REALBasic vs Revolution

Jan Schenkel janschenkel at
Mon Jun 7 16:35:19 CDT 2010

--- On Sat, 6/5/10, Peter Haworth <pete at> wrote:
> Wondering if anyone has personal
> experience using REAL Basic and Revolution?  I did see
> some discussions on this list but they're all pretty
> old.  At first glance, REAL Basic appears to provide
> very similar functionality to Revolution and a few things
> (like a report writer) that aren't in Revolution, at least
> without an extra cost third party add-on.
> Also possible that this isn't an appropriate place for such
> discussions, and I'm fine with that.
> Thanks,
> Pete Haworth

Hi Pete,

I'm sure you could come up with a bullet list of items that RealBasic has where Rev lacks, and vice versa. It's part of the game that each language and IDE has its strengths when compared to the other - there are even a few things you can do in C#.NET which you can't do in VisualBasic.NET, even though they are compiled down to the same Common Language Runtime :-)

Some languages are better suited for your project than others. At work, we use a mixture of OpenEdge ABL (database 4GL where you can mix procedural and object-oriented programming), C/C++, Java and even some Ruby - and I toss in revTalk every once in a while for prototypes. The trick is to pick the right tool or tools for the job.

When it comes to reporting, I am (of course) biased towards my own Quartam Reports solution. It works pretty much like the Report Builder you find in FoxPro or Access, but it isn't tied to a particular database and allows you to use every day revTalk expressions to fill the report. In fact, it's all revTalk - no externals - just creative thinking and lots of scripting to make the Layout Builder and the report library work.

Quartam Reports takes the drudgery out of reporting, tracking subtotals and determining the position on paper for you - but there's nothing to stop you from creating reports with what the revEngine already has on offer. Just create a template stack with the fields in the right position, fill them up with data and use the 'print' command to send it to a printer or create a PDF/XPS/PS file.

A quick google reveals that RealBasic's ReportWriter only recently got some loving after years of neglect. I gather this is their way of differentiating themselves from the competition, by offering a feature the others don't have and which may just lure people over. But last time I checked, they didn't have a web browser plug-in...

Looking at the broader spectrum of languages and platforms, Java doesn't have a built-in reporting system (though the open-source JasperReports is quite good in my experience) nor does .NET ship with one (you get a CrystalReports preview box but no design tools) - but most database tool vendors do have one available (either as part of the package or an optional add-on)

Rev isn't exclusively a database front-end builder tool, though plenty of us happily use it for such purposes. And we all have our wish-lists that we hope the RunRev team will tackle first :-)


Jan Schenkel
Quartam Reports & PDF Library for Revolution

"As we grow older, we grow both wiser and more foolish at the same time."  (La Rochefoucauld)


More information about the use-livecode mailing list