Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Leveling the playing field

Anyone reading this blog knows that one of the most valuable features of Real Studio is its ability to create cross-platform applications. So it goes without saying that the more level the desktop OS playing field is, the more important cross-platform becomes. As the Mac market share has increased, we get more and more Windows developers coming to Real Studio because their customers want them to support the Mac.

Last week, research firm Gartner released a report on PC shipments for the fourth quarter of 2011. It showed that while all the major Windows PC makers saw a drop in market share, the market share for the Mac increased substantially. And this week, the Wall Street Journal reported that big companies like GE are allowing employees to choose the Mac as the computer they will use at work.

As the market share for the Mac increases, the OS playing field becomes more level and that's great for cross-platform software. It's good news for those of you that create cross-platform, commercial software with Real Studio and it's great for us. In the ideal world, the market share for the three major desktop OSs would be split evenly. But anything that makes it more even is a good thing.


Bob Keeney said...

My Real Studio consulting business has never been busier. A few years ago most clients felt that Mac support was nice to have. Today, however, most clients feel that Mac support is critical to their app. My, how times change.

olivier said...

I think instead that the traditionnal cross-platform is not the better option for the future.

The cross-platform is the web application. Other applications will be closely linked to the platform (like IOS).

I think realsoftware should focus on the web edition. A small business can not do too many things at once.

There are many great new software development that will be published soon. Realsowftware should not disperse, the web edition is the future and it's a good product :-) But there are still many things to improve.

Bob Boice said...

I tend to agree with Olivier. The future of cross-platform is still the web (at least for business apps). The past several years I've been converting traditional desktop apps into web apps in order to reach all platforms that are equipped with a browser. Cloud and Web is what I hear frequently from CEOs.

olivier said...

@Bob. Yes, a few months ago, I was excited that RB can build IOS applications. Today too, I'll be happy to see how RB works on IOS, for fun, but I know now that for professional applications, I will use only WE. it works very well on ipad :-)

RealSoftware'target is small business. Realsoftware is also a small business. We can not waste time in several technologies. You have to be very good in one area, rather than average in many.

I love the Web Edition. But there is not enough advanced integration with a database. We lose a lot of time in database error checks. As a result : The code is not easily readable, it's ugly. It is difficult to link a lot of data to a listbox. This is a problem for professional applications. We must learn from products such as Wakanda, which are well integrated database and web server. This is the key to the rapid development of business applications. Web Edition is a great product, we must continue to improve. :-)

Arthur said...

Just in case the folks at Real Software (RS) are reading this, I have to respectfully disagree with folks suggesting that Real Software

should turn its focus away from cross platform development and focus on web frameworks. Frankly, I would suggest the opposite.

I do agree that smaller companies need to stay focused, but RS has done a superb job of simpliying cross platform development. There are

few if ANY other vendors who have a rapid development environment that EASILY cross compiles between OS and hardware architectures. In

contrast, virtually every vendor on the planet is trying to push some web framework or another.

I do agree with you folks who say that the web/internet is the cross-platform infrastructure, but I challenge you to think broaden your


RB in its non-web form can be very powerful tool for implementing web application components. Daemons and web services jump to mind here.

Our company has been successfully writing service applications (both REST and background queues) that get written ONCE and are easily

deployed to both Win(x) and Linux based server environments.

These services can be consumed by web applications (PHP, HTML, FLASH, etc.), Smart phones, or standard exe(s). If you stop thinking of web

applications as web pages there is a HUGE advantage to putting your core logic in binary services that can easily be consumed and cannot

be easily exposed.

Extending the RB model to support ARM devices opens an even more interesting model. Low cost devices based on technologies like the

raspberrrypi (raspberrrypi.org) ARM model make it possible for SMALL companies, with limited capital to produce low cost appliances. A

small company in low volume could produce an ARM device running a custom application for literally around $50 per unit. Deployment means

shipping a device the size of your wallet that runs on USB power (5VDC) and doesn't require resolving platform conflicts in the OS or

existing machine configurations. Even as a small enterprise, there is money to be made here!

My 2 cents.


Jeremy said...

I agree with Arthur. Web Edition is a great thing, but it is no replacement for a cross platform GUI language such as Real Studio provides. Keep up the work on Web Edition, but do not neglect the GUI side of things. Both are essential.

Steve Cholerton said...

I agree RS should concentrate their efforts, but on what they do best, ie: Cross Platform Development - leave the web stuff to others - there are many many options for web frameworks.

Despite everyone saying that web apps are the future, the one true way - the holy grail, we all witnessed the exact opposite with the iPhone, when originally launched it only ran web apps and nobody was over impressed. Native apps and the app store made the iPhone what it is today and made the iPad possible.

I personally think web apps are fine, but I prefer native apps and am certainly finding enough customers agree with me to keep my business healthy. Not everybody is convinced that web apps in their current incarnation will totally replace native applications. Many people choose my CRM solution, ContaxCRM, primarily because it *isn't* a web app.