MetaCard Corporation

Embedded MetaCard

Embedded MetaCard is a library form of the MetaCard engine for UNIX/X11 platforms. It can be used to develop customized versions of the MetaCard engine for applications that make extensive use of externals developed in compiled languages like C, C++, and Fortran. It was designed for application developers who need a professional-grade GUI development environment without the long learning curve, large resource requirements, and high cost of conventional Xt/Motif development tools.

Although the standard MetaCard engines have always supported the ability to call C and C++ functions from the MetaCard scripting language, these calls are made using Remote Procedure Calls (RPCs) on UNIX systems. As is the case with any RPC architecture, calls to MetaCard external procedures on these systems involve considerable call overhead, and debugging is much more difficult because two processes must be monitored at the same time. By linking the MetaCard engine directly to a C or C++ application and libraries, call overhead virtually disappears, and debugging is greatly simplified.

Embedded MetaCard brings together the best features of non-graphical development environments such as Tcl/Tk and the COSE Desktop Korn Shell (an interpreted string-oriented language, easy extensibility, and simplified access to the GUI environment) and high-end layout tools such as Teleuse and UIM/X (an integrated development environment, direct manipulation layout tools, and support for compiled third-generation languages and libraries). This combination makes development with Embedded MetaCard faster and easier than with any of these other types of tools. Embedded MetaCard can be used to produce GUI applications in any domain, but it is especially suited to projects such as GUI clients for RDBMS servers and vertical market applications where short development cycles and easy customization are critical capabilities.

Embedded MetaCard is supported on 11 Unix/X11 platforms: SPARC SunOS 4.1.X, SPARC Solaris 2.X, Solaris x86, DEC Alpha, HP 9000/300 HP-UX 8.X, HP 9000/700 and 800 HP-UX 9.X, HP 9000/700 and 800 HP-UX 10.X, SCO Open Desktop, Silicon Graphics IRIS 5.X, Linux, and IBM RS/6000. Single platform pricing is $1495, with libraries for each additional platform selling for $500. As with the regular MetaCard engines, no runtime fees are required to distribute applications built with Embedded MetaCard.

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