7 thoughts on “IdeaBlade’s DevForce Platform – good, bad, ugly?”

  1. I’ve been using DevForce for almost a year now. I’ve been using their “Professional” version to do the non-UI work on a large project. Another developer at my company does the UI work, and uses it too, for the same period of time. Overall, we’re happy with it. It has some quirks, mostly dealing with databinding, so the other dev is the one that has to deal with them. As an ORM tool, it’s very good, I’d use it again without hesitation.

  2. Thanks for that feedback Dan. Unfortunately the oppurtunity I had to use DevForce has passed, but I did spend quite a bit of time playing around with it and reading some of their whitepapers and was reasonably impressed. It would be interesting to see a comparison of the IdeaBlade product up against what Microsoft has delivered with Visual Studio 2008 in terms of LINQ and their own ORM mapper. From what I’ve seen Microsoft don’t seem to have the same level of configurability, nor of course are they as interested in multiple database support.

  3. IMO DevExpress XPO and DataObjects.Net is better.Issue in DevForce that is promote dependency on DevForce way in developing your app. which is good as starting point but pain later.

  4. I have been using trial versions of DevForce EF (now renamed DevForce WinClient) for about 6 months. My problem with the product as a small consultancy and Micro-ISV is the price tag. The enterprise version starts at $15,000.00 with yearly renewal just under $4,000.00. The Business Object Server per user licensing is off the charts. When they say Enterprise “starts at $15,000.00…they mean it.” I talked to sales about an average internet scenario and the enterprise product with BOS licensing was gound to run $40,000 USD

    I just don’t think it’s that far above other ORM’s like NHibernate, Vanatec OpenAccess, Genom-e, and at the low end DevExpress XPO.

    You would think the price for the EF version would have declined, due to they are leveraging Microsoft’s ORM. That’s less for them to develop, so it makes sense to me.

    I’d love to hear from someone using the Enterprise version to get their opinion on ROI for this product.

    Last note. The reason the developer version undesirable, is that it leaves out key features like Verification engine, IIS hosting, Off-line mode, etc.

    I do think it’s an interesting product, but just too far out of reach for the mainstream SMB market.

  5. Thanks for that feedback Dan. I must admit with some well known open source contenders in the ORM space I wouldn’t have expected quite such hefty prices. As it turned out I didn’t get the opportunity to code on the platform in a real project, but what I did see of it from the demos and whitepapers was quite promising. I also became a bit of a fan of Ward Bell‘s blog.

    In my current contract I’m working with NHibernate which I’ve found disturbingly underwhelming – certainly not worthy of the hype its seemed to generate.

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