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Care Data Systems and DataFlex


Care Data Systems’ donorflex software application, recently awarded as “Britain’s Best Charity CRM Database Supplier” for a second time in three years by the United Kingdom Institute of Fundraising, is used by the not-for-profit sector in the UK as a fundraising and CRM tool. It is currently a Windows-only product written in DataFlex 18.0.

The company’s lead developer, Peter Bragg, says that the development team is currently working on the next version of donorflex, which will include a brand new look and feel, so their starting point is from as much a blank sheet of paper as it is from the current incarnation of the application.

“With that in mind,” says Peter, “although we are working with DataFlex 2015/18.1, we are re-writing the core product from the ground up so, for example, we have not “simply” taken our current product and migrated/re-compiled it using DataFlex 18.1. We have started to use the new DataFlex mobile framework and have been able to, in a very short period of time, create a mobile fundraiser application to demonstrate internally to colleagues, as well as at our annual regional user group meetings throughout the U.K.”

Peter notes the challenges faced when revising an application that has been evolving for 20 years: in all that time it has seen many different developers, none of whom have ever had to worry about anything other than the software being deployed on Windows.

“As a result, our core data dictionary classes contained Windows dependencies that made compiling them into the mobile framework, shall we say, challenging... None the less, I was able to remove these dependencies in under a day – such is the power and speed of DataFlex!”

“The new DataFlex mobile framework is just fantastic. The fact that I could take our existing application of over 20 years Windows-only development and within less than a day be demonstrating how key data from that application could be brought up on a mobile device and amended as necessary is testament to just what a fantastic tool DataFlex 2015/18.1 really is.”

Peter notes that he doesn’t “really have any major HTML or Javascript skills, which makes the very fact that I was able to achieve what I did using nothing but DataFlex all the more impressive.”

“Time is money and the new mobile framework is going to save me heaps! The timing is perfect too. Just at a time when my clients are looking to extend the reach of our application to staff members in the field, along comes DataFlex 2015 with all the tools I need to be able to deliver the required functionality, at pace and all wrapped into a modern, clean looking mobile application. I really couldn’t ask for more.”

donorflex application screenshot (click for full-size image):