Easy to Create, Easy to Change - Easy to use!

Try to convert apples into pears and you get a sour lemon.

It is a stark reality, and one that we need to take into account every day that DFD users actually DO prefer DFD over any other DataEase version. DFW was never popular with DFD users, which is a main reason why so many DFD users till prefer and use DFD to this day.

The problem with DFW vs. DFD is "muddled" strategies. The team that developed DFW never wanted to be hampered by the limitations of DFD so all compatibility and shared functionality was forced upon them rather than picked voluntarily. It is no secret that the co-existence between DFD and DFW was an uneasy and unhappy "marriage" .

Again with hindsight one can also say that the push for DFD users to move to DFW was not with their best interest at heart. It was policy and business over reality,a process a lot of company has a tendency to gravitate towards as they "professionalise". 

It is quite obvious that this forced marriage caused both products and both client bases to suffer. DFW was limited by its need to be compatible with DFD, and DFD users suffered because the development of their platform ceased.

With this clear hindsight we can say that the right thing at the time would have been to develop a modern DataEase for Windows user that was completely independent of DFD, and at the same time continued developing DFD as an independent product line. With 3 million clients world wide, one would believe that there should have been more than enough financial incentive to do so. There would even have been no problems in sharing the DataBase and business logic and there is even evidence in the DFW 6.x and DFD 5.x code base that a project to do this more extensively was quite progressed before abandoned for no evident technical reason.

But all of this is now history. It is now 2014 and soon 2015. The time for DFD and even migration/conversion from DFD has passed. Both technical and business wise this is no longer a viable proposition. We are still sure that it is easier for a DFD users to re-develop their offering in DFW or DG3 than it is in any other product, but at the same time we have to take into consideration the psychological effect.

If DFD users switch to another development tool they will realise from day one that it is a new product and that it will take some time and understanding to get to know and use the product. When they switch to DFW they subconsciously think they know how to use it already and when it then isn't 100% clear how to proceed they get frustrated.

As a company we do sympathise with DFD users and their frustration, but as a new company that has taken over an old platform we need to make some difficult decisions. Up till last year we worked on a product to convert old DFD applications but it was abandoned simply because the business case didn't hold water. To much time has passed and DataEase as a product and a company need to focus on the now and the future.

We work with DataEase because we believe in the idea of Rapid User Instigated Development (RUID) but we have been failing in that because we have focused to much on the passed.

All DFD customers have got a fantastic return on investment, most likely better than any other product in history and with some concession they can reap even further benefit by running it for some time longer.

However the idea that the same benefit can be reaped by simply porting a DFD system to DFW is something we will strongly dissuade.

There is very little evidence over the last 20 years of customers that has been happy by simply migrating a DFD system to DFW. Most of them have started and abondened migrations several times, and when they finally make the move a system that cost them almost nothing when first developed in-house has run into sever tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of pounds in development cost.

However customer that as embraced DFW as a new product and developed new solutions from scratch with the same enthusiasm and willingness to explore and learn which was so present in the early DFD period very much have the same success and joy in their systems.

DataEase is about ease of development and ease of change, so why have the focus for so long been on making something that should be easy to make from scratch easy to convert/migrate?

It doesn't make sense. DataEase has focused on making it easy to convert apples into pears, instead of making it easy to grow pears.

Published: 24/08/14 - 12:34:06 (Ulrik J Hoegh-Krohn)

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