IMPORTANT – Date issue with all versions of OpenInsight

Over the last couple of days we have had a couple of support issues raised with regards to dates and in particular dates when selecting data from OpenInsight based systems. Research has shown that this is actually a potential issue that dates back to the early ARev days and it is only now biting a few people.

If you find that you are getting strange select results, please check out the Sprezzatura blog posting below. Even if you are not having any date or select related issues, this is well worth a read if you are an OpenInsight developer or involved with an OpenInsight system in any way.

Y2K Redux – Indexing Issues With Dates OR 20100 – A Search Oddity.


The end of my 25th year with Revelation Software.

With my 2022 sales target firmly achieved and with the year drawing to an end, my attention has drifted to reflecting on the past 12 months.  In fact, this year’s refection is a little different because it sees the end of my 25th year with Revelation Software.  I did leave Revelation for a year (no choice of my own), but who’s counting that?  So my reflections have extended somewhat further this year and to one customer that shares this milestone anniversary with me.

Following a 12 year stint in the motor industry, which saw me climb from parts van driver, then to parts person, then to warranty admin and finally to heading up the service department and looking after a 100 user company wide computer system, I took a leap of faith into the IT industry and a position as Internal Sales Engineer for Revelation Software.

I will never forget that first morning.  This was something very new.  I felt like a fish out of water.  I was more nervous than most people on their first day and my first department meeting was less than great.  With a mispronunciation of a customer’s name (British Gas Reading), I had the team around me dissolve into a fit of giggles and laughter.  Yup, I felt about 2 inches tall and slunk back to my desk with a list of customers to call and with one instruction – to ask if they needed any licenses.

As I began to work through the list, I began to relax and I switched from “Hi My name is …., do you need any licenses….”, to striking up more informal conversations of introduction, familiarisation and getting to know the people that I would go on to work with for many years.

One such person was Don from a company called Clayton Associates.  A small fledgling company, operating out of the far west reaches of Wales, but someone who clearly knew where he was going, what he needed to do and what help he needed from me.  Although I have had millions of conversations with clients over the year, I remember that first conversion with Don very well.  Firstly, he gave me one of my very first orders and helped me to break the ice that had formed on the top floor of the offices following that initial meeting.  Secondly, through an informal “Hello, my name is Marty and I’ve joined Revelation to …..” conversion, Don and I quickly hit on a common interest, being photography.  Something that Don went on to embrace with his own photography studio when he later sold the Merit Software business, as it had become by that point.  Moreso, it was obvious that he was customer focused, he knew what his customers needed and therefore he knew what he needed and this was something that I wanted to emulate during my time with Revelation, no matter how short, or long that might be.

Don left a lasting impression on me.  He clearly had some great technical skills, but he also had a very clear vision and direction that he wanted to take for his company.  I joined Revelation Software as an ‘Internal’ Sales person and that meant building relationships with our existing clients and to help them to become successful.  Afterall, if our clients are successful, then we will also succeed.  Listening to Don during that first call cemented how I was going to approach this new position that I found myself in.  My aim, from day one, was to build long lasting business relationships with as many of our clients as I could and to do my bit to help them to be successful.  I’m please to say that I ‘think’ that I have achieved that on a few occasions, one of my most memorable successes was seeing and personally developing an opportunity that resulted in a system that was used by Google and Facebook employees – but more on that at another time.

During the early DOS days, when Don was using our DOS based application development toolset (Advanced Revelation) to build a leading payroll system, I helped where I could.  However, I’d come from a Windows background, having done a little programming in Basic and investing in a 285 SX25 machine from Evesham Micros, which led to me getting involved with implementing and managing several Windows 95 based systems in the motor industry.  So, I knew very little about DOS application development, but I knew about Windows and the value of a feature rich graphical user interface (GUI) and we quickly began talking about the future of Don’s system and the need for a GUI for his system.  As I mentioned earlier, Don knew from the very early days what he wanted and where he was going – something that the new generation of talent at Merit Software have continued to very great effect.

From the very early days the whole team at Merit Software always knew what they wanted, where they were going and they listened and asked questions.  They would always keep up with where the Revelation based Windows products where going, they would always listen to their customers and their needs and then they would always match the technology to those needs.  This helped them in the early days to deliver industry leading products and services, something that the team at Merit Software continue to do very, very well today.

The Merit Software team very quickly learned to get the most from the technologies that they had invested in and not least Advanced Revelation and then later OpenInsight.  The company quickly grew into a team of specialist professionals who are 100% committed to delivering the best possible customer service and powerful leading systems.  Through diligently listening to their growing customer base, they continue to drive their systems forward, with countless customer and industry driven features.  From DOS, to Windows GUI, to Web and now mobile and SaaS based solutions, Merit Software have continued to grow their team, to deliver market leading solutions and to pick up many well deserved awards along the way.

It has been great to work with the team at Merit Software over the least 25 years.  Their products developed and grew very quickly in the early days, as did their pool of knowledge about OpenInsight, resulting in my technical team and I being called on less and less for technical assistance.  However, I continue to enjoy supplying new licenses to Merit Software, on a monthly basis, as do I enjoy working with Revelation Software’s many clients in the EMEA region.

So why highlight Merit Software in particular in this posting?  Well, during 2022 Merit Software have also been celebrating their 25th anniversary.  Like me, our time working with Revelation Software’s tools span that same quarter of a century and this makes this relationship just that little bit more special.  Do I miss my chats with Don?  Sure, but I now value my time working with the dynamic and award winning team that underpins Merit Software’s continued success.  It has been interesting to see how they operate, how they support their growing client base, how they identify and exploit every developing opportunity and, most of all, how they have grown the business over the last 25 years.

You can find out more about Ben and his team at Merit Software by clicking here –  And, if you are looking for a leading payroll software partner with the knowledge and skills to help your payroll business, Merit Software really ought to be one of the companies at the very top of your ‘to contact list’.

Happy 25th anniversary to Merit Software.  I doubt that I have another 25 years left in me, but I sure know that Merit Software does and I wish them all the very best success for another 25 glorious years.

OI10.1 Documentation

Carl has recently been working hard on writing documention for the recently released OpenInsight 10.1 version and some completed chapters of the brand new ‘OpenInsight Presentation Server Reference Manual’ are now available from his RevDevX blog.

Work is ongoing to complete the other chapters and to integrate this into OpenInsight’s online help system and the main website. In the meantime, please refer Carl’s blog page (linked below) as needed.

Documentation | Building OpenInsight 10 (

Yield or Die!

From time to time, I am asked about managing the dreaded ‘Not Responding’ message in the caption bar of your running windows. “Use Yield()” has usually been the response, but Carl has just written and released a posting on his RevDevX blog which discusses this topic and how it is much better handled in OpenInsight 10.1.

With the recent release of 10.1 to the WORKS community and heightened interest in the new version, I thought that I would mention Carl’s blog posting so that you do not miss this useful new information and new feature of OpenInsight 10. Carl’s posting can be found here – Yield or Die! | Building OpenInsight 10 (

Log4Shell exploit that is in the news right now

Sorry, it has been a while since I have updated my Revelation Software blog. It is not because we have been quiet, in fact RevUS are gearing up for the long anticipated OpenInsight 10.1 release very soon. The release where many of our VARs and developers will look to come up to the latest version of the OpenInsight for Desktop and Web based application development suite of tools.

In addition, I have personally been involved with heavily testing the new OI 10.1 version by building a brand new application for one of our clients and which we hope to make available globally in the New Year. Exciting times.

However, I felt that I ought to jump on here and mention the Log4Shell security issue that several of our VARs have contacted me about this week. We are not aware of any issues with OpenInsight 9.x and 10.x, and we are not anticipating any.

For Revelation’s official announcement on the vulnerability, please review Bryan’s posting on the forum on, copied below.

In the meantime, can I please take this opportunity to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a very Happy and Prosperous New Year.


Bryan’s post on the Rev Forum –

OpenInsight 10.1: New and Improved


Register HERE NOW

Revelation Software’s latest release of OpenInsight, version 10.1, has changes, new functionality, and improved performance throughout the product. In this webinar, Bob Carten and Bryan Shumsky will be highlighting and demonstrating some of these improvements, including a new Database Tool panel, a brand new Examples application, new REST functionality, updated help and support documents, and more.

The new Examples application, included in the 10.1 download, provides sample forms, reports, popups, and source code. It is intended to show developers some of what can be done with OpenInsight 10.1, and perhaps more importantly, how to get it done, with real world, practical examples.

This webinar will also show menu designer updates, new databinding functionality, changes to the Form Designer tool panel, plus more.

No matter your development focus, there is probably something for you in this new version of OpenInsight. We strongly recommend that anyone who is considering developing applications in OpenInsight attend this webinar.

Don’t miss this live event on Thursday, July 22nd, 11:00 AM PT / 2:00 PM ET.

Register Now to attend the webinar OpenInsight 10.1: New and Improved.


So, this is more of a note to myself, more than anything but some of you might find this useful.

For the longest time, I have been battling with enabling and disabling Cut, Copy and Paste buttons in my applications. They were all handled on a per control basis with cumbersome code trying to work out how to set the buttons. I was never professional and never very good.

Enter OpenInsight 10 and the new EditStateChanged property, Carl’s OI10 blog posting on the subject and a lesson from Andrew about promoted events.

A couple of hours later (mostly learning and debugging, so most of you would do this in 5 minutes), I now have a system where the Cut, Copy and Paste buttons are correctly enabling and disabling based on the state of the system. For example, you select some text and the Copy and Cut buttons enable. You clear the Windows Clipboard and the Paste button disables.

OpenInisght 10 really is making building Windows desktop and web applications easier and easier.

Never ask your boss to check something!!

Hi Everyone,

I must apologise for the delay in getting my new demo application (video preview linked above) to RevUS and in turn to our WORKS subscribers.  A few of you have been asking when and how you can get hold of the system and I thought it best to provide everyone with an update.

The reason for the delay is that I was proud of what I had managed to achieve using OpenInsight 10 and I thought that I ought to run it passed Andrew before releasing it to the world.  And, therein rests lesson number one – You are rarely as clever as you think you are when it comes to things that you don’t really understand and boy, did I come down to earth with a bump.

I jest of course.  I do these little projects for personal development and to better understand the tools that I am selling here at Revelation.  I therefore know that what I do is very basic and there are always better and more efficient ways of doing things.  This project has been one huge example of that fact.

So, I gave Andrew access to the system and he reviewed the programs.  Pretty much every program needs some enhancement of varying degrees.  Much of it is repetitive and one or two of the programs have been completely rewritten by Andrew for me.  I’ve just needed to copy in the draft code and debug for some programs and I have had to fully understand and apply that new found knowledge to others – learning lots and lots and lots along the way.  The code will no doubt not be 100% efficient and right, but it’ll be a whole lot closer following this work.

Now, his post has sounded a little negative thus far and that is all tongue in cheek.  But, I did get my own back last week by being a massive thorn in Andrew’s side.  Some questions were painfully stupid, leaving me hanging my head in shame and sometimes I was just too slow to grasp the concept, but Andrew has been super patient with me and I am now nearing completion of the code changes.  There is just one large hurdle to overcome and yes, I will be asking Andrew for his help with that one.

So for his time and patience and understanding, I’d like to thank Andrew for helping me to make this new examples application so, so, so, so much better.

So what have been some of the changes.  I will not go into all of them but some noteworthy changes are:

  • The use of arrays in place of stacked Set_Property statements. In some places, I had stacked half a dozen or more Set_Property calls, not knowing that each was an overhead in its own right.  These have now been changed for arrays and only a single call which is much more efficient.

  • I had a few places where I was existing out of programs mid-way through the code. Andrew taught me to use a different technique to let the code run to the end properly.

  • I had been using <-1> in places when working with some arrays and he has shown me how to change that for better and more efficient code.

  • I had a MOUSEMOVE event which was being checked hundreds (possibly) or times as I moved the mouse over buttons. A quick change to my code now only does this once as I enter the button and not as I move across it.

The list goes on, but it has been a fascinating and sometimes frustrating few days.  The end result is a head that is about to explode but better code for those of you that will be diving into it to see how things have been done.

Again, a massive personal thank you to Andrew for the education and his time.

For now, it is back to the code for me.

New OI10 Demo Application

With the release of the 10.0.8 beta program, I decided to give the desktop development side of the software a good test and I looked around at a system that I could write from the ground up.  This is nothing new because, now that things are so much easier in version 10 and because they enable me as a junior developer to build functional systems,  I have taken this approach to test most of the version 10 releases.  It is also much nicer to build something with some perceived value, you don’t feel like you are wasting your time.

Anyway, here is where I let the cat out of the bag and expose my awful guitar skills.  For the last year of so, I have been trying to learn how to play the guitar and (under a pseudonym) I have been documenting my journey online.  Progress has been woefully slow and I had been trying to keep motivated using some free online practice logging tools but, as usual, none included all of the things that I wanted to cover.

Enter OpenInsight 10 and another hair brained idea to build my own system.

Version 10.0.8 is definitely the best OpenInsight release yet and I have been amazed at what I can now build using the software.  So much so, I have invested a lot of time learning how to build this system better than my previous script driven systems.  I have removed a lot of my code and used the system code (via simply setting the properties) and I have also taken the leap into the world of commuter modules.  With the ability to have both data entry form AND your code open at the same time, makes working in OpenInsight 10 a dream.

Anyway, with some tuition along the way, including some help from Revelation Software developers to create a wickedly awesome on screen report with animated charts, and a bucket load of time, mixed with the odd tear or two (sometimes I find writing code so frustrating), I am now very close to completing the system.

So why this article?

Well, I am hoping to make it available to all of our valued WORKS subscribers, as a brand new example application.  Some (most) of the code that I have written is not optimised and it is not an example of best practice (I am still a junior, learning fast) but I hope that the system will provide a nice example of how Windows based systems can easily be put together using OpenInsight 10.  And, if I can produce this as a junior developer, just imagine what you guys can produce as professionals.

I will be making this system available to my YouTube subscribers, via my personal guitar YouTube channel (My Sic String Journey).  That system will be empty of data and supplied via a single setup.exe file.  Revelation Software will also make the system available to WORKS subscribers.  

For now, take a look at the application on YouTube.

OpenInsight 10.0.8 Has Arrived

OpenInsight 10 Logo

Major Changes in the OpenInsight 10.0.8 Release

OpenInsight 10.0.8 and above now optionally installs an open-source version of the Java Runtime Environment (JRE).  During the installation process, you can choose to either install this open-source version, or – if you have a different version of Java already on your system, or you wish to manually install a version of Java – you can opt to NOT install the open-source version.  Note that the open-source version installed via the installation process does not update your system paths; rather, it puts the JRE directly inside the OpenInsight folder.  Both the commands (batch files) to install the EngineServer service, and to run the Engine Server in “debug” mode, are aware of the location of the JRE and thus do not require modifications to the workstation’s/server’s environment settings.

OpenInsight’s RLIST functionality and performance, improved with the 10.0.7 release, has now been changed to use this new version of RLIST (RLISTX) by default.  If you wish to configure your system to use legacy RLIST behavior, you must create or update a configuration record in SYSENV. Using the Record Editor, or the Configuration Record option from the OI Console, you must create a CFG_RTI_RLIST record in SYSENV, with RLIST9 in field 1.  If this record doesn’t exist, or has anything other than RLIST9 in field 1, then enhanced RLIST behavior (“RLIST X”) and functionality will remain.  (Note that the CFG_RTI_RLIST information is cached by your system; after changing this value, you should exit and re-enter OpenInsight).

Other notable changes in the OpenInsight 10.0.8 release include an improved startup process, better OLE and custom property support in the Form Designer, and newly customizable login dialogs.

The 10.0.8 Release includes enhancements to:

  • Presentation Server 
  • IDE (General) 
  • Form Designer 
  • Git 
  • AppNote Designer 
  • ContextMenu designer 
  • Favorites ToolPanel 
  • RevEngine 
  • DLLPrototypes 
  • C-Structures 
  • O4W 
  • CTO/AREV64 
  • System Deployments 

Click HERE to view or download the OpenInsight 10.0.8 ChangeLog.

<Originally published in Revelation Software’s September 2020 newsletter>