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posted by janrinok on Tuesday September 08 2015, @11:08PM   Printer-friendly
from the when-the-system-doesn't-work dept.

Iron Speed, a firm which provided a rapid application development tool for creating .NET apps, is shuttering itself thanks to "litigation with a patent troll", according to a letter sent to customers by co-founder and chairman Alan Fisher.

The Iron Speed designer enabled developers to create applications for web, cloud and mobile using a point-and-click interface. Customers include AT&T, Cisco, DHL, Disney, HP and the US Army, according to the company's website. Yet all this is no more, writes Fisher:

There are several reasons for this, one of which has been the ongoing expense of litigation with a patent troll who has challenged our intellectual property. While we feel this is baseless, patent litigation is generally a multi-million dollar exercise. This has put a drain on our resources we can no longer afford, and coupled with excessive cracked key use and license sharing, our product sales have been severely impaired.

We will continue offering Technical Support through December 31 2015, but it is unlikely that there will be future software releases.

Because we are unable to issue any refunds, any customer with current software update or technical support subscriptions has been issued an additional perpetual license in his account.

A thread on the Iron Speed forums confirms the situation and provides more details.

The patent issue seems related to the way the Iron Speed designer generates applications automatically based on a database schema, removing much of the gruntwork in building applications that are essentially forms over data.

Microsoft has its own tool which does this, called LightSwitch, but this has not been updated much in the latest edition of Visual Studio, causing developers to doubt its future. Another issue with LightSwitch is its reliance on the deprecated Silverlight for desktop applications, though it can also generate HTML and JavaScript.

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  • (Score: 2) by TheRaven on Wednesday September 09 2015, @08:44AM

    by TheRaven (270) on Wednesday September 09 2015, @08:44AM (#234145) Journal
    An object-relational mapper (Enterprise Objects) was one of NeXT's core technologies, along with a framework for automatically mapping these to forms (WebObjects), back in 1996, so all of the relevant patents ought to have expired, or be just about to expire. Of course, that doesn't mean that it's cheap to fight them. It always amused me that Ruby on Rails got so much awe for doing something that the very first ever (or second by three months, depending on whose version of history you read and when you count the releases) web application framework did exactly the same thing. Apple still distributes the Java version of WebObjects / Enterprise Objects (the originals were Objective-C), though there hasn't been a new release since 2008.
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