The Plugins/Libraries We Use

We do a lot of projects every year.  Every project is different but we have a core set of third party controls and plugins we use on a regular basis.  Here’s our list.

Monkeybread Software  http://www.monkeybreadsoftware.de/realbasic/

I know a lot of people complain about the Monkeybread plugins but we find them to be most useful.  Time is money and chances are good that if there’s a system declare you might need they’ve already done it.  Plus, they are very responsive to bugs and changes to Real Studio.  They’ve been very proactive in developing Cocoa compatible plugins.

The Chart Director plugin is a wonderful charting tool.  It has a ton of features and is very fast.  We’ve used it on a number of projects now and we’ve been very happy with it.

Automatic Updater Kit:  This set of classes and utilities is must have for Mac and Windows apps.  On Mac OS X it uses Sparkle to do automatic app updates and on Windows you can set it to use an installer file.  We’ve automated this (using IDE scripts) to the point where we only need to run one command line function to finish everything (and that only because we haven’t automated the Inno Setup process yet).  We recently modified the code to do some data file updating as well.

Einhugur  http://www.einhugur.com/index.html

We use much of this suite as well.  Real Studio does not ship with Date and Time or Calendar controls.  The Einhugur set comes with nice versions of those as well as a wicked fast TreeView and StyleGrid controls.  They have a number of other libraries and controls that are very useful including their E-CryptIt plugin that offers many encryption, encoding and hashing techniques.  Einhugur has also been very proactive in developing Cocoa compatible plugins.

Formatted Text Control  http://www.truenorthsoftware.com/formattedtextcontrol/

If your app needs true RTF file support or need inline graphics then this is a must have tool for you.  This is a set of pure RB classes (unencrypted) so you can dig into the guts and make your own modifications (or fix a bug or two as we’ve done over the years).  This is good code to learn from as well.  They recently added masking which is a nice replacement for the crappy masking that Real Studio provides with the TextField control.

RSReport  http://www.rothsoft.ch/realbasic/rsreport/

If you need anything other than basic (and I mean REALLY basic) reporting the built-in reporting tool isn’t all that impressive.  We’ve moved almost everything over to RSReport.  It’s great because you control everything.  It’s awful because you control everything.  Reports take a little longer to design and get running but the drop-in report viewer and the export to PDF capabilities more than make up for it.  They do have a Report Designer component but I’ve never gotten it to work well in my own projects so I’ve not used it.  Their lack of support is a little disconcerting but so far I’ve been happy with it to take the risk.

eSellerate  http://www.esellerate.net/

We use the eSellerate plugin for our own products.  It handles licensing and registration and though they take a cut off the purchase they’ve been fairly proactive in updating their service over the years.  Their RB plugin has NOT been updated for Cocoa so we really have no idea what we’ll use if they don’t update it.

What are you using a lot that’s not in our list?

11 thoughts on “The Plugins/Libraries We Use

  1. The only one I would add to the list that I use on a regular basis is FGSourceList from Figa Software.

  2. @scott
    We’ve used the previous version of FGSourceList a few times but not recently.

    It’s funny how some controls get used a LOT for a while and then you don’t use them for a while.

  3. I know a lot of people use the DynaPDF classes from MBS. I think we’ve used them in one project in all of our consulting. Of course, since RSReport exports to PDF without any other classes we’ve not had a need. Someday maybe…..

  4. I like Jeremie Leroy’s controls, especially the UI ones. Very reasonably priced and I haven’t had any problems with them yet. The ribbon control is really fun to play with, but I haven’t made the decision to work it into my interface. Here is his link for those that have not seen his stuff before:

    http://www.jeremieleroy.com/

    -Merv

  5. I’d like to second Merv’s recommend the toolstrip is an excellent well conceived and executed control.

  6. Good round up of the most common plugins! thanks.

    I’ve only used the Einhugur ones, nearly every project includes the treeview or taskbar and splitter, the date and stylegrid controls to a lesser extent. The Monkeybread charting looks great though i’m using Flash charting controls (Openflashchart) as a workaround in a current project and seems to be sufficient for minimal charting.

  7. A few more that others may not have heard about. This is not an endorsement of any of them, but I turned the web upside down looking for any RB controls and classes I could find. These are some of the more interesting ones. Some are free, some open source, some you have to pay, but most are very reasonable priced.

    Alex Restrepo (nice tab control)
    http://homepage.mac.com/alexrestrepo/indexmain.html

    Sam Rowlands (some interesting UI stuff)
    http://homepage.mac.com/rowlands/realbasic/

    Roger Meier (data plot classes)
    http://opensource.the-meiers.org/

    Navicat, my Favorite SQL editor
    http://navicat.com/

    Best (and I use that term very loosely) VB-to-RB converter:
    http://www.pismotek.com/downloads.php

    And I’ll echo what Bob said on the Style Grid. Unlike VB which has many quality grids to choose from the Einhugur StyleGrid is a very capable and fast grid control.

  8. We’ve had some conversations going with eSellerate and they do have “plans to release a Cocoa compatible plugin for Realbasic.” But no idea on when it will be released.

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