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Showing posts with label Open Business. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Open Business. Show all posts

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A developer's thoughts on quality development

I got an e-mail this week from one of our customers, Ron Leunis. Ron is the Director of Operations at Open Business, a European consultancy agency.

Earlier this winter, Ron conducted his own survey reviewing application development platforms such as WaveMaker, Morfik, SmartClient, BackBase, TibCo, and WinDev. Essentially, Ron wanted to see if any of these platforms stood up to Alpha Five, which he had been using for a few years.

What he found was that all of these companies promise easy-to-use Web frameworks, but lack the maturity he's found in Alpha Five in terms of ease of use, development, mature SGL databases, connectivity, and full control of the end product.

This is not an official survey. Rather, it's Ron's personal review of the products mentioned. Real reviews from a real developer. As Ron says, "basically when I got frustrated by a certain feature of lack of it, I dumped the product."

Ron sent us his results, because he thought we'd be interested in what Alpha features really are the most important from an average developer's view point. I'm publishing his list here, and have edited it only for simple typos. Just cleaning it up a bit, as it came to us as a quick note in an e-mail. Thanks so much for your feedback, Ron!

1) Connectivity to all the major SQL databases. But not only just connecting, but giving the tools to connect easy without having to download all kinds of drivers stuff. Once the connection string is defined, Alpha gives you instant access to all tables attributes without having to define anything else (unlike WaveMaker).

2) Not only the cloud. You can still develop when on the airplane. You do not need to be connected to the Internet to develop. Just make a copy of your database locally and develop on. Client Server, Local PC, Local Intranet, Extranet, Web, and all together.

3) Hybrid apps. That's one nobody can match with the Web apps possibilities Alpha has.

4) The multi database connect concept. You can connect to more than one database in one Web page. Most can only connect to one database. With Alpha, you can create a page with (linked) grids that connects to local DBF, Oracle DB, or any other SQL, and probably even with a view over several. This opens great possibilities for applications that take their data from multiple data sources. Quite common in big companies where applications come from different vendors. Business Intelligence applications make use of this a lot and sell for about at least 1,000 times as much.

5) Built in reporting. Something Wavemaker is still promising.

6) Userbase and forum responsiveness. Far better forum response then currently any one of the competition. And this includes Oracle JHeadstart forum!

7) Easy conversion to large scale platforms. In Alpha, you can start with DBF database for prototyping, and easily convert to a large scale database platforms later on. Portability is key.

8) Security system out of the box. WaveMaker makes this available only after paying extra. In most other IDEs, like SmartClient, you will have to program it all yourselves.

What matters most to you about a database development platform?

For more insight from Ron, or if you have any questions, you can catch him on the Alpha message board under username rleunis.

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