5 Valuable Developer Takeaways from Relativity Fest 2019
I have attended every Relativity Fest to-date – albeit as a rogue party crasher in the early years. (Shhh… Secrets). I’ve also kept my perfect attendance at the Developer Summit, which was bigger than ever this year and not held in the basement! :)
This year I was able to attend more sessions than ever, and I co-hosted my first lecture-based session as well. (That was a lot of fun in case anyone is considering doing it next year.) As an organization, Milyli brought more team members than ever to ensure we could meet up with customers, but also to soak up as much eDiscovery insights as Fest had to offer.
Here's a selection of developer-centric takeaways from our team for which I’ve provided some additional insights and context.
Relativity Fest Developer Takeaway No.1
"It is exciting to see Relativity talk about focusing on their API culture. It should make developing customizations on top of their platform even easier going forward."
Katherine Bargar, Technical Lead
Jed Cassinelli: For the last couple of years, Relativity’s push has been on to fill out the API surface, which is fantastic! Milyli's been working with the APIs since the prerelease of RSAPI for Relativity 6.0. While there are always more things the developer community will want, the set of tools available has never been better. Now is the perfect time to dive into the API materials and prepare for the new functionality.
Relativity Fest Developer Takeaway No.2
"There seems to be a shift towards the modern material UI, and a move towards what ways Relativity will allow developers to customize it."
Tim Randall, Director of Product Development
"I'm excited to see how the new UI comes into production – particularly as RelativityOne expands globally. A larger, more diverse user base will introduce a lot of new needs for the developer community to explore."
Trent Brouillette, PM Manager
JC: New UIs – whether in Relativity or anywhere else – are an exciting and often polarizing change. That said, most people seem excited about this new direction in function and form. For Relativity developers, this shift will likely mean some impact to more complicated applications, but if you’re already using the new Forms pages, the impact should be minimal.
Relativity Fest Developer Takeaway No.3
"We did a lot of on-site solutioning with customers. One of the big topics was how to maintain both an on-prem and RelativityOne instance. It's a complicated conversation, but those always lead to the most exciting opportunities."
Marko Iwanik, Technical Project Manager
JC: There are more and more organizations that run a hybrid set of Relativity instances for a number of reasons – for example, a client's preference or geographical location, or an internal strategic or operational decision. International deployments in particular often require a hybrid approach.
The news coming out of Fest that might affect these customers the most is the change to Relativity Server’s release frequency to once a year. Moving forward, it will be even more critical that owners of on-prem and RelativityOne stay aware of the differences between the two versions of the software. It can be a challenge to decide what functionality to backport versus keeping only in the latest versions. Definitely keep an eye out for ways to take advantage of Relativity’s API versioning when possible to help with backwards compatibility.
Relativity Fest Developer Takeaway No.4
"I'm looking forward to seeing how the new Automated Workflows frameworks are leveraged for new workflows in custom applications. This has the potential to make the automation of complex, custom processes more affordable and flexible."
Joseph Low, Product Manager
JC: This Relativity Fest announcement is exciting not only because we've been solving this problem with clients for the last couple of years, but automation is one of the most reliable ways to improve almost everything about your tools. Automating even short-but-tedious processes or putting fresh user experiences in place to keep users engaged can provide the value that keeps clients happy long-term.
Given their push to support functionality in the UI with APIs, there’s a great opportunity to take this framework and tie it into processes that nobody else has considered automating yet.
Relativity Fest Developer Takeaway No.5
"It was awesome being able to interact with the team responsible for the upcoming viewer changes. I enjoyed seeing how we can leverage a lot of that work to add additional functionality to Blackout."
Jacob Malliet, Technical Lead
JC: We've been building on the viewer for the better part of the decade, and big changes like this are always exciting because they open the door to new functionality for us and all the other people who have applications for Relativity… or who want to. The real bottomline is that any push towards more APIs will make it easier for anyone to “Make It Like You Like It.”
There was a ton more to take from Relativity Fest 2019, but these developer-centric topics really captured our attention. I hope they will guide you towards where to look for your next big development project or excite you about what type of Relativity topics to keep your ears open for over the next year.