Goleta, California-based SmartStar Corp, the company that years ago put the first fourth generation language interface on a relational database machine and then created the first VAX/VMS proprietary language, has popped up with SmartStar Vision, a new object-oriented application development environment. Based on a set of built-in general-purpose database objects integrated with a graphical user […]
Goleta, California-based SmartStar Corp, the company that years ago put the first fourth generation language interface on a relational database machine and then created the first VAX/VMS proprietary language, has popped up with SmartStar Vision, a new object-oriented application development environment. Based on a set of built-in general-purpose database objects integrated with a graphical user interface, claimed to be another industry first, Vision is intended for mixed environments of Windows-based personal computers, Macs running X-server software and Motif-grounded X Window systems, and allows for rapid application development of all standard graphical user interface window styles. Designed around an event-driven structure, it eliminates all support-level coding by providing direct access to its database objects from a Motif-based point-and-click front end. Only the business rules of an application have to be translated into code, using an SQL object-oriented proprietary language called SmartGL. Any high level language functions can also be called as desired, but all object processing is performed by SmartGL. Vision’s predefined business objects, dubbed SmartObjects, support attribute inheritance and handle all SQL- and datatype work independently of the databases.
The server portion of Vision contains a complex heterogeneous multiple SQL database query optimiser and distributor, based on the company’s VAX proprietary language technology. Supported relational databases include an internal SQL database processor using the operating system files or the likes of Oracle, Ingres, Sybase and Rdb. First supported application servers include Sun Microsystems Inc’s SunOS, DEC Ultrix and VMS, with IBM Corp and Hewlett-Packard Co versions on the way. Clients include X-terminals and any X system. SmartStar promises Windows and Macintosh run-time versions next year, and is also working with the object database companies. SmartStar claims Vision is the minimum-code implementation available for client-server applications, estimating that the support programming needed to implement such applications absorbs at least 80% of the overall programming effort. Vision eliminates not only that code but all of its maintenance, it says. Using a real-life example that assumes that it costs $5 a line to write code and that 100 lines of code can be written a day, SmartStar figures that it can cut the cost of generating a trivial application to $750 compared with $12,000 using a tool kit and $7,000 using a Motif graphical user interface builder. The only competitor it rates is Ingres Windows, perhaps not surprisingly as SmartStar’s vice-president of development is Mike Dion, former vice-president of engineering at Ingres. The first release, in beta test since February at 20 sites, is immediately available. Single-user pricing for a developer system is $12,000 (?10,000) with run-time versions for end-users from $75 to $600 per licence depending on quantity. It will be sold direct in the US and through its UK subsidiary Smart Systems Ltd in Oxford, through resellers, and the firm’s international distributors. It is also expecting to sell the thing through OEM customers.