forum.marketing.feedback (2000-2005) & forum.gupta.marketing (2005-2010)
Posted by: sln
CTD/SQLWindows while a technology best of breed for many years,
has one big chance for becomming a more widely spread language.
Put it on .NET, fully integrating it with the Visual Studio.NET environment
and the word will see the benefits. Anything less will demonstrate a lack of
as we have seen for the past several years and doom the product to its
I've developed with this CTD/SQLWindows since Version 1.0. Its time to
and take a real step towards the future.
Posted by: Jon Gupta
Michael W. Dietrich
Posted by: Michael W. Dietrich
I definetly agree, where I think, this might be "the last chance" at least
for SQLWindows - and I'm shure SQLBase will die as follow up within months
after SQLWindows did!
Posted by: sln
In reading the "roadmap" for CTD it seems that the direction is to maintain
CTD as an independent product that can interface to multiple environments.
If CTD is to become a first class product again, it must be a fully
in Visual Studio.NET like the new Python and Perl implementations.
Don't keep making the same mistakes year after year. You can interface with
using other techniques, don't try to generate .NET code, BE .NET.
Posted by: Ralf Gronkowski
i'd really be interested in what you mean by "be .NET". Let's try to get
to the bottom of it.
As i understand the Python or Perl offering, that comes down to a
plug-in that enables the Visual Studio IDE to edit and debug Perl or
Python code. Quite cool considering Perl and Python are languages and
not IDE's, so ActiveState simply fills a gap here and generates some
noise using MS's excelent marketing machinery. So, do you want to have
Visual Studio be the editor for SAL code as it is for VB or C#. Is that
something of great value to a CTD user?
Or do you suggest CTD should abandon it's proprietary runtime and
therefore transform SAL code to MSIL to be executed in the CLR as part
of the .NET framework together with Visual Studio integration. That
indeed would be significant. Questionable is however the value of such
an undertaking to those, who want to develop classical client
applications and not webservice components. Further CTD's competetive
advantage would then come down to the question whether SAL's grammar is
superior compared with C# or VB. Could that be all?
Or do you just want CTD applications to be able to integrate seamlessly
with the .NET web services architecture, being able to generate
components and clients? The key to that beyound COM support would be the
abilitiy to communicate/understand/generate SOAP, UDDI, WSDL, XML, HTTP
as these technologies are the glue between services and consumers over
the web. Most of that is feasible with CTD already today. So do you want
Centura to be just smart enough to gain value from using the .NET
Or do you want all of the above?
Regardless of that, i think you're right. Centura needs a "story" around
Michael W. Dietrich
Posted by: Michael W. Dietrich
I think the CTD IDE is stil superior to what VS.NET delivers though you
still have to buy add ons like IntelliSAL to gain the full functionality of
the VS.NET IDE in CTD. So I don't realy bother about this, but think from a
cost perspective of view, it might be interesting fro Centura to get the
stability of VS.NET IDE for free (ok nearly I mean ;-) instead of hacking
around in a bunch of instable an hard to manage CTD source code, that has
by laws of nature to produce less stable and less performant IDEs than
VS.NET even in Beta 2 already is. (Don't ask me what Centura will sell in
choosing this choice instead of CTD! I'm not the marketing expert - as you
know fairly well.)
Actually it is the second of your sketches I'd prefer. Lets build an
compiler to transform SAL to MSIL! It will not realy harm those who want to
develop classical C/S Apps in CTD cause you can still (and in my view
better than ever) create Windows Apps from VS-/.NET.
Actually the question of competitive advantage will anyway come down to the
question of superior grammar within months as soon as VS.NET is out there!
I've been lucky to be able to develop some VS.NET Apps (C#) within the last
weeks and say you what: The only thing I realy missed at first sight was
Centuras way of handling Bind Vars! I not even realy missed Building Blocks
and you know how enthusiastic I still am about this.
Nevertheless the .NET-framework was a more stable, comfortable and handsome
interface to a graphical user interface and the OS below it than anything I
saw since NextSteps ObjectiveC. More than that Windows itself seemed to be
Object oriented - all of a sudden. Exception handling was as easy as "When
SQLError" but on any level of the language. Database handling was much
easier than anything I ever saw in Java though it had some of the harnesses
CTD has when using ADO through the COM-Interface-Classes.
C# realy gave me the feeling of having a 4GL for Windows on the somewhat
more native OS level I ever wished to have in CTD. And in opposite to Java
I did not have to learn all those new Classes and Interfaces cause all the
Windows-Controls I knew well for years now did stay what they where before
.NET, but now had a coat around them that made them look like real objects.
Not beeing withdrawn from the .NET-Framework or having to use it through a
bunch of Centura generated COM-Interface-Classes would be the real need I
would be seeking for if someone wants me to use CTD furthermore. So if you
still want to code and sell CTD, give the SAL Language a seemless
integration with the .NET-Framework.
Gronk, if anyone at Centura is smart enough to do me the favour of having a
real deep look into .NET and VS.NET, I would prefer you and GP to do so as
fast as you can. Don't read the MS marketing papers. Don't play around with
the stuff. Just write yourselfs a real C/S App (probably you could give the
munich office the one and only CRM-System they ever wanted/needed ;-). And
then tell me, not from a marketing perspective but from teh experiences you
made: where you realy think the competitive advantage of CTD and SAL will
have vanished within lets say the next 6 Months or so.
Posted by: Radek Cerny
This is a very interesting thread. Or rather it reminds me of very
interesting thoughts of the past. Once again we are preventing the ultimate
demise of CTD. Seriously, do you think that whatever .NET integration
Centura can do will cause hordes of people to drop Visual Studio and/or Java
to pay money for using CTD? Not in this lifetime.
The best thing Centura can do is pick up its game and run with it. CTD is
(well can be) an Enterprise development platform. It was the best, and
might still be only because there is no other platform in the running.
Sure, there is an Enterprise version of .NET, and c# and the CLR is
fantastic, but the rest of .NET is still so immature and geared towards
MS-style developers (ie cowboys & geeks). There is a lot of 'neat' and
'cool' stuff in .NET, but totally useless for building enterprise
architectures and systems. Java is not really that much better. There are
far more disaster & failure stories using EJB than successes.
From a technical viewpoint, CTD is MI whereas the CLR is SI which is a
problem. CTD would need to support private/protected/virtual etc method
declarations. All in all, this is a bad idea (CTD .NET integration).
For CTD to survive, people must use it (and pay for it). Why would they do
that? Because they have looked at .NET and Java, and decided that neither
one will work for them. There are still many many organisations that have
yet to embrace a web-centric development world - Centura must target these.
The combination of CTD & ITAP is an incredibly powerful web development
platform. CTD2000 performance is terrible (altho the latest release of PTF3
is 300% faster!!) and object references are not late-bound (which can be
overcome with thunking) and a few other glitches, but all in all its bloody
Centura needs to do what MS and Sun have tried and failed miserably at.
Develop a best practices guide (and architecture and few sample apps) for
enterprise web development, and shove it down peoples throats. People will
We have a very large ERP/CRM system developed in CTD/ITAP that would be
impossible (for practical, not technical reasons) to develop in .NET or
Java. And yes it is 100% web-based, field-at-a-time (ie works & feels like
client-server) and runs in IE5 with no plugins.
my $.02 worth.
Michael W. Dietrich
Posted by: Michael W. Dietrich
I think you're preaching in the dark!
Posted by: email@example.com (Owen Thomas)
You are not preaching in the dark.
I have been using CTD since Gupta 4 days in '94 and although I have
dabbled with 'C', Java, VB, Delphi this is still by far the best
development environment I have worked with. But being the best does
not necessarily mean you'll be market leader. I have not got into any
depth with .NET yet although as we currently have more VB projects I
have been following VB.NET and that looks like a nice development on a
slightly better than average tool.
At the end of the day it's gonna come down to the Centura/Platinum
marketing. Can they get the CTD profile back to some level of
visibility in the market place. I have many friends in the industry
who are already preparing the going away party for CTD. When was the
last time you saw CTD in PCWeekly or a review on a web site like ZDNET
or CNET or YAHOO or GOOGLE. It does not happen. Maybe it's the cost of
CTD but they need to get it into trade mags and on web sites. I am in
New Zealand and it's an expensive investment for many of the companies
here as they are not that large then throw in the cost of training
(when was the last time you saw a SAMs or O'Reilly book on teach
They need to get the aplication up and running on .NET and stable
before .NET is stable. Borland are looking to fill in the gap between
Java and .NET should not CTD be aiming to do this. But CTD needs to be
able to do all those new technologies easily. Build COM, COM+ objects,
integrate with XML, SOAP, HTML and the rest. It's a big ask. But this
is the last chance saloon for CTD and all of those developers who grew
up with CTD and are now in positions of authority/decision making
within organisations need to be contacted and told. You can do with
CTD what you want to.
Enough of my soap box. Best get back to my day job.
- Posts: 335
- Joined: 21 Mar 2017, 13:05
- Location: Bremen, Germany
Posted by: Andreas Neugebauer
I think the only way to save CTD / SQLBase is to port it to a wider range
of platform, esp. Linux/KDE. Therefore it must be put to Open Source. If you
want to make all the things M$ is thinking about, this might be like
fighting the Medusa. You have to learn, that all the neat things M$ makes
are only there because of Marketing needs, not because of technical needs.
Nothing from their technologies works really good, indeed they never worked
( DDE, OLE, OCX ... ). It is all Marketing and will ever be!
Posted by: Mike Robinson
Congratulations on this post. It was a pleasant surprise to read your rational
thoughts amongst all the hype.
Integrating with Microsoft's IDE is a great idea for those companies that have
less sophisticated development environments (CodeWarrior for example). The CTD
development environment does have a few "funnies", but I would not describe it as
poor. It seems pointless for Centura to throw lots of effort into IDE integration
- to get them approximately where they are today.
Scary. This reminds me of when Centura embarked on making CTD generate Java
bytecode, with Earl Stahl as technical lead. The "Tomahawk" project lasted for a
year and never reached completion. As far as I remember, this coincided with
Centura losing $30+million for the year.
This must be the correct strategy (if Centura are going to have one). From a
marketing perspective, this is a repackaging and positioning exercise. Centura
still seem to have a lack of direction with regard to web-based solutions. From a
technical viewpoint, consolidation is required. As an old-time SQLWindows
programmer having moved into providing B2B and B2C web solutions - I find it sad
to say that it remains unrealistic for me to incorporate CTD into these systems.
Lets not forget one of CTD's USPs. Its rich database connectivity still competes
strongly with the likes of VB and Delphi, and pisses on Java and C from a great
height (IMO)! Its weak points relate to COM. IMHO, Centura COM components are
neither fast or robust, and the lack of an environment to properly debug COM code
in CTD2000 is a glaring omission.
It is true to say that major changes are coming. The .NET strategy means that
Microsoft is resuming pretty much from where it left off with ActiveX controls
circa 1998 (now that they have fallen out with Sun). Microsoft's marketing machine
is doing its job well by promising everything to everyone. It is only after a
product's release that everyone realises the true capabilities. There is an
interesting article on DNJ about ASPs "weak spots", and how good ASP.NET is going
to be. (http://www.dnjonline.com/articles/essentials/iss23_essentials.html). This
article points out the "Seven Deadly Sins" in ASP, and that there is no simple
migration path from ASP to ASP.NET. Try reading this article imagining that you
are building ASP in 1999! The big question is, will the ASP.NET article that comes
out in 2003 be any different?
It is crucial that Centura is not rattled by these changes. When faced with the
onslaught of PowerBuilder, Centura's development focus shifted to point-and-click
SAL code generation. This move was tactical rather than strategic and did not
really benefit CTD in the long term. Platinum have acquired a strong product
portfolio in CTD, SQLBase and Connectivity. Surely its primary aim must be to
reassure institutions that there is product direction. Compatibility, whilst
Dataline Software Ltd
Clarence House, 30-31 North Street, Brighton, BN1 1EB, UK
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Posted by: Anwar Syed
Very intresting discussion. I wish Centura was purchased by Microsoft
instead of Platinum. My theory is Microsoft needs technology and Centura
Posted by: Mark
my 2 cents worth...
If it is to survive CTD must be compatible with .net. Full integration (
i.e. CTD Code compiling under MSIL ) I don't see happening, thats just far
too much work - and for what benefit ? You may as well just write your app
I think the only way forwards for CTD is to be able to generate and use .net
objects, as Ralf G describes in his first post.
I also think that CTD has to become a cheaper - its too expensive at the
moment and people will look elsewhere for dev environments.
I don't see that MS would of been interested in CTD, they already have
enough on the development environment front and I don't see what technology
they would take from it.
Posted by: Philip Blakemore
Didn't Microsoft aleady put some dollars into Centura/Gupta some time ago?
About the same time Centura/Gupta dropped their Tomahawk/Java thing :-)
Posted by: sln
1. Perl or Python compiled down to MSIL AND integrated with IDE. big
2. CTS/SQLWindows has been a shrinking market for many years due to many
including extremely poor marketing and product positioning, not due to
3. Your understanding of .NET, vb.net , C# etc is not complete and is
The CTD development environment is strong, however its going nowhere.
excellence means little compared to market strength. CTD would be better
their great outline based editing into Visual Studio and changing CTD to
compile down to
MSIL. VB lacks some of CTD's great strengths, which due to the .NET runtime
will be portable.
Again. CTD's base is shrinking and has been for a long time. I have not
had a customer
interested in using for several years, and we were using it since release 1.
The .NET framework is
the key at this point in history. Grab it or lose more marketshare.
Otherwise the obit will read Great Technology, No Customers.
ps. I knew Earl Stahl, he's a good person. Attacks like that are
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