REALbasic Colorado Summit Schedule Updated

Hot off the presses, here is the latest schedule for the REALbasic Colorado Summit:

9AM  Reporting Tools, Options, and Techniques
Bob Keeney

10AM Cocoa and Reporting Features in REALbasic
Geoff Perlman

11AM SQLite Power Tools
Ryan Vail

12-2 Lunch

2PM  OO Database Framework and Introspection
Seth Verrinder

3PM  Profiling and Performance Tweaking
Joe Strout

4PM  Version Control, And Why it Rocks
Aaron Gerber and Mathias Gran

5PM  Business Roundtable

9AM  Building REALbasic Plugins
Christian Schmitz

10AM Usability & Design Techniques
Jay Crain

11-1 Lunch


2PM  Facilitated RB/RS/Summit Feedback Session
Brad Weber

The official website is  Attendance is limited so if you’re interested I recommend signing up sooner rather than later.

Looking at Valentina…Again…

I’m doing some research for my presentation at the Colorado REALbasic Summit at the end of September.  One of the Reporting tools that I’m excited to take a look at is Valentina Reports.  Valentina has been around for a long time in the REALbasic community and I’ve used them in the past for several projects and I’ve more or less kept up-to-date on updates but recently stopped because I hadn’t used it for a long time.

There are a number of things to really like about the Valentina database.  It’s fast – there’s no doubt about it.  Valentina is truly a relational database (you cannot say that about SQLite or REAL Server) and it comes with a file (single connection) version as well as a server (multiple connections) version.  It’s been around a long time in REALbasic and you can use Valentina in a variety of ways including a class-way that is very object oriented.  It is also strongly type-cast meaning it won’t let you put a string into an integer field and so on (again SQLite and REAL Server are NOT like this).

There are a number of reasons why I stopped using Valentina but the biggest was bugs.  In one of my projects I got caught in a transition between db formats and because of my project deadline I was forced to use beta versions.  Which meant, of course, that they’d fix one bug and create another.  It was an ugly couple of months and it’s (obviously) left a bad taste in my mouth.  And yet I keep coming back for more….

It’s been a few years and I was really hoping that it was a nice stable environment.  Alas, I can’t say that it is.  I downloaded Valentina Studio 4.2 (their general admin tool) and decided to import my standard SQLite demo database for reporting tool comparisons.  Everything started off fine but when using their import wizard and hitting Finish it just goes *poof* (hard crashes) and a standard Apple error dialog comes up.

I suddenly remember why my eye tick comes back when I start working with Valentina.  Hard crashes were a common occurrence when I last used Valentina and is still obviously an issue (at least in Studio).  When you can’t perform a simple data import using a standard text file it makes you wonder what’s going to happen with your database.

It’s a trust issue, really, because the first experience with the product is the admin tool.  Instability in the showcase application (in my opinion), hints at deeper problems in the entire database.  Hard crashes are evil, bad things because it means the app quit in an uncontrolled fashion.  What happened to your database write just then?  Is the data good, bad or in some unknown state?  Either way I have a hard time telling a client that things will be okay if it happens to them.

If you are a Valentina and REALbasic user I’d like your opinion.  Am I just having a bad day or do you have these same frustrations as well?  Have you used the new reporting system?  Do you like it or not?

Colorado REALbasic Summit: Sessions Update

The Colorado REALbasic Summit schedule page has been updated.

I’m doing a presentation on Reporting Tools, Options, and Techniques which is pretty wide open topic.  It is, however, a topic that’s very near and dear to my heart.  I’ve done a pure Graphics object, On-Target Reports and RSReports tutorials that are in the ARBP source code repository.  They continue to be popular.  I think I have my work cut out for me to include other recent additions as well as looking at pure Windows only solutions.  Regardless, it should be very informative.

Seth, BKS employee extradorinaire, is doing a session combining Object Oriented programming, advanced RB techniques and databases all in one session.  Imagine, if you will, a database class that knows when the class that represents a table doesn’t have all of the required fields and has events for before/after create/save/load/update.  All-in-all I think these techniques are very useful.  We’re using them in a lot of our projects now.

Anyway, check it out.  We hope to see you there!