Visual DataFlex

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Visual DataFlex has been re-branded as DataFlex by Data Access Worldwide as of the release of version 2014/18.0 in August, 2014. The latest information about the product is consolidated in the DataFlex article.

Visual DataFlex is a 4GL programming language and IDE/Studio targeted at application developers needing to rapidly create Windows client-server and web database business applications.

Architecture[edit]

Visual DataFlex’s multi-tier (N-tier) application architecture provides a well-defined structure for developers to create Windows and Web applications, Web Services and Service Oriented Architectures (SOA).

Database Tier[edit]

Visual DataFlex’s architecture abstracts the database tier enabling the interchangeable use of different SQL databases such as Microsoft SQL Server, IBM DB2, Pervasive PSQL, Oracle, and ODBC data sources, or the embedded DataFlex database.

Database Rules & Application Logic Tier[edit]

In Visual DataFlex, an application’s database and business rules are defined in and managed by "Data Dictionaries." Data Dictionaries are a middle tier between the application’s database and user interface that:

  • Provide applications with an extended, application-specific information that is not part of the physical database. It extends the database.
  • Protect the data – Data Dictionaries define and validate allowable data additions and updates.
  • Reduce programming errors and maintenance by centralizing an application’s business logic. All information and rules about a database and how it is managed is stored in one place - the Data Dictionary. If a developer needs to make an application logic change, it is made in the Data Dictionary and all parts of the application, regardless of user interface, acquire the change.

User Interface Tier[edit]

Visual DataFlex user interfaces can be developed for Windows desktop, Web browser and mobile environments. Similarly structured user interface frameworks for Windows and web connect to Data Dictionaries to complete the application stack.

History[edit]

Data Access Worldwide of Miami, USA is the developer and publisher of the Visual DataFlex software suite and language. The company originally started with the character-based application development environment for early DOS and multi-user networks. The first Windows product was DataFlex for Windows, which was followed by Visual DataFlex 4.0 in 1997. Since then, Visual DataFlex has been enhanced through numerous revisions and platform expansions including browser-based web applications that offer functionality similar to Windows desktop applications. With version 18.0's release in 2014, the company re-branded the product to "DataFlex" with several product families under the same brand. Data Access Worldwide’s software development teams are based in Miami, Florida U.S.A. and Hengelo, The Netherlands.

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