Tuesday, 31 March 2009

A Change of Direction for Orac

Following feedback from my last post regarding Orac, my new database query and management tool, I have decided to alter the scope of the development.

For a start I now intend to support Mac OSX only (Universal Binary) and add support for several additional databases. The decision to drop support support for the Linux platform was easy, the Linux community being closely tied to the Open Source movement are not fond of paying for software so that was an easy decision. As for dropping support for Windows, that was a much harder decision.

Although over 80% of my software sales go to Mac users, a product like Orac could potentially draw in more Windows users. However I now believe that the market for this kind of product is adequately covered on Windows and I would be unlikely with my small marketing budget and even less resources to be able to make the effort worthwhile. Therefore I am developing Orac for the Mac and maybe later if the product is successful will I consider making it available for the PC.

I have been unable to find a decent database tool like this for the Mac, there are two available that I know of at a reasonable price, and to be honest I do not like either. I'm stuck with Oracle SQL Developer on the Mac and although it's a fine program it has many limitations, not least it's complexity.

More information on Orac including a pre-release download can be found here: http://www.oractotherescue.com

Quality Commercial Software and Custom Software Development

Friday, 27 March 2009

Developer / Consultant for Hire !

I am coming up to the end of my current software development contract and am now looking for my next project. If you require any software development doing for Windows, Mac or Linux by an experienced developer with 20 years experience then please contact me at steve@artenscience.co.uk. I also do database and security work as well as technology consultancy.


I am a Chartered Information Technology Professional awarded by the British Computer Society and a Fellow of the Institution of Analysts and Programmers. I am certified in many different technologies from Security to Databases. You can see some comments from my customers here:


For examples of my work, all the following websites and the software they advertise, I have created myself:


My rates are reasonable and I am happy to work anywhere in Europe.

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Thursday, 26 March 2009

Orac: Cross Platform / Multi Database Query and Maintenance Tool

At the weekend I started development on Orac.

Orac is a 'Cross Platform / Multi Database Query and Maintenance Tool'.

In a nutshell this means an application that will run natively on Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows XP, Macintosh OSX and Linux. Orac is not developed in Java or any other 'runtime' environment, the software is provided as native executables on each platform.

The early versions of Orac operate against Oracle only. Before commercial release it will work with Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL and PostgreSQL. Support for further databases will be added following release.

This tool is designed to replace the five or so different tools that I currently use to query and manipulate the databases I support. If I have this problem, then likely so do many other people. Orac will be a one stop shop for database querying and maintenance without the need to even install, let alone load and run the software provided by the database manufacturer. In addition no middle ware or ODBC configuration will be necessary. Orac itself doesn't even need installation. Download and extract the zip file, double click to run. You could keep versions for all your supported operating systems on a USB drive and use them on any computer - no installation necessary.

Orac is a long(ish) term project. I have to earn a living with my consulting gigs as well as finish a couple of other applications over the next few weeks, but I expect Orac to be available for commercial release by the third quarter this year.

With respect to the feature set, I am looking for feedback. If you currently use a commercial or Open Source database management or query tool I would like to hear from you as to what are your favourite features and what features do you wish were available ?

The development of this tool will be very public. Early releases will be available to anybody who wishes to be part of the Alpha / Beta test program. Substantial discounts on the finished product will be given to anyone who contributes significantly to the development in terms of feedback.

Very early screenshots of the Mac OSX versions are shown below. Click the screenshot to view the images full size.

If you would like further information on Orac or would like to join the Alpha / Beta program, please contact steve@artenscience.co.uk

Quality Commercial Software and Custom Software Development

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