • Language Translations using Google Translate – 1 hour
  • Deployment of the application – 30 min
  • This CMS based Website – 4 hours


Besides the fact that we crushed it with a clear stand-out winning solution, the Common UI Challenge was an excellent opportunity for attendees to see a comparison of the tools in a more apples-to-apples environment. All of the attendees we spoke to said it was invaluable. Some attended Common just for it. Many of them wished they could see some of them again or that others from their company were there to see them. And, many others were disappointed they had to miss some of them for other sessions.

We heard that and it's why we created this site. Have a look at the Common UI Modernization Challenge Accepted! Second Chance Session Webinar Recording

Also, If you would like to challenge us yourself, submit the form on the home page of this site, send an email to or call us at +1 (239) 405-8427.

And, of course, you can give Accelerator a test drive yourself with our Accelerator Trial. Go now, don't wait!

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About this Website

This website was part of Surround's Winning Solution and was built in a few hours using the Accelerator CMS. CloudServices 24x7 is a fictional company. You can read more about it at We have also included content from that site under Original Site Pages as well. Special thanks to Jim Buck and WMCPA for first doing this challenge and providing it to Common to replicate.