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The AppWare Developers Association (AWDA)

Articles and Tips: article

Research Engineer
Systems Research Department

01 May 1994

Founded in October, 1993 by former members of the Serius Users Group, the AppWare Developers Association fosters support of AppWare development in several ways. These include seminars, reports, tests, and monthly meetings. Membership in the Association is open to the public, and the annual membership fee is $20.00. Benefits include a bi-monthly newsletter, prominent guest speakers, and programming tips from fellow developers.


Founded in 1993, the AppWare Developers Association (AWDA) supports AppWare users and fosters interest in AppWare through training programs, publications, cooperative testing, and monthly meetings.

This DevNote discusses the following:

  • History of Serius Users Group and AWDA

  • Purpose of the Association

  • Benefits of membership

  • Information on joining the AWDA


Former members of the Serius Users Group formed the AppWare Developers Association in October 1993. Novell acquired Serius Corporation in June of 1993, along with another company, Software Transformation , Inc. (STI). The two soon became the AppWare Systems Group for Novell Inc.

The founding member of the Serius Users Group, later named AppWare Developers Association, is Eric Weidl. Eric is a graduate of the University of Chicago with a background in programming. He has been programming for over ten years (starting with Basic programming on a VAX system in high school). He worked in the University's computing center as a programmer/analyst and created educational applications. The University had been searching for a rapid application builder, but were unhappy with the current Windows and Mac offerings. In May of 1992, Eric was first introduced to Serius Developer Pro; four weeks later he delivered an application to the University. This past January he left the University of Chicago and joined a development company using AppWare to develop applications. He has written several AppWare Loadable Modules (ALMs) and shareware applications and enjoys ALM development.

After Novell acquired Serius and STI, the Serius Users Group was concerned about how the acquisition would affect Serius products. The Association adopted a wait-and-see attitude and watched for positive signs. After the first couple of months the Users Group could see that Novell had a enterprise vision for the two companies' technologies. In September of 1993, Al Rose, former regional sales manager for Serius, visited the group. He was quite interested in their activities and presented information on AppWare architecture to Eric Weidl and co-workers at the University of Chicago. After the presentation Eric was invited to Dallas NetWorld and BrainShare, where he related his experience with Serius Workshop (later renamed Visual AppBuilder). Eric was able to speak directly to the architects of AppWare-Joe Firmage, Ed Firmage, and Kevin Mooney-and discuss their plans for the future.

After Eric's experience at the conference he was confident that AppWare was a viable initiative and that Novell was the right company to work with. The group was excited with the information Eric reported from Brainshare at the next monthly meeting.

Purpose of the AWDA

The AWDA was founded in Chicago, which continues to be the location for monthly meetings. Eric wanted the AppWare Developers Association to have a role in future AppWare direction and to provide an information network.

The purpose of the group to discuss programming issues, share ideas, and offer advice for users of both the Macintosh and Windows development tools. The Association has grown considerably in size since its formation.

The AWDA uses the term "Developer" to refer to anyone who develops courses around AppWare, promotes the growth of AppWare, or develops business from or around AppWare. The common interest of the Association is application development, and members intend to also test and discuss such tools as Visual Basic and PowerBuilder.

Association Charter

The charter of the AppWare Developers Association is to support AppWare developers and foster interest in AppWare through the following means:

  • Training and education of members

  • Studies and reports on AppWare

  • Cooperative development and testing

  • Analysis and promotion of sound AppWare programming practices and methods

  • Promotional activities

  • Dissemination of AppWare information

  • Presenting the views of the members to other organizations

  • Enhancing the progress of the association

Membership Information

Chapters are forming in other cities around the country. For information about a chapter in your city, or for information on starting a chapter, contact the AppWare Developers Association, P.O. Box 1281, St. Charles, IL 60174, phone (708) 584-8696.

Membership in the Association is open to the public. The annual membership fee is currently $20.00. Benefits include the following:

  • Bi-monthly newsletter, which includes programming tips

  • A listing of sources for information about AppWare

  • Snippets from the Internet service

  • Guest columnists, tutorials, flyers, and a T-shirt

The Association meets on the first Wednesday of each month in Chicago. The Chicago chapter regularly invites outside speakers. Joe Firmage, vice president of the AppWare Systems Group, and Kevin Mooney, senior development manager, both gave presentations at the February meeting.

To subscribe to the AWDA via the Internet, send a message using the form "subscribe appware-info" to "" You may also send any administrative questions or comments to ""

* Originally published in Novell AppNotes


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