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A Revolution in Consulting: enabling you on Vista, Intel and Linux

by Heather Nagey


Revolution gives that strategic advantage a consultant needs to really stand out from the crowd

Revolution is in many ways an ideal tool for any software consultant to have in his or her toolbox. While it may not have the name recognition of a Microsoft product, it provides key features and power under the hood not met by other tools.

Not surprisingly, Revolution has been progressively designed, from the day it morphed from its origins in MetaCard, as a developer's development tool. Kevin Miller, founder of Runtime was himself a successful commercial developer making a living from developing commercial applications as well as providing custom development for external clients. From his early association with MetaCard, which began with a consultancy project to create a promotional demo for the program, Kevin's mastery of the needs he himself perceived in his own work led to a 10 year commitment to bringing a revolution to the rest of us.

Kevin Miller says:

"From the very beginning, Revolution has been developed by developers for developers who make their living selling commercial software and custom developed business solutions which can be deployed on many popular platforms"

Nothing speaks to success like hearing the success stories of those actually using Revolution in their own practices, so we are running a series of articles from real life consultants, illustrating some of these key features in practice.

Responsiveness, proven track record and maintainability.

New releases follow hard on the heels of market developments, keeping clients up to date with minimum pain - witness the recent release of 2.8, bringing Vista compatibility to your toolbox within weeks of the announcement by Microsoft. Because the Revolution technology has been around for about 20 years now, it has proved its worth as a reliable tool that worked yesterday and will be there tomorrow. This can be a very important point for some clients. Additionally, Revolution is so easy to use that many clients like to buy a copy at the end of a project and learn how to do simple maintenance themselves.

Seriously fast development.

All clients want their project as soon as possible, sometimes sooner. An experience most consultants are familiar with is asking for the deadline on a project and getting the answer "yesterday". While Revolution does not claim to deliver yesterday, it can sometimes make the apparently impossible possible, and the improbable can be achieved much faster than in any other tool. It can be as much as 90% faster than developing in a lower level language, without sacrificing any power.

Rapid prototyping.

It is the experience of many consultants that often the clients themselves do not know exactly what they want, until they start to see it develop. Because of the visual drag and drop interface, and the ability to test code as you write it, the client can see and comment on a prototype in the early stages of development. This can be a huge advantage, as the client can see exactly what the design will mean, how his/her ideas work out in practise, and make corrections early in the process, saving both time and money. This type of process also leads to a more satisfactory end result all round, and helps to build a consultants reputation.

Deployment across platforms.

You only need to write your code once. You can then deploy on all the platforms your client is using with just a few button clicks and some minor adjustments. This can slash the cost of a project by half or even more, making a Revolution consultant highly competitive in the cross platform marketplace. As platforms develop, so does Revolution. The first rapid development tool to support Mac Intel natively, and now ready and responsive with a Vista compatible update.

Super Glue.

One of the areas that Revolution excels in is joining together systems. Many consultancy projects centre around making a bunch of manual systems work together and automate, as well as accessing databases and maybe integrating some multimedia too. It has incredible competitive advantage over most other products in that is has no fear of other systems, no matter what they are written in. You can even write large chunks of the project in other languages if that is appropriate, then just write an external and glue it together with the rest of the systems you want to automate, using Revolution.

The power of the Revolution language.

The apparent simplicity of the drag drop interface and English like language hides enormous power and flexibility. There are not many projects that cannot be tackled in Revolution. Over the next few issues, we are going to be featuring a series on Revolution consultants, and showcasing some of the diverse and fascinating things they have done, and continue to do, in Revolution.

A series of Case studies

Starting with the next issue, we will be having a series of case studies highlighting the work of some of our Runtime Revolution developers. Here is a sample of those participating. We encourage you to contact us so we can discuss your projects and the possibility of a case study of your business.

Hyperactive Software, Jacqueline Landman Gay

Long renowned in the world of HyperCard, Jacque has been using Revolution in her consulting business for several years now, and is rarely short of work. She specializes in porting applications to run on modern machines and has an enviable reputation for expertise in this field. She is going to take some time out from her busy schedule to tell us about one of the most interesting ports from HyperCard that has come to my attention for a long time. Don't miss it!

Daniels and Mara, Jerry Daniels

Jerry is of course the author of Galaxy, described as an alternative IDE for Revolution. He also has 25 years experience in the consulting business, and the combination of his Revolution skills and experience make Daniels and Mara a highly successful consultancy business. His case study will feature the port of a 17 year old commercial application with a large number of devoted users and blazingly fast global searches. But it will only run on Mac OS 9 and now they need to go cross-platform over the net! SQL-based data solutions won't work and their custom solution won't port. Find out how Daniels & Mara gave this client sub-second global searches with clever indexing and creative use of the "filter" command.

DerBrill Software, Malte Brill

Malte is well known in the Revolution community for his excellent Animation Engine, and more recently for his fun and addictive "Drops" game. He is going to tell us about some of his consulting work with particular reference to his specialities of game creation and animation, in between looking after the new baby... congratulations Malte!

Economy Xtalk, Mark Schonewille

Mark has experience in scientific and educational areas as well as doing general consultancy projects. He has created highly sophisticated research tools and computer-aided learning tools for researchers and students at universities and colleges. His article will focus on the issues of working with localisations, foreign languages and unicode as a Revolution consultant.

Do you need a consultant? View a list of Revolution Consultants online.

Are you a consultant? Would you like to tell us about your work? Email us and you could be a part of this series too!

©2005 Runtime Revolution Ltd, 15-19 York Place, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, EH1 3EB.
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