I think Clarion will have a long life. It’s a good language and the 32-IDE works well.
From time to time, since it came out in the 1980’s, developers and other people have been wondering about its life.
Clarion creates great Windows applications that can be implemented on a LAN, or use with the IP driver, or run from a cloud server. I think a cloud-based server is the best way to implement an app for most situations. I have some Mac users, it works seamlessly for them.
With a cloud-based server, you don’t have to distribute it. There’s no need for a setup.exe file. Users don’t have to download or install it, or download and install any updates. TSplus has a very nice browser-based sign-on interface. TSplus is optional, but it is an affordable alternative to Microsoft RDS CALs.
There is an easy way to hide the desktop of the server so your application will look like it is running on your local computer. It runs fast like a local app, so it can be deceiving. Your application will run about as fast as on a standalone computer.
With a cloud-based server, you don’t have to change the file drivers or make any changes to the code. You can use TPS file or any SQL database supported by Clarion. Of course you can use the In Memory driver. I use LibXL to easily interface with Excel workbooks.
You don’t have to deal with OpLocks. The online help (using a compiled HTML chm file) works.
You don’t have to copy-protect your application because users can download it.
You don’t even need to have a sign-on window because the user is required to sign on to the Windows server and so your app knows who they are and you can control the security.
I like the shadow function in mstsc.exe, which lets me view or control a user’s session. This is great for training and for technical support. We don’t have to have a copy of their data sent to us.
For potential users, all you do is setup a user account for them on the server. You don’t have to provide a crippled or time-limited app. If they like it, they pay. If they don’t like it, you remove their user account. This also makes it easy to make them pay their annual maintenance fee.
I automatically backup the data files for my users. This saves them from doing that. This also lets me look at backup files to see what might have gone wrong or whatever.
And now that AnyScreen is getting pretty close to being viable, you can develop a Clarion application that is an HTML5 application. Users can choose to run a web-based app or use a Windows-based app.
So, I think Clarion has a long life ahead. Yes, there are a few other hurdles to address.
I think the Clarion user community is top-notch. There’s always great help for anything you ask.