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scrimej

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Reply with quote  #1 
With the unfortunate news that ISD is ceasing operations and the assumption that many of us on this forum rely on this tool for our livelihood, I would like to get some input on other tools and experiences that would serve as an alternative going forward.

This of course assumes this patent troll is bogus and there are additional reasons for Iron Speed ceasing operations and that in the end we need to throw our support behind someone new now.  

I think there is going to be further action on suspending every code generator known to man over a bogus patent.  I started using code generators in 2001 with Visual MaxFrame Professional, a code generator for Visual FoxPro.  If it is costly for Iron Speed to litigate this matter, than certainly it is going to be thousands of times more expensive for the patent troll to fight each and every case.  In the end, something has to give and this patent does nothing but thwart small business and jobs creation, an issue any president would gladly take on.

Here are some alternatives.  Feel free to comment if you have used or suggest others.  Why did you stop using or do you supplement with this product. etc.. etc..

Telerik
DevExpress
SyncFusion
SalesForce
http://xlinesoft.com/asprunnernet/index.htm
akeshgupta

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Reply with quote  #2 
During the last two years, we have developed a systematic approach to migrate an Iron Speed application to MVC 4 with C#.

We are using Telerik Kendo for all UI and are very pleased with the look, feel and extensibility.  The Telerik Kendo UI controls are very lightweight and present a fluid user experience.

As Microsoft .NET Framework 5.0 is focusing heavily on the MVC paradigm and the project is managed in Visual Studio, we have found them an easy sell to our clientele.



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Akesh Gupta
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herman

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Reply with quote  #3 
I seconded the MVC approach. We did a few projects with it and they all worked good. It required some learning curves at first; it was quite a shift but we are happy with the end product.
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miles

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Reply with quote  #4 
MVC is great for roll-your-own applications.  However, it is going to require a high level of learning to 'get there'.  Which is why I jumped onto the Iron Speed bandwagon 11 years ago.

I built my own VB6 code generator way back in 1997.  Does that give me the right to develop a dynamic data entry code generator in .NET today?

For now, it is business as usual.  Although obviously we are all going to have to start looking around at feasible alternatives.  Any of the other code generators like Alpha5, OutSystems, CodeOnTime, ASPRunnerNet, SalesForce and even DevExpress are either getting sued right now, or must be on the list.

I think patience is the key now moving forward.  If Iron Speed did not actually generate the data entry pages, but supplied the rest of the application: framework, data/business layers, CSS theme etc., then that might be a workable solution.  

But I expect that at least right now, they can't afford to hire a team of lawyers to fight it.  In the US, everyone pays their own legal bills, so whoever has the deepest pockets will probably win.

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ejs

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Reply with quote  #5 
I third the MVC and Kendo approach.

With the aggressive litigation in this space apparently (Oracle, Microsoft, etc), it would seem that RAD tools similar to ISD will be targets as well.


Tooth

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Reply with quote  #6 
mmm, the Oracle case is completed - wonder what happened there.
porphi

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Reply with quote  #7 

I also use asp.net mvc for web development but let’s be serious. Asp.net mvc uses different patterns than asp.net webforms which is what ISD used for it’s generated applications.  Yes it all ends with a markup document that renders in the browser.  But to conclude that Telerik UI and asp.net mvc alone is a direct replacement for the IS Designer is a stretch without completing the stack needed for a fully functional LOB application. What about creating business objects?  What about persisting those business objects to the database?  Yes that’s another tool in the stack that you need to know or at least understand how to use.  What about security antiforgery/cross site scripting/CORS?  Don’t forget to decorate those controllers. There are enough different patterns to learn which is possible but it’ll take time. It’s all there in the MS/other vendor stack but you’ll need to pull it all together. You get the idea.

If it’s a service that’s being offered as a replacement for ISD that’s a different story.

It’d be hard to understand that any other competitor in the same market would not be subject to the same litigation.

While looking at the different alternatives out there and you’re going to put time into learning a new environment consider all of your options. Find out what tools/stacks other vendors are using. Find out what corporations are using internally for their web development. Start a log, note the pros/cons and cost of each. If you’re targeting a specific industry/government agency find out what stack they prefer.  Look outside of the MS stack its okay. Nodejs is very popular. It might be time to increase your skillset to learn something different like asp.net mvc or just learn to program. Once you decide on a potential platform take a small ISD generated project and migrate it so that you understand exactly what’s involved.

The worst thing you could do is panic and rush to quickly into something else. For whatever time you have make good use of it and start looking now. If you’ve been developing applications long enough then you’ve gone through many, many different stacks.  You most likely have gone through using products from many vendors that are no longer in business. Like the post above they’ve learned to mitigate the worst by learning something different.  This is always a good idea and a must in the software industry. Find someone in the community you have confidence in and start a conversation.

No one is happy for anyone caught in the ISD dilemma right now but there are options. 


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Rexxrally

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Reply with quote  #8 
I agree with what a lot of people here have said: don't rush into anything immediately, but DO start looking around at the alternatives. The troll is suing, or will be suing, everybody in the same business as ISD, so I wouldn't take the chance in switching over to any of them.

The only ones that the troll has settled with, it appears, is Oracle and Microsoft (probably because those 2 have deeper legal pockets than him).

I notice that Microsoft has a similar product to ISD, called LightSwitch. I've started looking into it. It does not appear to be as well developed as ISD, and it's either:

1) being discontinued by Microsoft
2) left to die a slow death by Microsoft (like Silverlight), or
3) will continue to be actively developed by Microsoft in the future

depending on which article you read on the Internet.

But, if it does turn out to be a viable alternative to ISD, then at least I know the troll has settled with Microsoft, and so I won't be in any danger of getting caught up in another ISD dead end.

Kirill

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Reply with quote  #9 
I agree with Akesh regarding MVC. In fact we were working on MVC6 / NET5 with AngularJS new version at the moment it all came to the end.
jadach

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Reply with quote  #10 
I've been working with ASPRunner.Net all weekend. I can tell you, for almost anything you want to do regarding CRUD operations, this product simply works. It uses MVC and razor, so it took me a little bit to get used to it. You can customize most everything and the learning curve is much less than ISD. It will sharpen your skills with JavaScript too. If anyone else checks it out, please provide comments.
http://xlinesoft.com/asprunnernet/index.htm


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Jerry
scrimej

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Reply with quote  #11 
Jerry,

I see they are out of Virginia.  Have you spoken to anyone at the company to get their intake on the patent.

Jeremy
jadach

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Reply with quote  #12 
I asked, but have not yet heard an answer. I really think there is more to it that Iron Speed is not telling us.
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Jerry
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Reply with quote  #13 
From the Code On Time web site in response to this question in their Forum


http://codeontime.com/ironspeed
moulay

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Reply with quote  #14 
CodeOnTime's arguments issued on the patent may also apply to ISD. I do not understand the attitude of ISD.
jadach

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Reply with quote  #15 
There's more to it. I can't see any other reason for Iron Speed to so abruptly close. I have no problem continuing using ISD v12.2 for the next 5 years. However, I am extremely concerned it just won't work one day. I really think IS should grant all of us the assurance the software will work as long as we want to use it, server or no server. If they are truly out of business, why would they care if people started to pirate the software.
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Jerry
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