What Is Clarion?

Clarion is a Rapid Application Development (RAD) software development tool, currently owned by Soft Velocity.

Using the Template system, you can quickly generate windows, forms, browses and more, simple and efficiently. Code generation is first class, and embed points mean you can inject your own code into any place you need it. Alternatively, you can hand code procedures and applications as you see fit. Your Dictionary (Database structures) fits seamlessly into the Application and the Templates.

Clarion 6 is the primary version in the field at this time (March 2008).

Clarion 7 is in Beta. There is no official release date at this time (March 2008).

Clarion .Net is in Beta. There is no official release date at this time (March 2008).\r\n

We done sipping the coolaid? Ready to take the Red Pill? Open up the Scary Door?

Let’s cut to the chase. Read on.

Clarion will make you money faster than any other development tool there is.

Clarion will enable you to create software which solves business rules like no other development tool in existence.

But before we get to that, you need to understand the reality of what Clarion 6 is. We are looking at Clarion 6 for the moment, because Clarion 7 is not yet released. I will say here that Clarion 7 and .Net will have a completely new IDE, amongst other things.

Slap In The Face ..

It’s a 16 bit IDE. That’s right. For anyone used to MS Express Editions (or even MSVC++ 6 IDE), or IDE’s like Sharp Develop, you will have a rude slap in the face when firing up Clarion 6 for the first time. There is no code completion. There is not a normal text editor with normal word-like functionality. It’s basic.

.. But Don’t Give Up!

Be prepared. And don’t be discouraged! Working in Clarion will give you great power once you become familiar with it’s interface, and with it’s quirks.

Clarion gives you an unequaled integration between database and development environment. I will illustrate this with a short example.

Business Problem:

Brad Pitt needs a program that will store each of his movies. That’s it. You’ll need a Movie file. One file.

Clarion Solution:

Create a Dictionary in the IDE.

Add the Movie file.

Add the needed fields (like Name, Date Released). – Brad doesn’t care about the other Actors. He only wants the Movies. So no need for any 1:M child files. –

Save Dictionary and create an Application in the IDE.

Attach the dictionary to the Application.

Create a Browse procedure using the Clarion Templates.

Set the Browse to display the needed fields.

Enter an Update procedure name in the appropriate Template section.

Create the Update procedure using the Clarion Templates.

Add the fields to the window that need to be updated.

Press CTRL-r.

Huzzah! You have just created a program for Brad Pitt!

But more importantly, you have solved a Business Problem in about half an hour. Not a complex one, but that doesn’t matter. Solving complex solutions is only a matter of breaking them down into simple ones like Brad’s movie list. The fun comes with making sure all the simple solutions mesh together.

Clarion is a development tool like nothing else on the planet.

Read What Can Clarion Do For Me? to learn more about Clarion.