FileMaker Pro -> RunRev

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FileMaker Pro -> RunRev

Post by SpinningCompass » Fri Oct 10, 2008 9:40 am

I am looking for information on porting a FileMaker Pro 6.5 application to Runtime Revolution. I have a few concerns that I would like to discuss with people who have been using RunRev for a while, especially those who have used FMPro at some point.

Two years ago, I wrote a FMPro database/app in about a month. It is still going strong but I need to port it from my Mac to run on PCs too. I also need to build a standalone executable, something which RunRev can achieve whereas my copy of FMPro cannot.

I tried to port my program to Java but I ended up spending almost a year learning the language, APIs, the NetBeans development platform etc., and it's just too complex for me. Java appears to be an order of magnitude more complex than FMPro when it comes to RAD.

OpenOffice would do, except that it is not stable enough for my needs, especially on the Mac.

I really hope RunRev is closer to FMPro in terms of complexity for the moderately experienced programmer. I am still in two minds about it (Java v. RunRev) but I am willing to sacrifice bells and whistles on the altar of maintainability. Java seems to me to be one big mess.

1. Have users (esp. FMPro users or former users) found RunRev to be able to meet almost all the needs that were met by FMPro?

2. Have users found RunRev to be limited by its scripting/programming language in ways that Java was not, such as import/export of data or the manipulation of databases?

3. Have users regretted choosing RunRev instead of Java, with particular regard to the inevitable trade-off between a platform's learning curve and the functionality it affords the developer?

The cross-platform nature of RunRev is what I find so appealing. I think I just want reassurance that it won't be an unstable toy (like OpenOffice) or a word salad scripting language with a behemoth IDE (like Java with NetBeans).

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Post by Janschenkel » Fri Oct 10, 2008 12:57 pm

Well, as I use both Java and Revolution, I would say that Revolution has a far smaller learning curve and you'll generally churn out the same product more quickly than with Java.
However, Java has the edge in 'business application' features: more database drivers, connectivity with message queues, and more options for controls like tables and treeviews.
But as you noted, Java comes at the cost of considerable complexity. Often, what is just a single line of Revolution code corresponds to 400 lines of Java code calling into various objects to do the exact same thing.
In the end, it's about productivity, and there are plenty of areas where Revolution beats the pants off its competitors. And then there are areas where you'll have to take some time to roll your own solution - people have built their own table and treeview controls for instance.
You'll probably want to learn a little more about FMPro Migrator - which recently added the ability to convert your FileMaker Pro layouts to Revolution stacks:

I hope this helped,

Jan Schenkel.
Quartam Reports & PDF Library for LiveCode

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