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DataFlex Features


A closer look at the DataFlex platform.

The features developers need...

Whether you need a new mobile web app or a complete line-of-business application spanning mobile, desktop browsers and Windows, DataFlex has the development and deployment features developers need to build your software.

With the DataFlex Studio, developers use one language, one Studio, one framework and one platform to develop business applications for the full range of deployment environments: desktop web applications, fully responsive mobile web applications and Windows applications. Requirements for native iOS or Android mobile applications can be built using DataFlex web services.  For application integration projects, DataFlex can both publish and consume industry standard web services. DataFlex: One platform for all application requirements.

A consistent theme of DataFlex developer surveys is simply that they are committed to the platform "because it works." Consistently, in thousands of business applications across many industries, DataFlex has provided what developers want and need. It works with very high reliability in both development and deployment roles for enterprises large and small.

Software that "works" is faster and more efficient for development and less troublesome when deployed. When business software "works," end user satisfaction is higher and development and maintenance costs are lower. Are those features? DataFlex developers think they are.

With DataFlex, application building starts by simply dragging pre-defined, data-aware controls into the visual designer. The Studio will use the framework to generate error-free code to integrate the controls into the visual design, apply business rules and use the assigned database without further effort by the programmer. Faster development; fewer errors and less cost - DataFlex!

DataFlex Studio wizards automate recurring programming tasks like database connection, workspace definition and even generating the initial code for header-detail framework-based applications. Wizards help novices to get started more quickly and they enhance productivity for developers of all levels.

Being productive as a developer means being able to configure your working environment to suit your personal style, structure and navigation preferences. With DataFex Studio, you can design great applications and the environment in which you build them. Work your way, change your way of working at will and have the system retain every detail of your environment so it’s always ready to help you get to work, your way.

  • Completely configurable menus, toolbars and docking windows
  • Nested Grouping
  • Tear Off Tabs
  • Sliding Auto Hide
  • Pin-able Windows
  • Float and Dock Panels
  • Drag-n-Drop Positioning
  • Development and Debugging configurations
  • Extremely configurable
  • Remembers all settings when closed

The DataFlex framework is based on a rich and open class library. It can be epanded and extended simply by integrating additional libraries. Controls offered by those additional libraries can be added in applicaitons by Drag and Drop, fully integrated in Studio.

Business applications typically have a standard set of requirements - project definition, database connection, component integration and more. DataFlex Studio manages these requirements in a developer’s dashboard - an easy reference point to check that essentials are implemented, track ToDo items and identify omissions that can save testing and debugging time. The dashboard also forms a valuable learning tool for new users to understand what they will need to add to the framework to have a complete, functional application.

DataFlex Studio can fully integrate standard and custom class libraries, it generates compilable application code. Integrated source-level debugging helps tracking down and fix problems quickly and easily.

To deliver easily consumable information, intuitive interaction and an exceptional user experience, business applications for today’s wide variety of mobile devices require special design and implementation. Being responsive is just part of the mobile app requirement set; small screens and limited input capabilities require a carefully crafted architecture and keyboardless touch controls.

The DataFlex framework includes specific resources to make developing responsive, interactive mobile web applications fast and easy. Mobile-specific, "drill-down" navigation and mobile page designs are incorporated into the DataFlex framework. And, since mobile applications are built on the same framework and data dictionaries as web browser and Windows desktop applications, data consistency and business rules are consistently managed and enforced.

There are numerous advantages to centrally deploying and managing fully-featured business applications over the Internet. It is typically challenging and expensive however to deliver the user experience typical of Windows desktop applications over the web. But NOT with DataFlex.

DataFlex enables the development of web applications with the rich functionality, features and navigation control found in desktop Windows applications. The DataFlex application framework offers many parallel application-building resources for both Windows and web and the same Data Dictionaries are used in all environments for absolute data control and consistency regardless of how applications are deployed.

A key difference from web-only application development platforms is DataFlex’s extensive resource set for building Enterprise-grade Windows applications. Windows user interfaces developed with DataFlex excel in navigation control, data entry, validation and updating - the core operations of all large-scale business database applications. DataFlex Windows applications provide users with:

  • A Multiple Document Interface (MDI) presentation of views
  • Data-aware pull-down menus, button-bar and keyboard application and data navigation
  • Pop-up context menus, dropdown lists, checkboxes, radio buttons and more...
  • Status Help, selection lists, validation tables, confirmations and warnings on all data operations controlled by central data dictionaries - the same data dictionaries used for web applications.

These fully customizable Windows application components are automatically generated by the visual design tools in DataFlex Studio.  Data-aware controls are defined at the Data Dictionary level thereby reducing programming time and creating user interface consistency across the entire application while saving countless project hours.

WebApp Server is the secure, scalable application server that runs DataFlex browser based and mobile web applications and web services. DataFlex WebApp Server is designed to deliver high performance, reliability and configuration flexibility. From a single virtual server to server clusters, DataFlex WebApp Server offers extensive options for security, performance, load balancing and failover protection. Web applications and services can be deployed on premise or in the cloud and can be scaled and migrated from one form of deployment to another as requirements change.

Windows desktop solutions are deployed with a DataFlex Client Engine that interfaces the application with the Windows operating system, handles network and database connections and more.

Start Center helps new users become productive quickly and provides experienced users with a convenient launch point.

Start Center is your on-line, up-to-the-minute information center. Wizards generate error-free, ready-to-compile code for Windows, web browser and web services applications and components.


DataFlex applications are inherently database independent; they can be easily deployed on the DBMS of your choice using a "Connectivity Kit." The kits allow for connecting to databases transparently without needing code changes and they also include wizards that will migrate your data without programming.

Connectivity Kits are available for Microsoft SQL Server, IBM DB2 Universal Database, Pervasive.SQL (Btrieve), and any ODBC-enabled data source (Oracle, MySQL, Excel, etc.).

  • Learn more about Connectivity Kits.
  • Take advantage of the benefits gained with DataFlex Connectivity Kits.
  • Check out the Connectivity Kit features.
  • Take a look at the new features delivered in the Connectivity Kits v6.

Web services are driving many companies’ application strategies today. DataFlex enables building, publishing and consuming web services as well as browser-based applications and Windows client-server solutions in a single, integrated environment.

View published examples of DataFlex-powered Web Services.

Learn more about Web Services in DataFlex.

Solution developers spend a high percentage of their time authoring and editing source code. DataFlex’s superior Code Editor provides the essential features required as well as a host of advanced editing features referred to as "CodeSense" that automate routine tasks, reduce keystrokes, reduce errors and generally accelerate the development process.

  • Always concurrently shows live source that’s synchronized with the Visual Designer
    • No required markers
    • No system imposed markup or structure
  • Automatic source code structuring
    • Indentation
    • Command syntax casing
  • Set Debugger breakpoints directly in source
  • Unlimited levels of Undo/Redo
  • CodeSensecodesense_auto_small
    • Code Completion
    • List Members - a context sensitive list of applicable commands, classes, data types, methods, variables, constants, objects, etc.
    • Command Auto Completion
    • Begin / End, Object / End_object, Class / End_Class, etc.
    • Quick Info - hover over source and get information
    • Object Browser - provides a focused list of methods for the specified object
    • Parameter Info - see method parameter information as you type
    • GoTo Definition - Locates the definition of the symbol under the cursor
    • Load File Under Cursor - Jump to any file
  • Visible control and expression blocks
  • Flexible Finding options
    • File Search
    • File Incremental Search
    • Multi File Search
  • Font size zooming

Get Personal

Did you know that a fully functional, non-expiring edition is available for personal, non-commercial use?

You can download DataFlex Personal and find out for yourself how easy it is to develop robust applications!

DataFlex Personal