RunRev vs RealBasic

Ben Rubinstein benr_mc at
Thu Dec 30 19:34:19 EST 2004

on 30/12/04 6:09 pm, cdunix at wrote

> Being new to this list and a current RB user, I would like to see your reasons
> for using the more expensive Runtime Enterprise environment vs. the RealBasic
> Professional environment.  I am not concerned so much about "ease of use" as
> much as I am about capabilities.  For instance, how does RunRev handle
> database connectivity?  Does it do 3D or OpenGL rendering well?  Does it
> support a "plug-in" architecture?  What level of system integration does the
> software have;  any direct access to system APIs?

on 30/12/04 11:45 pm, J. Landman Gay wrote
> I hope somebody shotguns it though, because I sent him to the list to
> ask. :)
> If anybody wants to make some broad, sweeping generalizations, that'd be
> great.

My broad, sweeping generalizations are - horses for courses, it depends no
your situation... oh wait, you didn't say cliches were OK.

One more sweeping generalization is that I think it's hard to find people
equally proficient in and knowledgeable of both environments, and who else
can really answer this question?  (If Lorin Rivers is still on this list, he
might be one?)

My own experience is that I used to be an RB user; I willingly paid a
(relatively) vast amount of money to acquire Metacard, and soon after Rev; I
determined to carry on and upgrade RB as well (I am lucky in being able to
justify spending company money in this way, and can demonstrate the value of
having a well stocked toolbox, even with overlapping tools) but just never
got round to it.  On the one hand I guess that's an advert for Rev, that I
never felt the need even to just have the latest version of RB around; on
the other hand it makes my knowledge of RB out of date.

As Richard (I think) mentioned, one reason for anyone to use a more
expensive system (I've no idea how prices currently compare - but again it
undoubtedly depends on what you want, since I know the configurations are
different) is precisely ease of use, translated into productivity; if you
can charge a day rate in the same ballpark as the cost of the tool, then a
tool with even slightly greater productivity quickly pays for itself.

I think RB has some excellent features, and there are some aspects that I
definitely prefer to Rev, in a theoretical way.   There were some things I
disliked, and some things that seemed fundamentally broken.   For all I
know, all of these things may have been fixed since I last looked at it.

To attempt some specific answers to your questions:

> how does RunRev handle database connectivity?
Very well, in my perception; I use this a lot in my work, and it works well
for me.

> Does it do 3D or OpenGL rendering well?
AFAIK, no.  Never been relevant to me, I've never investigated.

> Does it support a "plug-in" architecture?
Yes (in different ways: I'm not exactly sure which of several things you
mean, but I think the answer is yes in all cases.)   Because of the
difference in object models, in at least one context it may not support this
quite as comprehensively as RB, but I suspect that this is not a real issue,
and I'm definitely on dodgy ground here.

> What level of system integration does the software have;  any direct access to
> system APIs?
Access to the system - via shell and applescript - but not in general to the
system APIs except via externals written in another language.

To get back to my cliches, it depends on you, what you want to do, what you
know, and what matters to you.  If you're already a deep RB expert, it will
take a considerable investment to make Rev more useful to you.  If there are
particular areas that are of interest to you, it may be that Rev can do you
a sufficiently better job in those areas to overcome that disadvantage. In
other areas, it might do a worse job.

Err... did that help at all?  Assuming that it didn't, you could try being
more specific about questions you have, or about the area in which you're
working, or about your priorities (is time more valuable to you, or cash, or
degree of polish, or platform reach...).  Or about what you find good and
bad about RB (you presumably have some discontents to be asking the
question), in which case listers here may be able to confirm or deny whether
or not you can expect Rev to match the likes, and to what extent it can
improve on the discontents.


  Ben Rubinstein               |  Email: benr_mc at
  Cognitive Applications Ltd   |  Phone: +44 (0)1273-821600        |  Fax  : +44 (0)1273-728866

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