Icetips - Templates, Tools & Utilities for Clarion Developers

Templates, Tools and Utilities
for Clarion Developers

What is Clarion?

Clarion is a Rapid Application Development tool (RAD) with a 4th Generation language. The language was create by Bruce Barrington back in the early 1980 and operated in DOS until Clarion for Windows came out in 1994. Clarion was first published by Clarion Software but in 1992 Clarion Software and Topspeed merged. Topspeed developed Clarion until 2000 when SoftVelocity took over the development of the product.

Clarion is a database language and the Integrated Development Environment (IDE) is tightly integrated with databases. The IDE has a powerful Dictionary Editor where tables are set up or imported from external sources such as ODBC or SQL databases.

Wizards can be used to create applications based on the information in the data dictionary, or the developer can optionally create completely hand coded source projects but the dictionary is only available to the application generator.

Clarion has a very powerful template driven code generator that pulls in information from the data dictionary to generate appropriate code. Templates are used to instruct the generator what code to generate. The templates are text based script files that generate code in exactly the way that the developer wants it to be. The template language is quite powerful and can in addition to internal statements call 32bit DLLs and run EXE files. This allows template developers to pass information into DLLs or EXEs for further processing or external generation of code.

Templates can be used to generate other languages than Clarion if wanted, but only Clarion based templates come with the product. There are templates available to generate ASP and PHP.

In addition Softvelocity also sells a number of add-on products for Clarion developers. Clarion also has a thriving community of third party developers that provide a wide variety of tools.

Clarion 7 and Clarion.NET
In late February 2007 SoftVelocity started alpha testing their latest version, Clarion 7. It has a brand new IDE based in parts on the SharpDevelop IDE or #Develop. #Develop is an open source IDE based on Microsoft's .NET technology. We at Icetips Alta LLC are of course member of the alpha team and we are very excited about the future of Clarion.

The new IDE presents a radical change in how we work in Clarion. This IDE will also be used for Clarion.NET and, on top of that, it can also be used to maintain applications that are still in older versions of Clarion, such as Clarion 5.5 or Clarion 5.0. With the 16bit limitations of the old IDE gone, the development of those legacy projects, that are perhaps not ready to be moved up to C7, will become much easier. We have been active in the beta testing process and we are now testing our products actively with the Clarion 7 IDE and the application generator. We have started supplying Clarion 7 demo apps with our product installs ready to be used when the Application Generator is released for public beta testing.

Clarion.NET should fit nicely into this new .NET based IDE. It will be very interesting to see how existing Clarion applications integrate into the new .NET version.

Icetips has been supplying high quality tools for Clarion developers since September 2001 under the name Icetips Software. In January 2007 we became Icetips Creative, Inc. and we plan to be around for a long time to come to supply Clarion developers with solid tools to use in their development. In January 2009 as we moved our business to Port Angeles, Washington the company was restructured as Icetips Alta LLC.


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