CodeCharge Studio 1.0.6
Some products are targeted very narrowly, and as a result they need to
fill their niche very well. CodeCharge Studio is such a product. Its entire
purpose is to produce database-backed web pages. It offers a good deal
of flexibility in this area: PHP, ASP, ASP.NET, Cold Fusion, and Perl
are all supported as languages. You can also connect to just about any
database you choose and select precisely the data that you want to retrieve.
At the heart of CodeCharge Studio are an Application Builder and a series
of more focused builders that generate the code. It's easy to identify
a database table and display its contents in a grid format, or as individual
records. Searching and sorting is also well supported. The CodeCharge
editor offers a variety of views including code, HTML, and a visual designer
that seems reasonably flexible.
The code is well-structured and uses naming conventions and comments
to make its purpose obvious. That's good, because database-backed applications
tend to require a lot of code. You can create both server and client side
event code, and CodeCharge will keep it all sorted out and attached to
the right places.
Although it works as advertised, there are a couple of areas where CodeCharge
Studio could stand some improvement. First, the application builder, while
it can quickly create an application that uses multiple tables and displays
each on a different page, doesn't have any understanding of the "relational"
part of relational data. For example, if you build pages to display customers
and orders, you can jump from one to the other, but there's no way to
click on a customer and see all the orders for that customer. I'm surprised
that such a common requirement isn't encapsulated in a wizard. Yes, you
can write code to accomplish this task, but judging by the YesSoftware
discussion boards master-detail forms are a common stumbling block.
The second problem here is the documentation. Although the software comes
with a help file and there are online examples and a user community, it's
difficult to see how all of the pieces fit together. This is a complex
product that could really use a tutorial or two to walk users through
Despite these failings, if database-backed web pages are a core part
of your job, it's worth having a look at the product. You can download
a 20-day free trial from the YesSoftware web site if you'd like to investigate
for yourself. I suspect that daily use would turn this into a powerful
way to churn out sites quickly.
[This review originally appeared in developer central 1.11.editor]
Mike Gunderloy, MCSE, MCSD, MCDBA, is a former MCP columnist and the author of numerous development books.