Below is a short piece that I’ve put together to post on my LinkedIn profile. It presents my opinion on why Clarion is still relevant in providing value-for-money solution. If you have the time, please read through it and make comments.
As a vendor of IT systems, you always need to have an open mind for improvement and upgrading of your products and services. But it’s probably best to stick to your tried-and-tested tools – and start your own R&D exercise to see where new technologies and methodologies can enhance your offerings. For this reason, I want to make a case for Clarion, a programming framework and set of tools, that has helped us speed up the development of our business solutions – and made the maintenance of those systems easy.
To introduce the concepts of Clarion, one can read the well-written article about the Clarion Programming Language on Wikipedia. It includes the complete product history as well as comments on the pro’s and con’s of Clarion, which makes for good reading.
My case for Clarion starts with the fact that, with Clarion one can easily jump-start new development. Because it’s primarily template-driven (note, not wizard-driven), the resultant code is stable and quick to compile. Provided that the design of your data dictionary is accurate and complete, the customisation of the app is easy with a host of native and third-party tools to enhance the system. In short, systems development with Clarion is quick, complete and easy to maintain.
I also want to present the enthusiasm of the Clarion community as proof of the value it has provided to business over the years. You’re sometimes asked by a prospect customer which programming language is used to develop the product you’re offering. Clarion enthusiasts will proudly reply with what they use, but will also stress that the end-result meets all the requirements business may have for their needs. Therein lies a strong truth – if your product meets and exceeds business requirements, the technology used becomes a lesser issue. Naturally the longevity and availability of the technology is also important for business, but I think an almost-uncountable number of failed product start-ups over the years have involved latest-and-best technologies, that could not deliver what business needed on-time and within-budget. So, the use of Clarion is not the issue, but rather what it delivers for business on an ongoing basis.
There is much more to say about our preference for using Clarion. For now, I want to postulate that when a software product is developed with Clarion as one of the technologies in the solution, and with adequate backing of marketing drive and financial support, that product will not be inferior to others and will be appreciated and valued highly by business over the long run.
Finally, I would like to urge Clarion-using software vendors to develop a united front through which their collective products and services can be presented to industries, through which resources and funds can be generated to make the value-proposition of Clarion-developed systems more prominent.
Your comments are welcome.