For me as a developer," says Peter van Mil of Appvantage b.v., DataFlex 18.1 is an evolution and it is a revolution -- that is, enhanced connectivity and the new mobile framework.
Peter has built an application for a large real estate agent. It is a commercial project, and he has also used it as an internal showcase application for demonstrating the possibilities with the new SQL connectivity and Data Dictionary improvements delivered in DataFlex 2015/18.1.
The Property Matcher (Woning Matcher) is a backend tool for real estate agents (vs. consumers) to search for a house based on the criteria of a candidate buyer, or they can search for candidates based on their own house listings:
Nowadays Microsoft SQL Server is the database of choice for most DataFlex developers. I love the support for native SQL datatypes in the new DataFlex 2015 Studio. Now with DataFlexs new Table Explorer, you dont need to use the SQL Server Management Studio to define tables and datatypes like varchar, int and bit. From within the DataFlex 2015/18.1 Studio, I defined the tables in Microsoft SQL Server 2014 Express, have primary keys and clustered indexes, and used the native datatypes. The support for SQL filters in the Data Dictionaries was first available in DataFlex 18.0, and now I can use them for real with the latest 18.1 revision!"
Studio Table Explorer showing datatypes in use:
Peter notes that with the new mobile extensions in the DataFlex Framework, developers can build really distinctive applications.
"Most developers are very enthusiastic about it, although some developers would like to see native mobile apps. An article in the Dutch version of Computerworld opened my eyes -- it stated that native apps (for business applications) will disappear in two years. In that case DataFlex is very well positioned. True or not, I wanted to have my own demo app as soon as possible."
Peter spent "a weekend" developing a mobile app for the members of his local business club (Vereniging Maaslandse Ondernemers) consisting of a member list with real data on all members.
"I focused on deployment and within a few days I could show my VMO Mobiel app (Dutch language) on my HTC One and iPad. I really wanted a good looking icon on the home screen of the iPad, and this is much easier to implement than expected."
Peter adds that he recently joined the development team of Promedico ICT, a supplier of complete information systems for general practitioners, and hes very pleased to say that Promedico wants to optimize their software for SQL Server and that they "cant wait to start with DataFlex 18.1!"
VMO Application Screenshots (click for full-size images)
VMO Mobiel app icon on iPad homescreen: