Review: Basasoft BasaOne

BasaOne is an excellent tool ... (July 18th, 2005)

MacNN Rating:


Product Manufacturer: BasaSoft

Price: Euro 99 ($119.52 US) - full package

The Good

  • Modest learning curve. Integrated Debugger. Automatically resolves incompatibilities in code.

The Bad

  • More tutorials would be helpful.

On June 30th, Basasoft released BasaOne, version 2.0.1, an excellent and easy-to-use Mac development tool for small to medium-sized web applications. With its Unix base, Mac OS X is an excellent choice for web developers, combining the Mac work environment with the standard tools used in the Linux world. However, web application development tools with a Mac-like user interface seemed nonexistent. The choice had been between using a text editor to create pages and scripts, or using full-blown tools, such as Apple's WebObjects. While Apple has started to give away the development version of WebObjects, only Tiger Server includes a deployment license. WebObjects also has a steep learning curve.

Filling a Gap

The developers at Basasoft set out to fill this gap with BasaOne. The tool is a web application development that builds on technologies such as PHP, JavaScript, and MySQL. BasaOne's main feature is an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) which allows you to design, test, and deploy the application, edit scripts and manage media resources, including QuickTime audio and video files. All interface design is done graphically, and scripts are written in JavaScript. BasaOne generates all necessary HTML and CSS code, as well as any other code needed to run the application from a PHP server.

Interface Builder

While the interface builder is not quite as polished as the one that ships with the Apple Developer Tools, it allows you to set the properties of several selected objects at once. BasaOne shines with other details, too, such as, renaming a class automatically changes the name wherever you used it, and errors are shown in the script editor immediately as you type. The applications are debugged right in the IDE, which is convenient. For deployment BasaOne automatically ensures that the code is compatible with most browsers used today, thereby saving hours of testing and tweaking.

BasaOne's ability to connect to a MySQL server allows creation of more serious applications also. While it requires a bit of knowledge (or help from a server administrator) to initially set up access to a MySQL server, the IDE takes care of everything else. Tables can be imported, created and edited, and queries to the database are debugged in the script editor.

Dashboard Widgets

The most striking new feature of version 2.0 is the ability to create Dashboard Widgets, and it is the only tool of this kind. BasaOne really takes the pain out of Dashboard development. Not only is it a Widget WYSIWYG editor, it even takes care of things like the snazzy flip around effect. BasaOne is an excellent tool that greatly facilitates development of medium sized web applications, and currently provides the easiest way to build Dashboard Widgets. The full, unrestricted license is Euro 99, while the Dashboard Widget development version is only Euro 69. With a soft learning curve and two types of usage licenses and registration, BasaOne should quickly pay for itself.

Edited by Ilene Hoffman, Reviews Editor

by Alexander G. von Below


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