New York, NY, 31 August 2009 — QSA ToolWorks, LLC today announced the shipment of Helix 6.1.4, which is available as a free upgrade for those who already own Helix 6.1 products, and as an upgrade purchase for those still using version 6.0 or earlier. In two separate announcements, the company also discussed the future of RADE and what would be included in Helix 6.1.5.
Like version 6.1.3, today’s release includes both Classic and macOS products. The product has again seen dramatic improvement since the release of 6.1.3 in May of this year. The company says that 6.1.4 will allow more users to deploy their applications in macOS environments, particularly those who have been holding off on upgrades until Power Query and Document Management functionality had been restored.
“Back when we started work on the Client and Engine conversions to macOS, we surveyed our user base to determine which Helix functions were most important to them,” said QSA’s Gil Numeroff. “While Power Query and Document Management are key pieces of the Helix puzzle, neither are used by the majority of users and knowing that enabled us to ‘lock them out’ to get the rest of the product into our users’ hands faster.”>
At the time Numeroff was referring to, February 2007, the original survey included a section about RADE, which was on the back burner at the time. A decision was made at the last minute not to include that section. That survey is at last being presented to users today and the company hopes the responses will help define the ‘road to RADE’ to make this last leg of the journey more bearable for the legions of Helix faithful, who have endured a very long wait to see their product running in macOS.
Work on RADE Design Mode tools is already under way and while it progresses, QSA will also focus development effort on improving the performance of the macOS products it has produced thus far. While most of Helix’s functions have adapted well to running in macOS, some remain problematic. In particular, the speed of list handling is keeping the product from truly being ‘ready for prime time.’ “We want to put the best possible tool in user hands,” according to Technology Director, Matt Strange. “QSA’s goal is to produce a 6.1.5 version as soon as possible that will perform as well as or better than our Classic products in all areas.”
“People naturally assume that once things are running in macOS, they’ll run faster,” said Gil Numeroff, director of marketing for QSA. “But that’s not always a valid assumption, and speed problems have dogged Helix before, so we’re quite sensitive to getting them fixed and will mobilize the appropriate effort to get that done without further delaying progress toward a macOS RADE.”
Helix is a family of Macintosh applications
Helix is an application development and deployment environment that was one of the original thirty software products created for the Macintosh platform prior to its debut in 1984. It is available in three forms:
- Helix RADE —the Rapid Application Development Environment, which is used to create relational database applications, called “collections.” RADE has two operating methods: Design Mode and User Mode. RADE may also be used to deploy an application for a single user (User Mode). macOS native Helix RADE is still in development.
- Helix Client/Server — deploy and access Helix collections in a workgroup environment across both local- and wide-area networks using TCP/IP.
- Helix Engine — a User Mode access tool (runtime engine) that allows a Helix collection to be used in a single user setting. Helix Engine is available for individual purchase, and for sub-licensed distribution as part of the Helix Developers Toolkit.
Helix was created in 1983 by Jonathan Schneider, Larry Atkin, David Harmon and Daniel Cheifetz and originally produced by Odesta Corporation of Northbrook, Illinois in November of 1984. There are Helix users in virtually every country on earth who have been running the product in their businesses and homes almost continuously since 1984. There are very few products on any platform that can boast that kind of longevity through the number of major changes that have occurred in the computer industry since the Macintosh and PC platforms debuted in the 1980s. In spite of its often difficult history, relatively few Helix users abandon the product once they get a taste of how truly powerful and flexible it is.