The very first product in the Commercial Software category is called ProvideX. Here’s the description: “Multiplatform programming environment for Windows, OS X, Linux, FreeBSD and others.” My curiosity was peeked so I clicked on the link.
The product is owned by Sage Software which does a ton of accounting and business software. My decade old experience with Sage products was that they are expensive products and try to do everything for everybody. I was not impressed with their GUI for MAS-90 (their accounting package) but I’ll cut them some slack since it was ten years ago!
Anyway, ProvideX is a development environment. Here’s the description from their home page:
ProvideX from Sage Software is more than the perfect blend of powerful, intuitive, and versatile software tools.
In reality, it provides a one-stop development environment. Your customers need platform independence, data integration, connectivity, tools and strategies for adapting to new-breed technologies – with ProvideX, you are ready to take your applications to the next level.
Sounds a little like REALbasic, no?
Take a look a their online reference. I’d really like to have something like that for RB (user comments would be great but that’s an argument for a different day).
I like the way their site is laid out. Sure, they have a lot of products and services, but it looks professional. They have a lot to tell you. (Does that mean it looks busy? I dunno) In contrast, RB’s site is smaller and doesn’t appear to say as much. I’m not bashing the RB website, it just doesn’t look like a business site in my opinion. And I guess if you’re doing more for programmers that’s okay.
ProvideX is not in the same class as RB in my opinion. It’s an interpreted language which they claim is a plus (“you can create and debug your code on the fly”). It is also not as cross-platform friendly as RB though it comes close. ProvideX’s Mac OS X support is limited and doesn’t support ODBC or MySQL which kills it for most of the projects I do for my clients. They also have a lot of add-ons that appears to be a mixed bag of things that RB provides or is available through 3rd parties. Each add-on requires licenses and each adds to the price of the product.
I couldn’t find any screenshots of ProvideX on their website so I have no idea on how good or bad their UI is. I’ll give RS some credit the RB website has some nice movies of RB in action.
Now for the real deal breaker, nowhere on the ProvideX website do they mention pricing and it appears that you have to go through a Value Added Reseller to purchase. My guess is that if you have to ask for the price it’s not for you. In contrast, Real Software is upfront about their pricing.
In my opinion if you’re looking at ProvideX you should also take a look at REALbasic. I know a few developers that might be able to help you out. 🙂