US Thanksgiving

This is just a quick reminder to those of us outside of the USA, that the US office will be closed this coming Thursday and Friday for their Thanksgiving celebrations.

If you are in the EMEA region and you are likely to need any Revelation licenses between now and next Monday afternoon, please get in contact with me as soon as possible.  Tomorrow could be a very busy day in the UK office.

Many thanks and best wishes to RevUS and all our friends and developers in the USA for Thanksgiving 2013.


XP Support (to clarify my earlier posting)

Ahh – A hornet’s nest I see before me!!   Let’s give it a poke <g>.

This posting is in response to the valid comments posted to my blog posting entitled “Windows XP Support” and to clarify the reasons for that posting a little more.


Guys, you are of course correct and I knew that posting this direct from the official Revelation newsletter would provoke some clarification, and for that I am grateful.  However, the key question in this posting was whether your clients are aware of the issues?  At the risk of offending anyone, that point appears to have been missed by those of you commenting thus far.

This blog is read by both developers and users alike.  I think that all Revelation developers know the issues, risks and workarounds for ARev running on modern operating systems but the same is not necessarily true for end users.  Those organisations that have Revelation professionals on staff are relatively OK – so long as those Revelation professionals take control of the IT decision making process and actively avoid the potential issues befalling a lot of ARev systems right now.  I assume that you have put your necks on the block and taken ownership of your systems in such a way.

For those of you who do not wish to fall on your swords –

  1. How have you protected your clients against the potential and growing issues of running RevG and ARev on modern operating systems?
  2. How have you legislated against the Managing Director or another key decision maker deciding to purchase a wiz bang new 64-bit workstation?  Does he or she, really want to mess around with virtual machines, dual operating systems and the like – I don’t.
  3. How do you plan to support your ARev system for a sales team whose manager invests in the latest piece of technology to revolutionise his department, which demands 64-bit processing power and on which they blow next year’s budget on 64-bit machines.
  4. I could go on all day….

We cannot always take full control of our customers and demand what they will or will not use.  Often, sticking with legacy technologies will result in a loss of business because the legacy DOS system will be seen as the odd one out and the one causing the issue.

Could your business afford to lose your ARev system or your biggest client?  The Managing Director is never going to admit that buying a new 64-bit machine was his mistake.  The inevitable conversation is going to result in the ARev developer having made the mistake in not preparing for the inevitable move to a more modern technology.  Likewise for that sales manager who has big plans to modernise his sales team.

Failure to keep up with the times in IT often displays a lack of interest in the technology that has been written, a potential lack of interest in the developer’s client or their business in general and a perceived lack of willingness to keep up with the times and to invest in the future.  I know that this is not necessarily true and that many people love their old ARev systems and “if it isn’t not broke, don’t fix it”, but you can’t get away from the fact that things are only going to get harder.

Personally, I’m quite happy for people to carry on with their ARev systems.  It means that we can take each conversion project as they come along in dribs and drabs, rather than all at once.  As a salesman, it is also nice to have clients panicking (actually, I’m in two minds on that one) and opening cheque books with blank cheques because they are forced into doing something today because they need to work tomorrow.

This is a personal blog that consists of my views only and not necessarily those of Revelation Software.  However, I make no apology for using the official wording.  If I can encourage just one end user to think about the future of their ARev based system and to make a calculated decision in their own time, rather than a hurried, panicked and rushed decision, then my work is done and I will personally sleep more soundly.

I have tried to, and I believe that I have, given people good advice over the last 17 years.  My advice on this subject is to heed the warnings, modernise and make provision for your legacy RevG and ARev systems today.  Leaving it until tomorrow is inevitably going to result in a loss of business in one shape or another.  Maybe it’ll just be that next new sale as you are not GUI or can’t interface to something seamlessly, maybe it will be the loss of a key client to a competitor, or maybe (just maybe) it could sound the death bell for your business and your retirement fund.

Please, please , please if you are still using ARev please look beyond the technology and what you can ‘manage’ to make it run on – Think ahead of tomorrow and put a proper plan in place for your clients to safeguard their future and your own.  FWIW, we are seeing another increase in the number of conversions to ARev32, so more and more people are realising the growing risks and making provision for the future.

Please note that these are my personal comments and that they do not officially represent those of Revelation Software USA, Revelation Software UK or any other official Revelation channel.

Windows XP Support

I am sure that you will not have failed to notice that Microsoft will be ending support for XP from April 8th, 2014.  However, do your clients know and have they made provision for their ARev systems? 

For those of you who have been working too hard to pick up this small snippet of news, the keys details are:

After April 8, 2014, technical assistance for Windows XP will no longer be available, including automatic updates that help protect your PC.  If you continue to use Windows XP, your computer might become more vulnerable to security risks and viruses.

An unsupported version of Windows will no longer receive software updates from Windows Update.  These include security updates that can help protect your PC from harmful viruses, spyware, and other malicious software, which can steal your personal information.  Windows Update also installs the latest software updates to improve the reliability of Windows—new drivers for your hardware and more.

Advanced Revelation will not run on workstations installed with Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8.  If you are running an application built with Advanced Revelation we strongly suggest that you consider upgrading to OpenInsight using Arev32.

The blog postings just keep coming

With postings from Carl regarding OI 10, SRP and Sprezzatura, it looks like the blogosphere is getting busy in the Revelation world right now.

Recent postings include:

  • OpenInsight 10the blogs most recent post touches on enhanced OLE control (OCX) integration and support for OLE.  One of the main objectives is to provide the ability for developers to register OLE controls with the IDE and bind then to the database.
  • Sprezzatura have just posted a technical posting which discusses just about everything that you wanted to know about HTTP headers.  The posting discusses the need for developers to query HTTP headers sent by the client and that are not included in the default information passed forward by OECGI3.  This blog article is relevant to developers who are using O4W or calling OECGI3 directly.
  • SRP Computer Solutions have just posted a reminder of how modules can be tied to the old Application Manager UI in OI 8.0 and later.  Using their System Editor as an example, the blog posting includes full details of linking buttons and there is a free download for the companies Side Bar Images.

Please click on the links at the beginning of the bullet points to view the whole blog postings.

Tech Tip – Configuring the RDK Installation Processes

Did you know…That you can configure RDK installation processes.

One of the records in the SYSUPGRADE table, %PROCESS%, contains the instructions to be used during the installation process.  Instructions are placed into this record in blocks, with a header at the top of the block indicating the process to perform.  Below is a list of the installation processes:

[CREATE TABLES] * To create tables

[COPY TABLES] * To copy tables
Create the dictionary in the deployment and copy all of the dictionary records into the SYSUPGRADE table; this will also create any indexes on that table that existed in the development system.

[DELETE TABLES] * To delete tables

[ATTACH TABLES] * To attach tables

[DETACH TABLES] * To detach tables

[ALIAS TABLES] * To alias tables
Will alias a table in the RDK directory.

[COPY OSFILE] * To copy OSFile

[DELETE ROWS] * To delete rows

[EXECUTE PROCEDURES] * To execute procedures prior to upgrading RDK

[DECLARE DLL] * To declare DLL

[EXEC PROCEDURES POST] * To execute procedures after RDK upgrade

SRP and Sprezzatura Blog Postings

Both SRP and Sprezzatura have recently released a couple of very interesting and useful blog postings:

  • The SRP Update has posted a new article called, ‘The Case of the Jittery Java’.
    Java. It is that program that is always installed on a system and is always asking to run updates.  We don’t even consider it when troubleshooting an issue, but maybe we should…  Recently, a client requested for us to come out and give a tutorial on how to use their new smart barcode scanning units.To read the rest of the article, please visit the following link:
  • Sprezzatura’s latest blog posting is entitled “Using concatenated arguments – a warning.”
    Regular OpenInsight users will know that calls to SET_PROPERTY and GET_PROPERTY can be made more efficient by passing @rm delimited arrays to the routines rather than making multiple individual calls.   Although using the @rm concatenation method can lead to improved performance you need to be aware of how it is actually implemented, otherwise it can lead to some subtle bugs that may be hard to track down.To read the rest of the article, please visit the following link:

Online OI resources.

I hope that my various online exploits help to evangelise and promote OpenInsight and the Multivalue technology more generally.  My resources are designed to provide a mix of news, insight, technical and other topical postings.

You will no doubt have picked up a few of my blog postings about Sprezzatura’s  highly technical blog and which is available from their website and Carl has been collating his exploits with OpenInsight 10 in his blog (Building OpenInsight 10) dedicated to the changes in the new release.

However, I was recently reminded that SRP also have a strong online presence with a number of very useful technical resources for anyone developing with OpenInsight.  Some of the links that they maintain are copied below with a brief explanation as to what they provide.

In the interests of sharing technical and product information, I would like to remind all of you who are working with Revelation’s tools that I am keen to use this blog as a central repository for sharing your news, technical tips and ideas, etc.  Of course, the Revelation discussion forums will remain king amongst sharing specific information about getting over problems and working through them as a community, but please use this blog as a vehicle to share some of your more light hearted moments, your successes and anything that is Revelation related.



  • SRP Wiki – This is the home of the SRP download page. The SRP wiki is SRP’s dedicated resource home for all things Revelation.
  • SRP Blog – SRP’s blog is called ‘The SRP Update’.  Like their Wiki, the blog is dedicated to the Revelation community and it features a link for people to subscribe for future updates.
  • SRP Newsletter – SRP’s newsletter is called ‘The SRP Review’.  This is a new publication for 2013 and it features quarterly editions.  Watch out for their next release coming very soon.
  • SRP Forum – SRP receive many questions regarding the companies products as well as general OpenInsight issues.  This resource provides SRP with a central forum to discuss the company’s commercial products.  The forum can also be used to ask and obtain answers to OpenInsight technical issues, but it is not seen as a replacement to the main Revelation forums on
  • Facebook and Twitter Pages – SRP have dived head long into the world of social media and they maintain a presence on both Facebook and Twitter.  As is the way with social media, much of the information is duplicated across the various resources, but this does enable you to pick your chosen delivery vehicle.

OpenInsight Promoted Events

Wow, has it really been a month since I wrote anything for the blog?  Things have been pretty busy at RevUK over the last few weeks, with some more ARev systems coming out of the woodwork as people make plans for the removal of XP support early in 2014.  There have also been some clients exploring new markets and new ways of delivering their systems and this has lead to discussions about web and mobile based applications, hosting and running SAAS style.  O4W is therefore getting more interest and it’s not just from within the Revelation community.

Anyway, the recent Revelation newsletter was circulated and I thought it best to blog some of the articles in that newsletter.  If you are a WORKS subscriber and receive the newsletter, then this and the next few blog postings will either reinforce those messages, act as a reminder to check out the good stuff available to you, or you can simply hit that delete button and get back to the day job.

So, for the first article in the newsletter:

Promoted Events and the Repository
One of the most powerful programming features of OpenInsight is the “Promoted Event” model, allowing you to write “global” event handing code that can be triggered for a variety of situations, such as for all objects of a certain type, or for all objects in an application, and so on. This helps to centralize your code base and restrict unnecessary duplication, thereby making development faster and more robust.

However, promoted events have also been one of the most opaque parts of the system and their use is somewhat awkward and error-prone because they rely on the dark art of naming conventions and manual record copying between tables. In an effort to rectify this, we have integrated them into the OpenInsight Repository so they can be tracked properly and you can see at a glance exactly what is in your system.

To read more of Carl Pates’ OpenInsight 10 blog, “News and notes from the bleeding edge of Revelation Software development”, click HERE.