COM Support

Many of my Windows-only clients are coming from Visual Basic 6 where they’ve invested tens of thousands of dollars in specialized libraries and controls.  And because REALbasic doesn’t fully support COM I have to tell them that the chances of their library or control working in REALbasic is not good.  Forget about ActiveX controls – my luck in getting them to work in RB is almost non-existent.

I know I’ve talked about this specific problem to anyone from Real Software that would listen at the past three Real Worlds.  I can’t be the only one that has this issue.  It is my opinion that this might be the single biggest deterrent to adopting REALbasic if you’re dealing solely with the Windows platform.  It makes it seem that RB is half-baked and awaiting completion.

I can only guess at the reasons for not implementing it so far.  One, they feel it does them no good in gaining new customers.  Two, the effort to implement isn’t easy and resources are scarce.  Three, no one’s asking for it.

I can’t see how having COM support hurts getting new customers.  I maintain not having it loses customers but, whatever, I have no data to back it up.

I feel partially to blame about number three.  In the December 2008 ARBP survey we listed 25 items that RS could work on and when I compiled the list, COM support didn’t make it to the list.  My bad.  I suggest that if you want COM support like I do, send them feedback.  It seems that the more people scream about it the more attention it gets.

Resources ARE scarce at RS after laying off a developer in late 2008.  I know they are working at getting Cocoa support in the first half of 2009 and so far it seems that the release is on-track.  Is COM support waiting for Cocoa support to be finished?

Am I missing another reason?  Do you think COM support is necessary and needed?  Does it hurt RB by not fully supporting COM?  Does anyone care?