[From Open Source Development Network, Inc.
Rapid application development environments let you produce code templates by visually designing a graphical user interface. You then simply add code for what should happen when an event (e.g. a click) occurs. Borland's Kylix is a well-known RAD application, but rumour has it Kylix's days are numbered. Time to look for alternatives.
There are two general directions you can take: either programmable/scriptable front ends to databases, or newly developed or ported full-featured programming languages. Some of these languages are well known and have simply added enhancements for visual development. In this first article we'll discuss database front ends. Why are they called front ends? Web development tools like Ed Carp's Escapade language communicate with a relational database server in the
background. The RDBMS stores all data in structured tables. Visitors enter information in Web-based forms, then Escapade uses Structured Query Language (SQL) to extract information from the RDBMS on the server over the network. The answer gets wrapped in HTML and delivered through the Web server to the visitor's browser.
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