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Nebula Research and Development

Nebula FAQs

All Products

1.  I want it NOW! When will these products be ready?
 

2.  Can't we get anything sooner?
 

3.  What will the demos be like?
 

4.  Why is development taking so long?
 

5.  What are plans for future development? What will support contracts buy us?
 

6.  Are you using FlashCONNECT or ODBC?
 

7.  Do I need extra MV licenses to use these products?
 

8.  Can I just plug these products in and have them create documents, graphs, and e-mail?
 

9.  Can I use these products with FlashCONNECT, ODBC, Coyote, WebBuilder, mvQuery, MITS, AccuTerm (ATIE, ATGUI), wIntegrate, or other products?
 

10. I can do this stuff on my own, why do I need Nebula products?
 

11. How can I make use of these products if I have jBASE, Universe, Unidata, Revelation, Reality, mvBASE, mvEnterprise, UniVision, or another MV/Pick DBMS?


I want it NOW! When will these products be ready?

Valid question, and seriously, the most frequently asked. Honestly, as always, Nebula R&D had a single developer until recently and time was split between paying the bills and developing all of these products that are in high demand. Recently an investor has offered to contribute human and financial resources to expedite development. The latest estimate is that we will have betas and demos available by September, and production software by November. This may move more quickly, however, since most functionality for verion 1.0 of most products is already complete.

Can't we get anything sooner?

We are working on some limited functionality betas which will satisfy the immediate needs of some MV developers. If you would like to discuss your immediate needs with us, please contact us.

What will the demos be like?

We intend the demos to be fully functional versions of the software which will allow developers to work with the real code and operate with real documents, but within the confines of a reasonable software protection scheme. Full documentation will be included.

Why is development taking so long?

These products are all being developed simultaneously. A segment of code developed for NebulaDoc may fit well with NebulAnalysis because both Word and Excel have similar Document Object Models. Also, if we went to production with one product, and then we find a better way of performing some function in another, we will need to create a new version of the first product to incorporate the changes of the second. While it's frustrating to all of us to not have these products available yet, we believe it's preferable (some say critical) to insure a much higher level of quality in our initial offering, than to simply get to market quicker. The MV market has been waiting 30 years for this, we can wait a few months longer.

What are plans for future development? What will support contracts buy us?

The initial release of these products will allow MV developers to perform operations that we think MV developers want. We believe that at some point, MV developers will start to get very creative with these products and start making demands that none of us expected. Support contracts will cover development of these new features, as well as ASAP bug fixes and normal product support.

  • The first release does not have a security model built in. A subsequent release will allow restricted access to functions by MV user, and restrict access of MS Office servers to selected MV applications or users. It will also include secure data transport across networks. 
  • The first release allows D3 applications to integrate with MS Office. The next release will be for jBASE, perhaps the next for Universe. Subsequent releases may be ported to other MV platforms, according to demand. Inquiries from MV providers are welcome on behalf of their dealers and developers. Individual inquiries are certainly welcome as well. 
  • NebulaLink is a very stable communications component and we have not found any bugs or performance issues with it yet. Not resting on success, however, we know that there are ways to enhance it to make it more fault tolerant or resistent, in case "something unexpected" comes up. 
  • We plan to port the Office-integration products to non-MV DBMS applications as well. In addition to continued development and support for MV applications we want to extend the functionality of these tools to products using Oracle, SQL Server, DB2, VB, Java, C++, Shockwave(Lingo) and other mainstream products used to create business applications. Expansion of the customer base will guarantee continued product development and support for all viable platforms. 
  • Many more product-specific changes are planned which will add value for future upgrades.
     

Are you using FlashCONNECT or ODBC?

No. All communications is done using NebulaLink, a socket-based component independently developed at Nebula R&D, and marketed as a product of its own. There is no ODBC or FlashCONNECT involved, and there is no need to purchase or install add-on products from MV providers or anyone else to make Nebula products work.

Do I need extra MV licenses to use these products?

No. This is a delicate topic. We do not want to circumvent the licensing policies of the MV providers, and we hope that they do not see our products as such. However, we do not use licensed ports to interface with MV applications. Our goal is to make these products inexpensive for developers, to facilitate their sales of MV applications and DBMS licenses. We want the MV providers to stay in business and sell more licenses. But our products themselves do not consume MV DBMS licenses.

Can I just plug these products in and have them create documents, graphs, and e-mail?

No. Nebula R&D products are development tools, not end-user applications. Using these tools, you the developer can write enhancements to your application to interface it to Word, Excel, and Outlook. Nebula R&D does not provide ready-made applications. While we may do so in the future, at this time we believe this may create a conflict of interest with our resellers who will be developing, marketing, and selling such products based on our tools.

As we grow, we will offer integration services to help VARs add value to their applications through implementation of our components. Please contact us if you wish to discuss these services.

Can I use these products with FlashCONNECT, ODBC, Coyote, WebBuilder, mvQuery, MITS, AccuTerm (ATIE, ATGUI), wIntegrate, or other products?

Absolutely. Nebula components simply add extra value to your application by providing functionality not included in these other products. There's nothing wrong with using all of the tools required to present a total solution for end-user satisfaction.

I can do this stuff on my own, why do I need Nebula products?

Please take a closer look at the functionality we are providing, or call us to discuss your requirements. We are confident that we are providing a unique offering, developed with a very specific and unique skillset, at a price that simply can't be matched by home-grown endeavors or other commercial offerings.

How can I make use of these products if I have jBASE, Universe, Unidata, Revelation, Reality, mvBASE, mvEnterprise, UniVision, or another MV/Pick DBMS?

As indicated above, we will be porting our products to other platforms as the market demands. To get started sooner, though, you will need to have a single-user license of D3 somewhere in your network. It's possible to create an interface between most MV environments, and thus, you should be able to pass messages back and forth between your non-D3 application and the D3 system running the Nebula interfaces. When we do port to your platform of choice, you should be able to remove that middle tier and host the Nebula interfaces directly on your application server.

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