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Codeontime Alternatives Question

Probably not the forum to as the question but one product can't do it all so I will put it out there.

CodeOnTime is a great product - great for a lot of things - provided you follow it's good and consistent framework. My recommendation is that it is probable the slickest quick deliver for a small transactional system.

My clients want more - I will use "material design concepts" as design starting point.

What alternate products have people used and why? Where did some fail and why.

I have a strategy for my company - but curious if other have for theirs.

NOTE: I will completely understand if CodeOnTime deletes this ticket as it might breach the spirit of the forum.
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  • This depends on the budget. Outsusyems will out perform COT anytime, with great support and backup, with COT lacks. I have used this a while back when they had a community version avaialble and a solid framework.

    If you don't mind a more hands on approach and good with Angular, I would recommend ASP.NET Zero, a good solid framework, security and configuration. This is not a tool like COT or a Code Generator but a good solid framework to build application fast using modem approach/patters (SOLID Patterns etc) https://aspnetzero.com/
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  • I agree with your statements about COT being good for certain types of application (specifically those that are mostly database maintenance). For such it is pretty-much unbeatable, but I find it more difficult to easily generate business apps - the workflow mechanisms in COT are (OK but) a bit clunky.

    I am investigating Telerik's offerings - not an app generator but a collection of widgets, components and tools for various development platforms. One such that has piqued my interest is Blazor.

    Blazor is a Microsoft technology that allows you to write your applications using C# code that runs on the server and, wait for it... client side, in the browser. All modern browsers support an internal byte engine called WebAssembly. Microsoft have engineered a cut-down version of the ASP.NET system that runs inside the browser and acts as a shim between WebAssemly and your C# byte-code. Word on the block is that it is very slick and super-fast.

    You can still write client code in JavaScript (some event-handling still has to be done this way) but you can determine where your modules reside so it should be fairly easy to create shared server-side libraries that are invoked by client-side code, all of it in C#. It's nothing that you can't do with AJAX and JavaScript but you can stay in the world of C# and not have to bother about all that low-level async stuff and the inherent bear-traps - client-server interop is all handled for you.

    Work starts to evaluate it all in the next few weeks. It's open-source and free but you need to pay if you want the Telerik widgets. (30% discount during Nov)

    So my data maintenance apps used by editors will remain in COT but the read-only LOB and visualisation will be in another technology.

    Hope this helps.
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  • 1
    I like COT for certain applications but now looking at a relatively new tool RADZEN (dot com). It is a code generator but with support for Blazor and the concept of components, allowing it to go beyond what the tool offers.

    Their generated code currently has a separate form for Insert and Edit (so not too keen on that) but their RoadMap is always updated and their development seems more organized that COT.

    I am still a COT fan, despite the delays and funny roadmap/plans. Hope they would improve existing items (like Calendar multi-day event, recurrences, etc) BEFORE they plan new stuff that not everyone will use. A treeview would be nice, newer identity framework for security would also be nice.

    I still recommended COT to a large credit Union and a DC government agency, so hopefully COT will improve in areas of support and more focused development to keep it in line with mainstream .Net path.

    Until something really beats super-fast development, COT is still my preferred tool for application development.
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  • 2
    My personal opinion is the return on investment with Code on Time is huge. While there are other platforms, I am not sure any can match COT for features or license cost. Outsystems is not made for small shop developers like me. Mere mortals cannot afford it. COT is priced within my reach. COT is like having extra staff doing much of the work while letting me deal with customization, business rules, etc. I like that.

    No platform is perfect. Occasionally, I hit a wall, and have to find a workaround or just accept the limitation. Sometimes if COT is delayed in a release I have to use another tool to meet a customer request. That is just business, I don't criticize COT when that happens.

    I fully plan on COT being my platform of choice for as long as I code solutions. Its a great platform priced at a fair license cost. I am continually amazed by all it does.
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  • 1
    This is an important aspect COT need to up their game on. One of the bottlenecks I encounter is the lack of varied charts. I think the charts in COT is too limiting. It is suggested COT should demonstrate how to integrate other javascript charting libraries into COT.

    They also promised an upgrade to their documentation library but this has not yet happened.
    baa
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  • 3
    I for one am sticking to COT.
    It's served me well over the years and as John states the ROI is huge, particularly if I don't overcomplicate or overthink development.

    Yes, there may be other solutions out there but they all have their weak and strong points.
    Radzen looks quite good and is similarly priced to COT. Their scheduler looks good but I'd be surprised if Radzen could match COT overall.

    I understand the frustration some of us have at times when COT things don't come together as they plan, or as we expect. However, most complex software products out there, including the ones we ourselves produce, suffer similarly.

    I've always managed to keep sane and save time by only promising features available on the current version. I don't promise clients features that are not yet available.

    I never hesitate to use paid consultations.
    I "save" non-critical issues and handle them all in one consultation if a solution doesn't appear on the forum in time.

    Keep up the good work COT!

    Cheers,

    Jonesy
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  • 3
    I have been working with COT for a few months now. No need to comment on documentation, we all agree they could work on it and probably get rid of 80% of the complaints we read around here. On the other hand, I realize how difficult it is to keep documentation updated and I for one hate writing it. The videos are great, although it is hard to Search for something in videos.

    So far, I have been amazed of all the things I have been able to produce with COT in such a short time, and it all looks so professional and well finished its is unbelievable. I have had a look at Radzen and others and to be honest, they looked so poor and basic that I couldn't even compare them.

    On the ASP.Net Zero, I have run their sample and also found it kind of so so. The business model also doesn't sound very good, limited on the number of projects you can produce with it.

    I visited this OutSystem thing and almost had a heart attack. By the price they sell it, it should be able to read not my mind, but my users' and then produce the application while I were on the beach. I would doubt it if it is THAT good to justify its price, but I will certainly never know.

    Overall, I think COT is unbeatable. I wish they worked a bit more on helping us to integrate third-party components or at least give us the path to do so. It is probably there, but I just haven't found it yet.

    I wish all the success to this tool and hope we can make a good earning using it.
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  • One point that I suppose I wanted to add that is BRILLIANT in CodeOnTime that a lot of the other products don't do - is scale down to mobile - this is a killer in a LOT of products out there - of the products discussed none scale as well as CodeOnTime - the UI works as well on web as it does on a phone. Try this yourselves and you will see what I mean.

    The CodeOnTime shortfalls are well known (documentation, small community, etc. etc) but our biggest issue is access to outsource resources - I have had 2 contractors say they love it but don't see their future in using it and the upside in training is too expensive.

    We are now pursuing Dart/Flutter for our delivery agent as it is in the early stages but already has most of what CodeOnTime has, and is free to develop/deploy. It is at version 1.9, as I write this, and it is the fastest growing development community out there - it is not expected to do a lot of the transaction entry but since our systems are 98% read and 2% write it seems to suit our strategies. I don't recommend this to strategy to everyone - but we are on a Mobile First (with very little transactional services ) move so it suits our current culture.

    Love listening to how people reinforce CodeOnTime's strategy I think if they can clean up their RoadMap we will review it in the short term again.
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    3
    In spite of the problems we all know about COT (and I honestly wish they take these issues more seriously), it remains my No 1.

    I deliberately checked out OutSystems to see what it offers, my quick verdict aside from the cost is it is not better than COT in most departments a small developer like me will patronise.

    Honestly, if it were similarly priced like COT, I'll still prefer COT. Why?
    1. I feel the learning curve is same. Push aside the hype, no serious development materialises without some custom coding.

    2. I'll say there's complimentary advantage in COT using the VS rather than a custom IDE like OutSystems.

    Thanks Edd for provoking this discourse, it has helped me in reaffirming my preference.

    Now COT, please, please, please take serious the issues which the whole community re-echos. There is far greater potential for this product than you are currently experiencing. I say this from the bottom of my heart and as a friend, listen to your customers, that's what all successful business does.

    Every good wishes for this tool, I remain!
    • Outsystems is too $$ for small developers, but I have used both and Outsystems is better, but you are pay for this! Outsystems works in a differwent way to COT, COT is a code generator as where Outsystems allow more custom views along aside a good workflow platform. You can also generate standalone apps based on your subscription.

      I love the Touch UI look and feel t falls down when you need something custom (this could be based on my knowledge and lack for support / documentation).

      The areas that COT needs to be improved upon:

      1. Support
      2. Documentation
      3. Be smarter when update CS projects (e.g. keep existing changes)
      4. Dates

      I feel that they should investigate the time / effort in imporving the documentation for Touch UI and it's flexibility instead of offline sync functionality etc.
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  • 1
    I'm in COT for many years and I guess I'll stick with it a couples more. By my opinion their product is still the best for professional use.
    The biggest shortcommings are probably unfulfilled promises (due dates are often missed for several months and more) and support response... but the price is not too high so we can compensate this somehow...
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  • This really depends on your requirements of the project. Simple things like adding a HTML custom header appears to be impossible (based on support, documentation) using Touch UI.

    The other areas is that the project file get regenerated each time, so you have any custom changes (e.g. to help CI/CD).

    Lack of documenation for Touch UI is very light.

    If you are happy with creating CRUD like veiws, then COT will be OK.
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  • 1
    One interesting feature of CoT is its REST server. As it can be modeled considering complex business rules.

    If html5 rendering is a limitation, you can always adopt a more flexible development environment like Dart/Flutter, Angular, React or Vue and call your "back end" server using http calls.

    Best regards,

    Roberto
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  • This reply was removed on 2019-12-12.
    see the change log