The Clarion SIG is devoted to supporting, enhancing, and promoting the use of the Clarion rapid application development system.
A description of Clarion:
The Clarion rapid application development system is used by developers around the world to create full royalty-free enterprise-level database applications. These applications are deployed as standard Windows 32- and 16-bit machine-code executables, as client-server systems via built-in thin-client technology, as java and java-less web applications, and as ASP and PHP scripts. Clarion applications include connectivity through ODBC and ADO to data sources such as MS-SQL Server, Oracle, MySQL, POSTGRESQL, MS-Access, Pervasive.SQL and other SQL-based systems, and native drivers for most other popular database systems, including Btrieve, dBase, Clarion, TopSpeed, ASCII flat files (fixed column-length), DOS random-access files, and BASIC (comma-separated values), and others. All these data sources are accessed through a common 4th generation language that makes movement from one data source to another relatively transparent. One Clarion application can straddle any combination of these data sources simultaneously. Clarion includes full implementation of objects, including classes, inheritance, virtual methods, and polymorphism. Procedural and object-oriented styles can be mixed in the same application.
The strength of Clarion for rapidly creating applications lies in its powerful data dictionary, flexible templates for generating code, and outstanding user interface design system. In the data dictionary, the developer defines the schema for the database, including its tables, columns, relationships, and other attributes. If the data tables already exist, then the data table definitions can be imported from the database. This can include data tables from numerous data sources in various databases. From the data dictionary, Clarion will apply templates as specified by the developer to generate code in Clarion, ASP, or PHP languages for entire applications for browsing, maintaining, and reporting. The developer can then fill in programming logic at precise points in the generated code for specific needs of the users. Among the unique approaches in Clarion are the treatment of windows controls and linked-lists. Because the windows and controls of the user interface are defined as data types in Clarion, the user interface is relatively easy to design and manipulate. Linked-lists, one of the most useful yet difficult programming concepts, is reduced to a data-type/object in Clarion, which is treated more as an in-memory data table. Clarion applications integrate well with MS Office and other automation objects, and can themselves be made into ActiveX objects.
There is a strong third party developer community that produces top-quality templates, libraries, and other tools for use by Clarion developers to enhance their productivity.
Clarion itself is developed and maintained by SoftVelocity of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida (http://www.softvelocity.com).