Dienstag, 26. April 2011
The ChemInvaders activation link, embedded in the last blog entry title was not working correctly. Sorry, it is fixed now so try again.
Dienstag, 4. August 2009
Welcome to our new design
Finally we made it. Our new website is now ready and up and running. We will update and add more content frequently. Let me thank you for staying tuned with us the last couple of weeks. As a goody we will publish the activation code for Agilent's ChemStation in-line game ChemInvaders. Have a closer look on it by clicking on the title link.
Sonntag, 19. April 2009
The .Net Framework, a step in the right direction?
As many companies before, we also started in the late 90s to develop specialized software applications for analytical instrumentation. For more than a decade Microsoft’s Visual Studio Release 5 and 6 was the key to success, because of its smooth integration and its support for the different coexisting operating systems at that time. There was no longer a question in which programming language you code, even with Visual Basic hardcore programmers were able to call rudimentary API functions and compile powerful applications. Difficult to believe nowadays, it was possible to deliver a standalone program without any dependencies, which fits on the size of a 1.4MB 3.5” disk.
But then came .NET and those times were gone. Don’t get me wrong. The .NET compilers together with the .NET framework are major development steps and make life much easier for developers. It’s easy now to create applications with a modern Look & Feel and by the way everything is possible. Really everything? Yes, as long as you stay in the given frame defined by Microsoft. Maybe that’s where the name ‘framework’ comes from. Independent from the >250MB of overhead users have to deal with; the .NET approach has a major drawback which gives us a resistance to move completely to .NET so far. The real key issue is that we would like to protect our intellectual properties for our own software developments and that’s not possible at all with .NET compilers. With little afford and the right tools (which are by the way available for free at the Internet) more or less everyone is able to get back around 90% of the true source code from the compiled EXE. Forget the times where hackers need to scroll through hundreds of pages of disassembled code for weeks to find something useful. It’s already there by a click of a mouse. Ok, you can start to obfuscate your NET assemblies after the compilation process to feel securer. The bad thing is, that you add another layer of complexity and lost the ability to debug your software application later on.
Remember the times where Visual Basic 3 assemblies had the same problems and remember the waves of popular outrages which swapped through the community at those times. Nowadays nobody cares about it. What is the reason behind this shift in philosophy? From one point of view it makes sense, since it allows easily checking for software patent infringements. Major companies are able to maximize their profit out of their IP, but for small or middle-sized enterprises it behaves more like a drawback. On the other hand technology is moving fast and we will stay tuned for further improvements on this subject. For our software product line we will take advantage of the best of both worlds!