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Issue 4.3


V4RB Data Class Builder

Issue: 4.3 (January/February 2006)
Author: Norman Palardy
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 3,411
Starting Page Number: 10
Article Number: 4307
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Full text of article...

V4RB Data Class Builder is a code generator for Valentina 1 databases. You use it to help you quickly write the required VDatabase subclass and VBaseObject subclasses you would need for using a Valentina database in REALbasic.

It does this quickly and simply.

Unfortunately it hasn't been updated to handle Valentina 2 databases yet. The requirements on the Bierly web site indicate that the package supports Valentina 1 and does not mention Valentina 2. I tried a Valentina 2 database just to see what would happen and V4RB warned me it could not open this database, and then promptly quit which I found surprising. Working with Valentina 1 everything proceeded without issue.

Once I installed Valentina 1 and created a database for testing V4RB things progressed much better. It quickly let me select the database I wanted to create the classes for, set the location to save the generated code, and quickly generated the required XML files. I then imported these into a new REALbasic project without issue.

When you have created all the classes for one database the interface very subtly changes to let you know that it is ready to start over again by changing the enabled icon at the top of the window and clearing the various display fields. If you're not paying attention you may miss this. Some display of "Done !" might be useful. I never had a large enough database to work with to see if progress dialogues are shown when the code is being generated.

Because Valentina is already very object oriented, the amount of code that any subclass of Valentina's base classes has to contain is very minimal. It amounts to a constructor, and several properties for each subclass. This means that the amount of work that V4RB Data Class Builder is saving you is quite small, particularly on a small database. On a larger database it could save you a lot more.

The interface is clean and simple to use. It's so straight forward that you may not need to read the provided manual. However, if you do, the manual is clear, and well illustrated.

V4RB Data Class Builder does just what it says it will, does it quickly, and performs as advertised. It's just that it doesn't need to do much to create code for Valentina and that limits the value of the product. An update to support both Valentina 1 and 2 would certainly be very worthwhile.

End of article.