by Ian Robinson - Aeronaut Industries
APIs are becoming more important. Whether they be in Raw code, VBX or OCX format, APIs render a program re-usable and portable. Examples of sound API strategies can be found in VBA, Crystal Reports (CRW), and dBASE for Windows.
VBA provides a common language interface to the breadth of MS products enhancing features whilst at the same time reducing learning curves. Whilst VBA is new, it will succeed.
CRW is (and dBASE for Windows will be) successful because of their APIs. Recent magazine press releases now make it no secret that dBASE for Windows will ship with a subset of Crystal Reports version 3. What should be even more interesting is that Crystal Reports will utilise the dBASE for Windows Language API during report creation and for internal formulae. Crystal Reports can thus accommodate a replaceable language/formulae API!
Crystal Reports is thus a C++ core of some magical functionality (that is not documented) that communicates to the outside world via the following (replaceable) I/O APIs:
Its many APIs make CRW a difficult animal to describe and thus ideally suitable for integration into almost any platform. It is not surprising to see CRW being bundled with VB, Object Vision, HP, SyBiz Accounting and progressively many more Australian products.
The best software is being designed from the ground up with many replaceable I/O APIs to the ever changing outside world.
Consider this when you next specify an application.