Working with DataFlex 2021

Working with DataFlex 2021 is a straightforward process once you have a basic understanding of how it differs from prior releases of the product. Our advice is to go step-by-step as you gain more familiarity with DataFlex 2021.

Step 1 – Install DataFlex 2021

Just as with all previous releases, you can safely install DataFlex 2021 side-by-side on a machine with previous revisions of DataFlex. Since the Studio is mainly a 64-bit product it defaults to the Program Files folder instead of Program Files (x86).

DataFlex 2021 installs with an extendable, 60-day evaluation license, there is no need to install a registration code in order to start.

Please note that DataFlex 2021 uses the same revisions of the Codejock components (18.3.0) as DataFlex 19.1, so if the last action you take on a system is to uninstall either product, you will need to manually register those components for the remaining installation to function correctly. You can use the “RegisterCodejockControls” batch file in the Bin folder to do this (you need to run this batch file using “as Admin”).

Also note that if you are updating from a prior pre-release build, we recommend that you do so using the following procedure:

Step 2 – Read the Entire What's New Documentation

We know it’s not the most exciting part of experimenting with a new toy, but your experience with DataFlex 2021 will be more satisfying if you take the time to review the documentation completely.

Step 3 – Use the Studio

We’ll assume that you are already familiar with DataFlex 19.1 (if you are jumping into DataFlex 2021 from earlier revisions there will be more to get used to, depending on your usual working environment). Here are some areas to pay particular attention to:

Step 3 – Experiment with the Examples

The main example workspaces all support compilation in both 64 and 32-bit. They also support Unicode but you need to convert the data to SQL Server to store Unicode data. While the examples are relatively simple (by design), they are a great way to play around with the Unicode features of DataFlex 2021 for that very reason; in just a few minutes you can experience what a fully Unicode application will feel like!

Here are some simple steps you can run through to experience all the new features of DataFlex 2021. They apply to any of the Order Entry - based examples (Web or Windows) but we’ll use the standard Order Entry Windows workspace in the following steps:

Note that we have focused the documentation on using Microsoft SQL Server as our back-end test environment. DataFlex 2021 includes the drivers for IBM DB2, MySQL, PostgreSQL, MariaDB and Oracle, so you can also experiment with those back-ends. Be sure to setup your environment correctly:


Step 4 – Migrate Your Applications

Of course, the most interesting aspect of experimenting is to see what happens with your own applications as you migrate them into DataFlex 2021. There are many layers to this process and those will change depending on the combination of your starting point (the current host revision for any application) and your goal. Some things to consider before you begin this process…

Here are some step-by-step examples of running an application though these stages. We’ll use our own DataBase Builder project (from 19.0 so that it hasn’t been “cleaned up” yet) in our references. What you see will depend on the applications you choose to experiment with.

//Use WinQl32.pkg

//Use CrystalReport.pkg

//Use dafmac.pkg

CompilerLevelWarning General Off

CompilerLevelWarning Unicode On

Obviously, the steps outlined are a very simplified view of application migration, and you’ll still have to deal with all your external interfaces – but from a high-level perspective it’s relatively straightforward:

Once you get into the process you’ll find that its all about repetition; yes, there may be hundreds, or even thousands of changes necessary – but it is really only a small handful of different types of changes that you repeat a number of times. The learning curve is all in how to handle each different type of change.

Step 5 – Use the Forums and Learning Center

There are specific forums for early testing, Windows, Web and Mobile, DataBase Connectivity, Reporting and much more. There are also many DataFlex Learning Center courses that will help you efficiently move to DataFlex 2021.

There are many developers working with DataFlex 2021 and getting involved in the forum discussions could save you hours or days of time. Conversely, sharing your own experiences could save other developers hours or days as well.

Step 6 – No Excuses

Come on, admit it, you didn’t really read all the documentation now did you? Trust us, it won’t take very long and you can relax with a refreshing beverage while doing so. Give it a shot; it certainly won’t hurt...

See Also

What's New in DataFlex 2021