If you are using RUN_REPORT in any of your OpenInsight applications, then you just have to head over to’s blog and check out their latest posting. Linked here, the posting highlights a performance issue that results in a report crashing out after running for sometime. Needless to say, following several days of sleuthing, the guys at Sprezzatura found the root cause and handed the research to Revelation. Also needless to say, Revelation has already fixed the issue and OpenInsight developers will be able to test their reports in the new OI beta 3 release.

What’s better than Revelation’s new O4W tool? Free training!!

I have had a change of heart.

Since announcing the RUG and O4W sessions in London, several things have happened which have caused me to rethink my plans for the O4W training session.  It has become clear that there is significant interest in the new web technology, but with the economy the way that it is, people are finding it hard to get a second day off work, to secure the fee and also the associated travel expenses.

We are confident that you will love O4W and want to base your future web and mobile development on the technology.  In fact, we are so confident; we have decided to waive the fee.  However, that comes with a few conditions.

Firstly, we will no longer be holding the O4W day at the Hilton Metropole.  Instead we will be holding the day at our Ealing offices.  This does therefore mean that we will need to restrict the number of attendees to just the first eight registrants and also limit the number of attendees to just one person from any one company.

For this reason I would urge you to contact me as soon as possible.  I’ll be creating a waiting list for those people that miss out on the available places.

Please note – I will be happy to bring O4W to you and run through the technology at your offices or online through WebEx, but remember that I am NOT a programmer and I will not be able to cover the O4W APIs in the same way that Mike will be covering them at this FREE O4W session.


Environment Settings screen shot
Environment Settings Screen

OpenInsight 9.2.1 saw the introduction of a Debugger Intercept facility and this can be used to create a Debugger Dump file.

The debugger_dump procedure is designed to be executed from within a “debugger intercept” procedure which is triggered when the engine hits a debug condition.  The intercept can be setup by simply openning the Database Manager and chosing the Environment Settings option from the ‘Database’ menu.  On that screen the Intercept radio button can be selected (as shown in the graphiv opposite).

The debugger intercept procedure by default is called “Debugger_Replacement” and an example version is supplied with OpenInsight and you can change this to your own procedure if you wish by updating field 54 of your application’s environment record (see the ENVIRON_CONSTANTS insert) or use the dialog above.

Once in the intercept routine you can look at the contents of any variable in the broken program with the debugger_Fetch() function.   An example of how this works can be found the the debugger_dump() procedure, also supplied with OpenInsight.  This simply attempts to write out the local and global variables to a text file.

One thing to remember about working in the debugger intercept routine is that the engine is already in an error state – your code should do the minimum possible to handle the error and then return – doing lots of screen updating, displaying messages and stuff probably isn’t a good idea.   When we use this we normally write the errors out to a log or send an email and then return.

Thanks to Carl Pates (Sprezzatura) for this article.


RUG Event now listed on LinkedIn

As many of us now maintain our professional profiles on LinkedIn, I have created a LinkedIn Event for the forthcoming RUG.  I will apprecite it if you could still register for the RUG and/or O4W training session with me by email, but this event publication on LinkedIn will enable anyone who plans to come along to register that they are attending or that they are interested in attending.  This will also enable attendees to schedule one on one discussions with friends and fellow developers/users  ahead of time.

The event can be found at

OpenInsight & Windows 8

OpenInsight running under Windows 8
OpenInsight running under Windows 8

At the conference Mike shared with us that OpenInsight had been tested internally on a Windows 8 beta and everything tested was working just fine.  On my return from the conference Jared kindly sent me a few screen shots of those tests that he carried out.

Obviously more testing will be undertaken as Microsoft work through the beta cycle and into commercial release, but things are looking good for OpenInsight developers and users where the new operating system is concerned.

Thanks Jared, for send over those images.


OpenInsight running under Windows 8
OpenInsight running under Windows 8
OpenInsight running under Windows 8

EMEA RUG & O4W days update

I am pleased to confirm that the venue for the RUG on the 8th November and the O4W training the day after has finally been confirmed.  Both days will be held at the Hilton Metropole in Edgware Road, London and I have included an outline agenda below.  Please note that numbers will be limited for the O4W training day.

I hope that you will be able to attend the RUG as Mike’s presentation is set to be very informative and it will have something for both develoeprs and end-users.  The O4W day is an absolute MUST ATTEND if you are involved with (or planning) any web development for desktop browsers
and/or mobile devices.

During the RUG, Mike will be concentrating on some of the new features in OpenInsight 9.3.  Many of these will enhance your time developing with OpenInsight and there are some useful additions to help end-users gt more from their OpenInsight based applications, such as the brand new Banded Report Writer.  This is set to be the reporting tool of choice in OpenInsight going forward and reports written in the BRW can be run from both OpenInsight desktop applications and also O4W based applications.  In addition, we have Data Encryption at Rest featuring as part of the 9.3 major enhancements.  Written to address the legislative requirement in the USA from Jan 1st 2012, this is a technology that we should all be looking at and I can see European governments following suit and forcing compliance on us here in the EMEA region in the not too distant future.

If you are an OpenInsight developer, End-User or someone working with or thinking of using a MultiValue toolset, then this really is a must attend event.  With data connectors for Rocket’s Universe and Unidata (U2), TigerLogic’s D3 and SQL, and with connectors for mvBase and QM coming very soon, Revelation are opening up the toolset to make MultiValue application development and reporting over the desktop and web even easier, faster and therefore cheaper.

Please contact me without delay if you have not already registered your place and you would like to now.  Please also drop me a line if you would prefer to discuss the value in attending either of these two events.

RUG Agenda (10:00 till 17:00)

  • 09:30 to 10:00      Coffee and light refreshments
  • 10:00 to 12:30      Mike Ruane – State of the company, futures and 9.3 new features
  • 12:30 to 13:00      Lunch
  • 13:00 to 14:00      Andrew McAuley – GUI Special FX in an OpenInsight application
  • 14:00 to 16:00      Mike Ruane – continued review of OpenInsight 9.3 new features
  • 16:00 to 17:00      Close and General Networking

O4W Training Agenda (09:00 till 17:00)

  • 09:00 to 12:00      O4W Introduction to the wizards
  • 12:00 to 13:00      Lunch
  • 13:00 to 16:00      O4W Introduction to the O4W APIs
  • 16:00 to 17:00      Questions and Answers

I look forward to seeing you in London on the November 8th for a great day.

OpenInsight 9.x New Features for End-Users

My time last week learning about the new features in OpenInsight 9.3 and the plans for version 10 and onwards was motivational to say the least.  As the team pile more and more functionality into the version 9.x releases for both end-users and developers, it pains me to have discussions with people still running version 8.0.8 (and older) and who are missing out on all of the good things in 9.x.  However, I understand and respect the reasons for continuing to use these older versions.  Reasons which, all too often, revolve around the annual license fees and the upgrade process itself.

The later is something that is not too difficult, but I appreciate that it does involve some work in applying the upgrades and then QA testing before creating and releasing the upgrade.  Stepping up from 7.x to 9.x can involve some form issues, but SRP has a nice utility to assist with that issue.  I’ve personally kept my OpenInsight system up to date with the betas and subsequent commercial releases and my applications have upgraded without any issues.  That said, my contact manager (my main application) was written initially in version 9.0, so the upgrade path through the 9’s has been flawless and issue free.

Anyway, the question of justifying the annual license fee is the topic of this posting.  It goes without saying that end-users like a one time license purchase and then the option to purchase upgrades as and when, but that business model is now behind us.  The OpenInsight 9.x licensing model enables Revelation to continue to invest in the product suite, develop new features as you need them and to plan future development.  At the same time, it enables you (our WORKS subscribers) to, amongst other things, have the freedom to maintain your deployed systems without the overhead of buying upgrades from Revelation for each client every time you want to upgrade them.  At the very least this would invoke extra administration for everyone and worse still it might result in you having to support multiple versions of OpenInsight where some users upgrade and others do not.

So, to help customers with their decision to upgrade, Revelation has packed the 9.x releases full of brand new technology and new features.  Along with a myriad of fixes, these new features go a long way to enhancing the user experience and empower users to do more things and more easily.  It is a number of these new features and enhancements that I have pulled together into my updated Summary of the Benefits to End-Users in the OpenInsight 9.x Series white paper.  Touching on the more salient points that are of most interest to end-users, this document is designed to offer Revelation VARs with a bulleted list from which they can pick the golden nuggets that will appeal most to their end-users and then the VAR can expand on those points when discussing, negotiating or marketing the upgrade to the wonderful world of OpenInsight version 9.x.

The white paper will not be applicable to new customers and for that reason I will not be posting it online for download anywhere.  So, drop me a line and I’ll email you a complimentary copy in .pdf format.

iphone 5.0 upgrade

Anyone with an iPhone –

You will probably know that there is a new OS (version 5) available for the iPhone and iPad.  Please be aware that when I ran the upgrade (I only plugged the iPhone into my laptop to charge it and accepted the offer to run the upgrade) the process reset the phone to factory settings and then I had to do a restore from my laptop.  Not soemthing that i would suggest doing during business hours or whilst waiting for important calls to come in.

This upgrade process was not a big issue and it went smoothy enough, although I did not have my apple login details to hand, but the process does seem to have deleted all of the email that I had on the phone.  I now only have six new emails that came in whilst I was upgrading.

A word of caution if (unlike me thankfully) you don’t keep copies of your email elsewhere.  Of course, this was my personal experience and I’m not saying that this will be the same for everyone.

I think that I will leave the iPad upgrade for another time.