“A very exiting week it is” would Yoda say.
The latest version of BANano introduces the BANanoServer.b4xlib library, which is an easy to use wrapper around jServer, the same B4J lib ABMaterial uses. One can now use BANano to make stand-alone Web sites, but also interfaces for e.g. IoT and Raspberry Pi (when using the BANanoServer lib: as this is a normal B4J app, it can use all B4J libs on the server side) and build complex Web Apps.
NOTE: BANano still works without the BANAnoServer Library as it did before in case you want to use another backend like PHP, but only having to program in one language has huge advantages and is what RAD is al about.
When you will look at the code of BANanoServer, ABM users will recognize the powerful Caching system, Root, Websocket support and HTTP/2 filters. In BANano, all that code is removed from your own projects view (but still accessible as it is an open source .b4xlib).
Some ‘easy-to-use’ methods to communicate between the browser and the server are added (to call methods from each other and to exchange files).
More info and download BANano for free here: BANano Download
But the biggest news this week must have been the BOMB Erel from Anywhere Software dropped: B4A, the tool to make native Android apps, is from now on free to use for everyone!
From his announcement a couple of weeks ago:
I’m very proud in the continuing progress of B4X tools. I’m also very proud to be part of this amazing developers community.
In the last couple of years, I have a growing feeling that B4X tools do not realize their potential. While there are all kinds of development tools, B4X offers a unique set of features: simple, powerful, mature, great community, RAD, native, cross platform and more.
B4X tools are an excellent choice for a wide range of real-world use cases.
So, the question is how to make B4X more popular? Obviously, it is not a simple nor a short-term task.
A clear growth barrier is the fact that unlike most development tools today, B4A and B4i are not free. This wasn’t the case 10 years ago.
The big announcement today is that B4A will become free in a few weeks. The framework – set of internal libraries, will be open sourced.
We will accept contributions for B4A like currently done with B4J.
We’ve also secured funds from a US investor who shares my vision of making B4X a popular development tool. These resources will allow us to further expand.
Two huge points were raised here: for one, the tool that started it all (B4A) to make native Android apps, is now 100% free (download it here)! It is clear that nowadays paying for a development platform is so 2009. Some development vendors may exist for 20+ years, but haven’t grown accordingly and seem to be stuck in overprotecting their (outdated?) technology. Clearly, Erel is not one of them and is thinking on how to expand his tools into the next decade.
But the second part may be even more exciting: a private US investor has shown interest in the potential of B4X and shares Erel view of the future. This opens a whole new world to the development tool and allows to think a lot bigger. He can expand his team not only with new developers, but even more important, surround himself with professionals to market his brand and let the world know of the big impact his technology can have on any software developer.
Just read up on the forum (100K+ members) and one quickly realizes the brought spectrum of apps that can be written with B4X. It is used by big corporations like NASA, IBM and Bosch to name a few, but also by small companies and citizen developers. I for one use it daily in my day job at OneTwo and we feel so secure with the tools we use it as the foundation of all our software. Very rarely one comes across a tool where the developers are so close to its users and actually listens to their concerns and wishes. I remember having found a bug (yeah, you really have to go deep to find one) and after reporting it to the Anywhere Software team, 10 minutes(!) later, an update was released. This has never been seen and blocked me zero time in my own development.
I am a big fan of the B4X suite. It allowed me to write ABMaterial and BANano, two libraries to make modern Websites and Webapps. Something I can’t see me do in any other tool, at least not with such ease and speed. And it is fun, really fun to work with too. 🙂
So I think Yoda would concur: ‘The future, bright it is!’