Bob’s Post In Full

I spoke about Bob’s post to the community in a previous post. He’s given me permission to regale it here in all it’s glory. So here ’tis.

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Update on the Clarion UKCUG meeting

I’m back in the USA after a great trip to the UK and France. The Clarion UK user group meeting in Cambridge was a very good time. I had a chance to meet with some great folks, and it was a superb location. My thanks to Richard Rose for organizing the event, and to all of the developers who attended. I had a chance to speak with many of those who attended, and I came away with a clearer understanding of what developers want and need for both Clarion 7 and Clarion.Net.

Between Scott and myself we covered the gamut, from updates to the Clarion 7 UI feature set, to the new functionality in the Project system, Class Browser, Window and Report Designers, source code Editor and much more. Then I did code walkthroughs and ran live Clarion WinForm applications, WebForm apps, Web services, and Mobile applications. My presentation alone ran about 4 hours.

Because we covered so much new territory it’s natural to expect that some of the information would be misinterpreted, and upon my return I found that some information posted at devdawn.com and at clarionmag.com is a bit off the mark and has created some confusion.

I’ll try to clarify a few things here, addressing the items posted that were not quite accurate, and also answering some questions sent in via email to our sales/support team that were generated from the incorrect information.

  • Clarion.Net can use every driver that we currently ship
  • All of the standard Clarion file access syntax is supported and is unchanged, i.e. OPEN, NEXT, PREVIOUS, GET, REGET, etc
  • Clarion.Net can utilize any .Net data provider. A .NET Framework data provider is used for connecting to a database, executing commands, and retrieving results.
  • The .NET 2.0 Framework includes the data provider for SQL Server (for Microsoft SQL Server version 7.0 or later), the data provider for OLE DB, and the data provider for ODBC.
  • Almost every SQL backend provides their own .Net data provider
  • The data provider for ODBC lets you connect to any data source where an ODBC driver is available.
  • The Topspeed and Clarion drivers are being ported to .Net managed code as native providers; all of the other drivers are accessed via a bridge layer that is built into the Clarion.Net RTL. The bridge layer is invisible. In other words your code reads exactly as it does today using any version of Clarion, regardless of what driver you are using.

    To make this crystal clear, here is some code that I used to fill a Queue to show databinding of a Queue to a DataGrid control (and to a DataGridView control). It should look very familiar.

    (EDIT (Stu) :: Apologies for the List Bullets, tried my best, but couldn’t get rid of them all using stlye="list-style-type: none;", which is wierd, but anyway, decided to just leave them all in

    MainForm.FillQueue PROCEDURE()
    CODE

    • OPEN(People)
      • IF ERRORCODE() THEN
        • MESSAGE(ERRORCODE()&’-‘&ERROR())
    • END
    • SET(People)
      • LOOP
        • NEXT(People)
        • IF ERRORCODE() THEN
          • BREAK
        • ELSE
          • SELF.QPeople.Id = PEO:Id
          • SELF.QPeople.FirstName = PEO:FirstName
          • SELF.QPeople.LastName = PEO:LastName
          • SELF.QPeople.Gender = PEO:Gender
          • ADD(SELF.QPeople)
        • END
      • END
  • You also have the option to access your FILEs using a combination of the ADO.Net objects; DataTable, DataSet, and DataAdapter. I showed an example of this at the meeting.

    Hopefully the above points will clear up the confusion regarding drivers and file access options in Clarion.Net.

  • As regards the post that stated the Clarion 7 compiler had been ported to .Net managed code – it is incorrect. The Clarion 7 compiler is native code.
  • As regards the post that read "64bit Native Compilers for .NET". It is also a bit of the mark. The 64-bit version of the .NET Framework 2.0 enables .NET applications to run on 64-bit workstations as 64-bit native applications, and in most cases, applications developed using the 32-bit .NET Framework can be ported to the 64-bit version of the .NET Framework without any source code modifications.

    I think the confusion stems from the fact that I asked the attendees .. how many of you would be interested in a 64bit native compiler .. i.e. a port of the Clarion 7 compiler so as to produce 64bit native code.

  • As regards the post that indicated that you’d be unable to access TPS files from other .Net languages. I showed a simple example where in Clarion.Net we read a TPS file, filled a Queue and then loaded (databinded) the Queue into a .Net DataGrid control, and then opened a WinForm to display the data. We then took a C# application, and in 3 lines of code created an instance of the same Clarion.Net WinForm and showed the form displaying the data from within the C# app.

I hope all of the above clears up any items that were confusing. We’ll be posting all of the information presented at the UK meeting right here in a series of movies, and if you have any other questions on the information that came from the meeting feel free to post them here, or in the Clarion Community forum.