Frequently Asked Questions

How is MasterStudio different from other Omnis products?

As far as we know (and our clients confirm this), there is no Omnis product like MasterStudio on the market. These are some of the most important aspects that you should consider:

  • Single Point Of Definition:
    There is absolutely no copying of code, nor "generating" of code. The pure object-oriented architecture of MasterStudio uses inheritance and polymorphism to the max, creating maximum achievable reuse and reliability. When a bug is fixed, you can be sure it is fixed everywhere. When performance is improved, it is improved everywhere. And because your applications cleanly inherit from MasterStudio classes (in a separate library), you can very easily update your existing applications and immediately profit from all the latest improvements.
  • Schema-driven business rules:
    MasterStudio puts database rules where they belong: Where the database tables are created, in one place. Although the MasterStudio table superclass is very "light" (allowing you to keep using your own table methods), table instances use helper objects, such as a custom schema object, column objects, list managers, record managers, and field managers to derive information from your schema classes and to enforce the database rules throughout your applications. Field labels are automatically derived from column texts that you define in one place. And, of course, they can also be translated into multiple languages in one place. If a column is mandatory, this will automatically be enforced. If you want one or more columns to be fetched only after the user clicks on a specific record, you can make that happen by simply adding XML tags to those columns.
  • User Interface Standards Compliance:
    MasterStudio uses platform managers for all platform-dependent attributes. Components automatically adjust themselves to Windows and Mac guidelines, and use platform-specific icons, button spacing, and keyboard shortcuts. Without any coding, MasterStudio dialog boxes and "command bars" even draw the "OK" button so it appears at the left on Windows and on the right on Mac OS. In short: MasterStudio applications look and feel like other applications on the platform, more so than most Omnis applications.
    Your applications will offer very advanced features that are not typically found in Omnis. For example, without additional effort on your part, your end users will be able to open any "tabbed pane" or "frame" in a new window. So they can look at the contents of multiple tabs at the same time. This is similar to the way modern applications work on Windows and Mac.
  • Freedom:
    From the very start, MasterStudio was built to coexist with other Omnis components and with your existing applications. It is not in our interest to restrict your applications in any way, and by providing full source code, we ensure that our customers keep full control over their own applications far into the future. MasterStudio components run in their own Omnis tasks. By using factory classes, every class can be replaced by your own subclass. A single theme factory contains all UI-related attributes, so you can easily change MasterStudio so it uses your own icons, colors, etc. By using delegation and by overriding "delegate template methods", you can even "parametrize" MasterStudio's controller objects without even needing to create a single subclass. And, last but not least, MasterStudio allows you to create virtually any window layout you like. By offering reusable and cleanly architected "framesets" and "pane selectors", you can rearrange the look of your windows (such as tab and pane positions) without risking breaking any code.
  • Steep Learning Curve:
    Using our "Quick Start", you can create fully functioning complex windows with corresponding reports in only a few hours. But dare we say it? This is a real object-oriented framework, and like other object-oriented frameworks (such as those found in the Java community) it takes time to take maximum advantage of its architecture and to extend it so your applications do exactly what you want them to do. Once you grasp the essence of MasterStudio, you will feel real empowerment. To quote Apple WebObjects Operations Engineer James Dempsey: "a steep learning curve is good, because it means you will learn a lot in a small amount of time". We could not agree more!
  • Documentation:
    The MasterStudio Developer Manual is available as a free download in PDF format. It includes a UML class diagram that helps you understand the clean relationships and dependencies between MasterStudio's classes.

What Omnis versions are supported?

MasterStudio 1.1 supports Omnis Studio 4.1 through 4.3.1. MasterStudio 2.0 supports Omnis Studio 4.3.1 and 5.0. We actively participate in the Studio beta programs. Since MasterStudio includes unlocked classes, developers can immediately fix their own application if they discover a new compatibility issue.

What Operating Systems are supported?

MasterStudio and PlanBoard were completely written in Omnis and do not rely on custom externals. Although MasterStudio classes will work on any platform supported by Omnis Studio, complex Master-Detail windows and PlanBoard may not redraw satisfactorily on Linux -- obviously, we cannot fix problems in Linux graphics drivers or Omnis Studio itself. TigerLogic is continuously improving Linux support so we expect remaining issues to disappear in the future. MasterStudio applications run and look great in Windows XP, Windows Vista and Mac OS X Leopard.

PlanBoard is tested and supported on Windows 2000 through Vista and on Mac OS X Tiger through Snow Leopard. PlanBoard 3 is still supported on Omnis Studio 4.1 through 4.3.1. PlanBoard 4.0 supports Omnis Studio 4.3.1 and 5.0.

How can I purchase MasterStudio?

Ready to order a license? Please visit this page. In order to take maximum advantage of MasterStudio, we strongly recommend attending our one-week training course. Please contact us about locations and schedule. On-site training is available on a limited basis. Please refer to the MasterStudio price list. PlanBoard developers on our Maintenance & E-Mail Support Program receive 20% off their first MasterStudio Developer License.

Is there a runtime fee?

No, there are no deployment costs for MasterStudio apart from the regular Omnis runtime fees that you pay to TigerLogic. After you purchase a MasterStudio developer license, you may use MasterStudio classes in any of your applications without owing us additional royalties. See the MasterStudio Developer License Agreement for details. Note that PlanBoard does require deployment licenses.

What does the annual developer support fee buy me?

Minor updates (1.x for licensees who bought MasterStudio 1.0 or 2.x if you purchased a 2.0 license) and bug fixes are included, as well as email support with an average response time of 2 days or (most often) less. You'll receive all classes unlocked, except those that are used to manage license information. Because they have access to the source code, it is extremely rare for MasterStudio developers to require more urgent support. You may also use incidental phone support at additional cost.

Is PlanBoard included in the MasterStudio license?

MasterStudio includes a developer copy of PlanBoard and the corresponding Developer Manual on the CD. To deploy PlanBoard in your applications, you must purchase the appropriate library and user deployment licenses. This is still a considerable savings on the regular PlanBoard Developer Pack.

Do you have an evaluation version of MasterStudio?

MasterStudio 2.0 and PlanBoard 4.0 are available as free previews, partly containing locked classes. The original sneak preview movie and the latest MasterStudio Developer Manual are also available for download. We would be happy to give you additional information by email or phone. We are present at the annual EurOmnis conferences. We are also available for custom consultancy, giving you an in-depth look at MasterStudio as well as a clear picture on your Omnis Studio development options before purchasing a MasterStudio developer license.

It seems you are going to a lot of trouble to emulate {Java Client}. Why not just use it? What advantage does Studio give you?

  • In our opinion, {popular Java application server/IDE} is a great product. However, to use it to its full extent, you need thorough knowledge of the Java language, which is definitely more "3GL" than Omnis Studio is. MasterStudio was created specifically for experienced Omnis Studio developers who understand the great power of this 4GL development tool and who have made a substantial investment in learning to develop in Studio.
  • Java and {popular Java application server/IDE} have even steeper learning curves and it is doubtful that they will ever become serious alternatives for Omnis developers. An important advantage of MasterStudio is that it allows you to create great-looking applications in much less time than it would take to switch to another environment. Contrary to other, more rigid frameworks, MasterStudio allows you to take individual components and build very complex user interfaces. Logically, the latter does require more advanced OO knowledge on the part of the framework developer.
  • Omnis Studio has a more robust and more mature cross-platform feature set than Java. Java 1.5 and later come closer than previous releases, but many IDEs in the Java community still lack features that Omnis developers have taken for granted for years. MasterStudio is targeted towards creating power applications that users use day in, day out. Omnis Studio is a great development environment for such applications.

Does MasterStudio support Omnis Web Client?

No… and yes. MasterStudio is primarily intended to help developers build powerful and complex GUI-based applications that use Omnis Studio's runtime engine to its fullest extent. Many things that MasterStudio does are simply not possible or feasible in Web Client. However, MasterStudio promotes the separation of data (model), application logic (controllers) and presentation (view). MasterStudio uses tasks as window contexts. In that sense, MasterStudio applications are generally easy to integrate with other tasks that use Web Client.

I find design patterns and Java hard to understand. Do I really need to know this stuff?

First of all, you don't need to know Java. This is an Omnis Studio product. To build simple applications and windows, you don't even need to have a deep understanding of design patterns. However, we believe much of the added value of MasterStudio lies in the reusability of its components and its similarity to solutions that already exist in the Java community. By taking advantage of this knowledge, and all the information that is freely available, developers can enhance their personal Omnis skills in ways they would not have believed possible.

More questions? Please feel free to contact us!

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