Xojo business users

Citizen Developers by and large ARE “business users”… which sometimes have to fight IT department6 just to use Xojo.


Yup, usually the term “Business users” is used for non-IT, non-technical users. I think Bob was talking about companies. And yes, if big players use the product, they pay licences constantly, the IT employees generate content, press and comunity to attact new users. Some times they can even help with repositories etc.

But… Someone wanted the hobiest that are not willing to pay every year and are not willing to pay for the pluggins to make usable a half baked product. So, less and less 3rd party options with a product with more and more bugs that relies on rebranding and renaming to lure new users insted of having constant paying customers.

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No offense was meant. But if an organization (and I use the term business users loosely) supports Xojo then the license fees are no biggie. Same with 3rd party libraries and controls. My current company used to have over 20 pro licenses so they were all in. If something saved us a few days of work it was easily money well spent and we didn’t bat an eye. We were not in the citizen developer arena.

Some features that I feel that ‘businesses’ would use the most are:
• A robust and feature rich components list like grids, charting, picture carousels, date, time color, popup menus, toolbars, etc.
• Easy document (PDF, RTF, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OpenOffice equivalents, etc) creation.
• Report designers/viewers that allow dynamic reports that are editable by end users
• Data binding to make quick and dirty biz apps super easy to create and use.

I mean, all of these are possible in Xojo. They’ve done some of them and some are available by 3rd party but I can’t attest to how ‘feature rich’ they are. I know reporting has sucked for years. Data binding has been gone for 15+ years and they have a new one in beta but I think it’s of dubious usefulness. But having to do this for desktop, web, and mobile is a very tall task and as we’ve seen they will do the bare minimum to check that box for each target (or leave some targets out entirely).


None taken. I was actually agreeing with you! :wink:

My point is that we mostly create apps to use in s business environment and need many of the same features as the pros and Xojo Inc should realize that…

As much as I don’t like spending my own money, I have bought plugins (both Einhugur and MBS) to do many of the things in your list because it was not practical to do it Xojo or it’s implementations of the features left too much to be desired…

Way back when, when they had data binding to controls I quickly realized they were more trouble (and limiting) than they were worth, so always coded it myself.


Way back when I still used VB the company I worked for wrote entire line of business apps and automated many many things for some really large energy companies

A few thousand $ a year for every developer to have EVERYTHING was peanuts in the grand scheme of things

We had clients that paid us millions because our work saved them 10’s or 100’s of millions

5K per dev (for about 60 of us) was nothing

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I worked on a very large accounting application in VB6 that was started (before I got there) with data binding. The event bugs binding created were crazy and stupid and hard to fix. Once we went to doing everything manually those problems just went away.

I think the bigger and more complex the app the less likely binding is worth it. Great for small simple apps built by non-developers but I think it hides too much from the developer that’ll come back to haunt them later. Just my experience. Others coming from FileMaker, 4D, Access may disagree as the binding is built-in and relatively decent.

Worked on system in 4D using Sybase (not 4D’s native database) for several years and we never used binding with that set up

  1. initially it wasnt possible
  2. even when it was we didnt use it

like you said it hides too many details and didnt give us the same level of control

doing it manually wasnt so bad

That said I do think the “low code” user does seem to be where Xojo is aiming - and data binding would fall into that realm

When you have total control of add/edit/delete/data validation life becomes easier even if there’s more ‘busy’ work. That was my experience. But also why I created ARGen to automate it as much as possible.

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Yeah there have been some frameworks for databases that I’ve used that worked very nicely and didnt leave you feeling out of control

Argen is pretty good for that
Perfect ? No but better than nothing and doing it all by hand every time
EOF that used to ship with WebObjects was very nice
CoreData is a lot like it now - different but similar

But for binding data to controls I cant say I have used one I truly liked and would recommend

FileMaker has data binding baked in. It has many advantages and an app can be created in nearly no time. There are however limitations that come with it, notably in terms of performance. Scalability it very limited, it doesn’t work with external databases.


Way back when I did a bit with FileMaker but I found it not flexible enough for general use (which was Not what the product was intended for). That tends to be true in my experience for “low Code” solutions, which is why I gravitated to REALBasic 20+ years ago.

I found is that I like what I would call “medium code” products that takes care of most low level/OS and UI specific or memory management details but still retains a lot of flexibility and does not lock you into a specific way of doings things… And and back then it felt that was what REABasic was trying to be.


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Agreed. I think it was a good general purpose development environment. But, I think the difference today is all about what 3rd party options you have. The .NET, Java, and other environments have a huge ecosystem. Need a library or control for you’ll probably find one or two open source versions, and several paid versions by reliable vendors.

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Well, no need to go there, there is also a HUGE difference today in the out of the box capabilities. Xojo improvement has being negligible for many years compared with other tools.

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As everyone knows Xojo never seemed to embrace “building an ecosystem” and investing time & effort to help promote third parties who helped expand Xojo’s capabilities into areas that maybe weren’t core to the product

It wasn’t for lack of users trying to convince them this would be a good things :slight_smile:

And so they are in the situation we find today where there are a very small number of third parties and an ecosystem around the product that is quite small

Its one reason I collect the Xojo open source links

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I’m sure the folks at Xojo would disagree

Renaming controls isnt “advancement” (they renamed framework items but the language hasn’t changed since they added VAR)

Async / await ?
Generics ?
Checked exceptions ?

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No need to go as far. Look at this update from the latest LTS Java (17). Point release from 17.0.7 to 17.0.8. Amongst other stuff it includes (something Xojo will likely never change, nor notice, nor be interested in :frowning: - and if they will update their libraries you can bet they will add new bugs …):

[…] #### IANA TZ Data 2023c

JDK 17.0.8 contains IANA time zone data 2023c which contains the following changes:

  • Egypt now uses DST again, from April through October.
  • This year Morocco springs forward April 23, not April 30.
  • Palestine delays the start of DST this year.
  • Much of Greenland still uses DST from 2024 on.
  • America/Yellowknife now links to America/Edmonton.
  • tzselect can now use current time to help infer timezone.
  • The code now defaults to C99 or later.
  • Fix use of C23 attributes.
  • This release’s code and data are identical to 2023a. […]

Source: Java™ SE Development Kit 17, 17.0.8 Release Notes

On macOS Xojo relies on the OS

Linux I think they dynamically link to the OS ones as well

On Windows they dont use the built in ICU libraries and ship their own built versions
In part I think thats because Windows didnt build in ICU until recently
Although I think Xojo could have gotten date info & from the OS then used the ICU routines to format it - or something like that
Dunno what other options might have existed there
But, I suspect they dont update it often enough so there are these weirdnesses
Why I asked for them to use the built in ICU

What this means is that on macOS and Linux I expect date time data is correct as the OS updates
On Windows, because its not updated by the OS, it causes issues

They do use a lot of third party code and if they dont keep pace with it then they suffer bugs, warts, inconsistent operation, etc
Nothing we can do about that

They can They could

Third party code (like sqlite, icu, etc) should be updated every release since those code bases get updated far more frequently

EDIT : typo of SQLIte that autodestroy turned into split fixed
“They can” - adjusted to the more correct “They could” since its more can tune with the fact Xojo could and may or may not actually do it

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I don’t suspect it, I encountered it all the time. Date, time, currencies are outside of North America “interesting” … and especially for a multiplatform “thing” I would like to see one(!) way of behaving instead of having inconsistent outputs per OS (and sometimes per release, when they are “optimizing”) …

I left - that helped me :wink:

They could but for me they proved more than once they cannot. :frowning: - But I understand it, because I’m the problem …

Them not doing this, is one reason of many why I left :wink:

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It is not even possible to buy licenses as a business. The way Xojo is set up. You have to do it personally. And then pass them out to your team members… Personally.

It’s a minor annoyance, but it’s something I’ve had to explain in a tax audit.

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Yep, now imagine how tax authorities deal with this in good old Germany? :slight_smile: - The only thing which helped is that they are based in Texas. That was enough of an explanation during our tax audit: a good laugh and they moved to other topics.

Plus, I have no idea how they were able to charge our credit card w/o us having to use 2 factor authentication, which is not only the norm over here but meanwhile the law. All I can say is that other US-based companies (even those smaller than Xojo) are dealing far better with European business requirements. Those either claim to sell to private customers only (fair enough), but if they address real businesses they do it right.

Its for instance a legal requirement here that the company name has to be adressed in the first line of the address, if my name is put in the first line the invoice is officially not addressing my business but it is a private expense (even if the company name shows up somewhere else on the invoice). Many US companies might not understand such requirements - but hey, they will just change their invoices, done. Everyone knows that fiscal rules are madness and are different in every country.

Good businesses want happy customers and do see them as partners not cash cows. If good businesses don’t want to deal with these problems, they just outsource the invoicing or buy professional software covering all countries and aspects.