Learn Programming with REAL Studio

Real SoftwareReal Studio is a rapid application development (RAD) tool, available for Windows, Apple OSX and Linux. I have been using this tool for almost 3 years now; for development of my personal desktop applications and some commercial software. I must say that I quite enjoy programming in RS.

A great feature of RS is that applications developed on my MacBook Pro (running OSX), can be cross-compiled to Windows and Linux, without changing any line of code!

Developing in RS is very easy to learn. Basically you build your window by dragging controls (there is quite a lot to choose from) onto it and you add code to triggers (events) by double-clicking on the controls. Confusing? Please have a look at this introduction video and be convinced of how easy it is to build a simple webbrowser in RS:

Some quotes from the Real Software website:

Learn as you go
Most programming languages require you to spend days or even weeks learning lots of details, commands and codes before you can actually create a working program. With REAL Studio, simply drag and drop a button onto a window and run your first program in seconds. As you need to do more, you learn more. It’s a gradual approach designed specifically to help you learn as you go.

A straightforward approach to learning
The first step in programming with REAL Studio is to design the user interface. With REAL Studio, this is as simple as point-and-click. As you work on your interface, you make your program unique; REAL Studio does the hard work behind the scenes. Add functionality to your interface by typing in code snippets. If you get stuck, REAL Studio includes built-in assistance that keeps you going.

Learn modern programming
Learning the REALbasic language means you’re learning modern, object-oriented programming. Once you learn REALbasic, learning other languages like Visual Basic, Java or C++ is much easier but you may find that there’s no need. REALbasic can take you from learning the basics of programming to building commercial-quality software for you or your profession.

Lots of help included
REAL Studio comes with a QuickStart guide, a Tutorial, an online reference, a User’s Guide and built-in help, as well as hundreds of examples to guide you.

Community of experts always available
If you get stuck or have questions, a large online community of help is always close-by. In no time at all, you’ll be learning modern programming, more quickly and more easily than you ever thought possible.

For starting developers, the learning curve of RS is very small (even I could learn it…) and helps understanding Object Oriented Programming (OOP). This could be your step up to C++ or C# and .Net programming.

About pricing… Real Studio doesn’t come cheap, but, a personal edition is available for EUR 79,- Unfortunately this edition doesn’t allow you to cross-compile: just buy the license for the operation system you want to develop apps for. The professional edition (that’s what I am using) is EUR 249,- and offers cross-sompilation. The most expensive edition is the Enterprise Edition;c this edition offers all options, including building web applications but costs a whopping EUR 825,- Off course these are not the only differences, you can find a full comparison here. For the price you pay you will get a lifetime licence, but your update plan is limited to 6 months (for personal & professional edition) and 12 months (for Enterprise Edition). Updating occurs appr. every 90 days. I would say: try before you buy to decide what edition suits you best. Get Real Studio here.

Also I would like you to check out the Web Edition (included in Enterprise Edition only) of RS: this version allows you to make web applications running under FastCGI. This is really remarkable and a great step forward to Web 3.0.

So, happy coding! As soon as I have found the time, I will add some links to RS resources. There are not much books about RS but we have a great, friendly and helpful community. I’m also planning to show off my development efforts in the near future, so keep checking my blog for updates, subscribe to my feeds or follow me on Twitter.


You seemed experienced in Real software. That took my attention, because I am thinking about a carriere move from software consultant to software programmer. I would like to make webbases applications and components for Joomla. I have some experience with quick basic, dbase (1990-1997) and ms access, vba and vb5 (1998 – 2003). But I have never realy build an application, because I am selflearning and it seems that I could not get the right information to actually build an application. Maybe I was too busy or too lazy, I don’t know. But now I would like to get started again and I am looking for the right tool(s). Can you tell me if Real Studio is allright for starters? Or is the learning curve to actual build an application still very high? What would you recommand me to start with?

Hi Ed,
Thanks for your reaction. The learning curve for RS, for making desktop- or console applications is very small compared to other programming languages. I see you have some experience with VB and that should get you started with RS. It is even possible to convert your old VB projects to Real Studio projects!

Building web-based applications requires the Enterprise Edition, which is quite expensive and quite new. I have not seen working applications (only some examples) in production on the internet yet, so I still not consider web applications from RS as a ‘proven’ method. Not every provider supports FastCGI so you have to be able to run and configure your own Apache-based webserver for this. If the web is the -only- thing you will be developing for, I cannot give a clear answer yet if RS would be the right choice for you. To find out for yourself, you will need to follow the developments of the web edition in the forum and other resources and test drive the demo.

When it comes to fast development of desktop applications RS is my first choice, depending on the problem I want to solve. I’m sure that in the future I will say the same about the web edition; RS is putting a lot of effort in this. But I wait for a (in my opinion) stable release, good technical documentation about deploying on Apache, support for all major browsers, and a price drop: for me this edition is just too expensive. For the mean time I will stick to the demo version for testing.

I still consider myself as a ‘beginner’ but I am very much like you when it comes to experience: we have followed almost the same path:-) I started a couple of years ago by downloading the demo version after giving Pascal, Access and VB5 a try (building desktop applications with single user db). This allowed me to test drive RS and develop my skills. In the RS download (free) a lot of examples are included as well as documentation. If you follow the curriculum to build an application or test the examples, this will give you an idea if RS is the right choice for you.

Hope you can make up your mind after my answer… I realize this might not be the case as the Web Edition (included in Enterprise) is not quite ‘ready’, however happy testing!:-)

Hi Ed,

Just wanted to let you know that we have now a Dutch usergroup organized. If you are interested, just let me know and I will send the details.



Great! Your REAL studio files are useful. I do hope you will give readers more courses about how to learn Mac programming and Linux in Windows platform. That’s will be even greater!

I’m learning myself, but glad you like my pages. I will add a repository to my site but have a look at: http://www.realsoftware.com/community/resources.php for a lot of online resources!

In Real studio how more than one programmer can work in the same application?

Yes, this is possible. You can save your projects in the following formats: xml, rbp, rbvcp.

Where .rbvcp will let you use this as version control project. This way other programmers can make changes and you will know whats new. Its not in the IDE that you have Multi-programmer control but with Version Control you allow more developers to make changes and you seen whats changed.

I’ts simple, and very powerfull. You can develop projects in RB with ease. Also you can build plugins in c/c++ to extend RB and sell those plugins to the community!

One of our prospect asks whether MS Nav 2009 work in Mac OS or not. If not, do u have any other option / method to use atleast Nav RTC in Mac OS.


Only possible if you use a virtual machine running a the latest Windows operating system.