Saturday, 19 July 2008

Oracle / REALBasic / Java Classes Etc.

I’ve been looking into the best database to use for a commercial product that I’m planning. As it stands I’ve settled on Oracle. My reasons are as follow:

I know how to use Oracle (a *good* starting point !).
The XE Edition is limited, but free and makes a good starter database for smaller systems.
Development against XE works identically against the bigger versions if an upgrade becomes necessary later.
Oracle is stable and extremely reliable.
Oracle can be installed on multiple Operating Systems.

The next choice is what to use to develop the front end software. I am very keen on writing software that works on multiple platforms, Windows and Mac OSX primarily, although I do support Linux wherever possible.

For the kind of software I want to write I don’t want it to be browser based. I know it’s the ‘in thing’ but still the *vast majority* of software is written for the desktop and I much prefer desktop based software myself. I don’t see it going away any time soon.

For cross platform based development there are a few choices, however by far the easiest and most straightforward is REALbasic from REAL Software. It has it’s limitations, but in it’s favour I can develop on the Mac and deploy to both Windows and Linux. In addition there is none of the extra hassle of needing the .NET Framework installed on Windows. One company, MonkeyBread Software from Germany seem to have built their business on providing ‘Plug Ins’ for REALbasic to enhance the capabilities of the development environment. It was to them I had to turn for a solution to connecting to Oracle from REALbasic.

REALBasic comes with an Oracle Plug In, however due to Oracle taking around 2 years to provide an Intel based driver for the Mac, the standard REALbasic Plug In does not now work (at least on Mac OSX). I’m sure they will remedy this at some point. In the meantime I have downloaded and been playing with the MonkeyBread Software ‘Java Plug In’. This allows the Java driver and Java classes to used from within REALbasic to access databases that cannot be connected to from REALbasic.

If all works as expected I will be sending MonkeyBread my credit card number for the 40 Euros or so they charge for the Plug In :-)

"We are all here for a spell; get all the good laughs you can." - Will Rogers

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