Scriptcase 9.2 – The Right Tool For The Job ?

This will be a series of posts regarding my experience with Scriptcase 9.2.

Introduction

I am a person who believes that having the right tool for the job will save a person time, money, and what can be a great deal of frustration.  It is for this reason that I tried Scriptcase 7 as a free download, 8 again, and then decided to dive in and purchase a $300 license for Scriptcase 9.2.

Over the years I have purchased a number of code writing tools, scripting tools, libraries and have even written my own program generator that, using my library, one could develop whole Cobol ANSI 85 applications in minutes.  I don’t believe in manually writing essentially the same code over and over again when a code generator can do it for me.

Among the many tools I’ve used over the years are zApp Factory (C/C++) by Rogue Wave Software, the now purveyors of the Zend php tools, CodeCharge Studio – essentially a defunct php generation utility, Zend Studio 12 and framework and, the point of these articles, Scriptcase 9.2.

As I have time, which will be greatly impacted by the amount of time I have to spend learning Scriptcase 9.2, I will post articles on my experience.  This being the first.

Initial Thoughts

I was reluctant to invest in Scriptcase for a number of reasons.  Primarily, the problem for me was the language barrier.  Scriptcase is developed and maintained in Brazil which means the developers speak Portugese.  One may think this shouldn’t be an issue when developing php scripts as the language itself is all English.  This is true, to an extent.

However, even a cursory read of the manual, which as of this date is vastly improved, one gets the impression that the person writing the manual learned their English from the television or uses Google translate to make translations.  The grammar is poor, simplistic at best, and there are many instances where it is so confusing that it can take you 15 minutes to figure out what the writer is actually trying to say (if you ever do).

The manual, such as it is is, is an extremely sparse reference manual style.  If you are looking for a manual where you can find an example of something done and how to do it, this won’t help.  In the companies favour, they do have a number of videos on YouTube but again, these are rather superficial tutorials, often presented by someone with English as a second language and zero experience making video tutorials.

The Code.  Any good programmer will tell you they can read the code the application generates to figure out what it is doing and how to get it to do what they want.  Normally, this is the case however in the case of Scriptcase 9, you need to be able to understand Portugese.  The variables and labels in the code are by the vast majority in Portugese.  PHP is php, in this case version 7, but you can’t read the code without the context of the variables, labels and comments (what few there are are also in Portugese).

At this point, I have spent about 40 hours with the product over the past two weeks and I am extremely disappointed.  It took me three installations to get it to function at all and I have now spent well over 15 hours trying to figure out just how to get the security module to work with my own database structure, never mind in the most efficient manner.

More to come…

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