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Venerable DataFlex goes visual

20 years to get to Version 12

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It is reassuring to know that Microsoft has not overwhelmed every software product from the original PC era. This month sees the UK release of Visual DataFlex (VDF) version 12 - the latest version of Data Access's application development package from the early 1980s.

Always a popular product in the UK, the original version of DataFlex combined the robust qualities of a professional development tool with ease of use. The latest version builds on the now well-established principles of visual design and enables developers to effectively draw new applications on screen and generate code in the background.

VDF is compatible with any SQL or ODBC compliant database management system and can also build Web and Web services applications. The expanded visual development "studio" includes comprehensive class libraries and built-in process management to aid project control.

Chris Hibbert, marketing manager of Data Access's UK channel partner Asckey Data Services, says there are original DataFlex applications (built as along ago as 1987) still running.

"We currently have a project with one of our customers to convert from a DOS-based version 2.3 DataFlex to XP - and this is not unusual."

He says the VDF version 12 is pulling in new users: "We are offering a free personal edition of VDF for download and in the first few weeks download.com has recorded 5,000 hits. More important, we are converting these to full versions of the product."

Hibbert says some 1,000 conversions have come from Russia in the first six weeks. ®

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