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Issue 2.5


Success Stories

The REALbasic Developer Program delivers a competitive advantage

Issue: 2.5 (May/June 2004)
Author Bio: Gwen Palmer is REAL Software's Director of Marketing. In this article, she shares some feedback from REALbasic customers on their experience with the REALbasic Developer Program.
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Article Length (in bytes): 6,895
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Article Number: 2508
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The REALbasic Developer Program was created to provide priority technical assistance and additional business assistance to those that rely on REALbasic for their livelihood, such as those who create commercial software or who provide consulting services. I had the opportunity to talk with some developers who have joined the program. Here are their stories of how the program benefits them and their business.

Interview with Joe Nastasi

The first, Joe Nastasi, has been a REALbasic developer since July 15, 1998, when he started to create A-OK! The Wings of Mercury. Mr. Nastasi is the principal of Pyramid Design, a REALbasic design and consulting firm. Mr. Nastasi shares a long history with REALbasic: he was an early advocate of a native REALbasic 3D API and provided copious feedback on the Rb3D API, from its early days as a plug-in to its inclusion into REALbasic. In addition, Mr. Nastasi is a charter columnist for REALbasic Developer magazine, where he guides 3D neophytes in his column "The Topographic Apprentice."

REAL Software: Why did you join the REALbasic Developer Program?

Mr. Nastasi: At the time the Developer Program was announced, Pyramid Design was really ramping up and I had just moved to new office and new home, so my time was more limited than ever. I needed to find ways to be more efficient, and I found I was wrestling with some issues for too long. The lists are a great resource, but sometimes that method of acquiring the knowledge to fix a problem is not fast or detailed enough.

Once in the program, I found that having Incident and Quick Fix support at my disposal makes Pyramid Design more valuable. I can provide faster solutions to programming issues that are slowing a project. The fact that there was an entry-level program made the decision to join a no-brainer.

REAL Software: What benefits have you realized as a result?

Mr. Nastasi: First, I've used five or six incidents which really saved time. In one particular case, it was an absolutely crucial problem that was holding up a very large client project. Also, I've received four contracts from the program's referrals, which have a aggregate value of tens of thousands of dollars. In addition, many times prospective clients are impressed that Pyramid Design is part of the Developer Program. Pyramid Design is working with much larger clients, some at the enterprise level. Having Pyramid Design in the REALbasic Developer Program gives them an added level of comfort.

REAL Software: Would you recommend the REALbasic Developer program to others? Why or why not?

Mr. Nastasi: In my mind, if a developer is doing anything beyond hobby work with REALbasic, it's almost a requirement to join. At less than $300 for the Standard plan, it's worth it even if a developer earns a few thousand from programming every year. The Standard plan will work for Pyramid Design for a while, but I am already planning to allocate funds for the Premiere plan in 2005. The additional benefit of being able to have strategy meetings and direct engineering access will be very important as Pyramid Design expands its product line.

REAL Software: What can we improve with the REALbasic Developer Program?

Mr. Nastasi: Keep the costs as fixed as possible, and continue to provide an entry-level program. The actual program is fine as it is, but what makes in great for companies like Pyramid is that the cost of entry is not prohibitive.

Interview with Dr. Gerald Hammond

I also spoke with Dr. Gerard Hammond, who has been writing Macintosh scientific software for 14 years and using REALbasic since 1998. He is currently with the Peter Wills Bioinformatic Centre at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, researching and designing REALbasic software systems for the medical research community.

REAL Software: Dr. Hammond, why did you join the REALbasic Developer Program?

Dr. Hammond: We wanted to ensure that we could get our REALbasic questions answered quickly, and the price was very reasonable so we joined the REALbasic Developer Program. We also consider our joining the REALbasic Developer Program was a way to show our support for the product and the staff of REAL software.

REAL Software: REAL Software uses an electronic system to capture customer feedback. Feature requests and bug fix requests are prioritized with a formula based on level of severity of the problem, the number of customers reporting the same issue and length of time the issue has been in the feedback system. Customers like Dr. Hammond use the REALbasic Developer Program QuickFix to prioritize their requests above other requests in the feedback system. What benefits have you realized as a result?

Dr. Hammond: It has proven to be a very useful program and we will definitely be

renewing our subscription to the developer program. Over the lifetime of our involvement with the developer program, we have been migrating 12 large in-house applications from RB version 4.5 to RB 5.5. Along the way we discovered several issues and coding techniques

that were either not needed any more or had been substantially updated. With the RB Developer Program we were able to get all of our issues resolved. The ability to lift the profile of a bug or feature above background noise is a great feature of this program.

REAL Software: Would you recommend the REALbasic Developer program to others? Why or why not?

Dr. Hammond: Absolutely. The REALbasic Developer Program has allowed me better access to the people that will resolve my issues. This is crucial when you have a

deadline and you need an issue to be dealt with. I recommend the REALbasic Developer Program to other organizations because it is very good value for money.

REAL Software: What can we improve with the REALbasic Developer Program?

Dr. Hammond: I am very happy with the service that I am currently receiving. The technical support and follow-ups have always been responsive and handled to a satisfactory conclusion.

Additional Information

To learn more about the REALbasic Developer Program, visit http://www.realsoftware.com/developer.

End of article.