Friday, June 8, 2012

My Thoughts on Real World 2012

A program is a program is a program, so what is there to be excited about in Real Studio in the future?

The 2012 Real World conference opened with a keynote by Geoff Perlman. It was enlightening and thought provoking. From the outset his vision for the platform and his drive and enthusiasm to succeed was self-evident and matched only by the whole Real Studio team in their commitment to deliver.
In restricting myself to my top 5 things learned at the conference there is the danger of marginalising other equally deserving topics. That said, I am sure that others will pick up on them.
1. Free IDE
High on my list is the proposed free download of the revitalised IDE. This is an innovating and bold step. It will enable people to fully play/learn (but not deploy) the product. It has the potential to draw young and old into the programming world.
2. New Pricing
Along with the free IDE, the new pricing model was introduced. Gone are the Personal, Professional and Enterprise editions. Out, is the perennial question of what don’t I get if I have the Professional instead of Enterprise edition?  In, is what I want to build is what I buy.  
3. Hosting for Real Studio web apps
As the new boy on the Real Studio block, Web edition attracted a lot of attention. Even from its limited beginnings, Web edition has always shown promise. One of the drawbacks were the deployment methods available to the developer. Real Software's new 1-click hosting option, with the ability to be able to pick geographical locations for the server, is pioneering, and if costs are pegged back, will be attractive to users.
4. Custom User Controls
Real Studio 2012R1 and 2012R2 releases will see the introduction of a canvas control for the Web edition and the ability of the user to further enhance the product by the creation of custom ‘User Controls’.  In the beginning, user controls will be limited in ability (wrapping other web controls). An exciting offshoot to this is the possibility of the creation of a Real Studio App Store where cheap and safe third party controls can be bought and sold. When the User Control ability is released I hope that it will come with comprehensive set of training notes and a sample set of usable controls (such as the calendar control built by Greg O’Lone).
5. The Community
The conference closed with a question and answer session with all of the Real Studio engineers answering question from the attendees. Being able to put a face to the person at the other end of the e-mail is worth its weight in gold.
While a lot of work has been done, there remains a lot to do.
PS. While the conference was held in Orlando, near Disney World, I don’t think Greg O’Lone should contemplate a second career as one of Snow White's little helpers.

Bill Kearney lives in the UK and has been developing with Real Studio for over 3 years. He is a self employed contractor working on Departure Control Systems with a speciality in aircraft weights and limitations. This was his first Real World Conference.


Ex-Deep-Riverite said...
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Ex-Deep-Riverite said...

To your list I'd add two things:

1) iOS demo and announcement that an experienced Rb developer, Joe Strout, is leading the development effort.

2) The one-click web-app deployment means that small shops, for a reasonable fee, have one less responsibility.