MonkeyBread Software Sale and Raffle Quiz

I know a lot of Real Studio developers use the Monkeybread Software plugins.  We use many of the plugins in our projects and consider them to be part of our standard toolbox.  We use the regular plugins, Chart Director, CURL and depending upon the project the DynaPDF plugin.  We also use the Auto Update toolkit.

The DynaPDF plugin is very powerful and lets you create PDF’s and in the Pro Edition lets you display PDF’s in your Real Studio application.  The plugin is pricey but will worth if if you need it.  Here’s a way to save some cash.  From now until December 24th all DynaPDF plugins are 15% off.  More info on the DynaPDF plugin at http://www.monkeybreadsoftware.de/realbasic/plugin-dynapdf.shtml

Monkeybread is also having a raffle this week where you can win one of ten prizes:

  • A MBS Real Studio DynaPDF Lite license (retail price $669)
  • A MBS Real Studio DynaPDF Starter license (retail price $219)
  • One 30% discount coupon for next order from Real Software.
  • One 20% discount coupon for next order from Real Software.
  • Six Real Studio Developer Magazines coupons for three free issues.

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?

Annoying Plugin Cache Bug

I’ve been having issues recently with Real Studio recompiling my plugin cache frequently.  For those of you not familiar with Real Studio plugins, the IDE will create cache files for all the plugins so it doesn’t have to do this every time it does a build.  If you change plugins, or update them, it rebuilds the cache.

If you don’t use plugins it’s no big deal but we have quite a few plugins.  We use the Monkeybread Software plugins, Einhugur controls, eSellerate, and even our plugins that we’ve created for own use and for various client projects.  Based on configuration I sort of expect a certain level of pain for recreating the plugin cache.

One has to wonder why there’s not a more elegant solution built-in to Real Studio to manage plugins other than moving them in and out of a certain directory and restarting.  And that doesn’t even begin to address version issue with projects that are a few years old.

If you are having the same problem, you can sign on to the Feedback report:  <feedback://showreport?report_id=16431>.  This is currently ranked 54th in the Feedback System.

I’m not entirely sure what the mechanism is that Real Studio uses to determine if a plugin has changed.  Has that changed recently?  Or could the problem be the Monkeybread plugin since that seems to be a common plugin?  Maybe a combination of both?  Regardless, it would be nice to shine some light on this particular bug so it can be fixed because even with a fast machine it can become very tiresome quickly.

Are you experiencing the same thing?