Friday, April 13, 2007

Oracle buys AppForge? Rumour: ON

Here's an interesting thing. Somebody pops up on the OTN Forums wanting to know about AppForge. Because the AppForge web site is now being re-directed to Oracle. Has Oracle bought AppForge, they ask?

The Oracle search engine draws a blank on "appforge". The Google cache of the AppForge home page has been invalidated. On the wider net there doesn't seem to be much news about AppForge apart from this recent story on The Register which suggests AppForge is in financial trouble.

So has Larry been shopping again? AppForge is some kind of programming kit for "mobile application development using C#, VB.NET or Visual Basic 6", which doesn't seem like a good fit with Oracle's current tool set. On the other hand, Oracle have been doing things in the mobile apps space for some time now. Maybe they need more .Net apps to achieve greater market penetration.

20 Comments:

Anonymous Caio Proiete said...

Nobody knows what really happened.
Poor AppForge developers...

You can follow the history of AppForge at WikiPedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AppForge

Regards,
Caio Proiete
www.pdaexpert.net

13 April 2007 at 06:22:00 GMT-7  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oracle has bought Appforge and they have employed their programmers - unfortunately for us - and this includes me and my company - they are no longer supporting the appforge product line.

I have many clients using the boosters including many uk public sector clients and we are now up the creek without a paddle.

Not a good day for Appforge customers.

I don't think we will hear the end of this.

M

13 April 2007 at 06:40:00 GMT-7  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi All

I'm the one who started this topic who to say the least is pretty p*ss*d off at the behavior of both the recently "gone tits up" Appforge and the purchaser of same Oracle.

Anyone who has developed an application using Appforge Crossfire cannot now deploy their application to mobile devices.

I am stunned that the second biggest software company in the world appears to be buying IP addresses to add traffic to their web site. Perhaps they should use the word "sex" to add more hits..

Maybe the software press can have a field day on this one....

Cheers

Liam
Chorley, Lancs, UK

13 April 2007 at 09:03:00 GMT-7  
Anonymous George Kirkwood said...

They've completely screwed up a complete product for me. I'm a small developer and last week I started getting calls about not being able to activate PDAs from one of my clients. I wouldn't mind so much if it was a cheap toolkit, but I've spent a fortune with Appforge and every time I made contact with them I got a request for more cash.

Such a shame, I've looked at other products over the weekend and I don't think they really compare. All we need is a way to activate clients and we could probably carry on with the IDE version we're already on.

I kept a note of the activation numbers we were receiving and the algorithm doesn't appear that difficult. If I don't get any info from Appforge or Oracle soon, I might invest some time in trying to crack it so that at least we can manually activate clients.

On the whole though, this is a pretty poor show. You can't really leave developers and client hanging like this. Some of those clients will also be using Oracle databases, and if Oracle put us all through the pain / cost of re-writing our applications, they could start dropping them as a supplier.

So if anyone from Oracle pops by here, please just give us a way of activating our PDAs.

16 April 2007 at 01:47:00 GMT-7  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am in the same boat as George - how can a company like Oracle do this to us - surely they know this product has world wide clients! and world wide paying clients!

All my clients are Public sector UK clients and they are going nuts at me - one of them has 50 yet to be activated clients!!!! I am a dead man!

I would be very interested in anyone who can decipher the activation key algorithm - perhaps we should setup a website called www.exAppforge.com where we can exchange ideas - if anyone wants to do it I can register it and set up a forum!

BTW - we have found a way of resetting the Appforge trial clients by deleting the registry key on the Windows Mobile handheld - this will give you 14 more days - you can write a quick app like to do this in VB.NET.

I won't post my contact details as the above could get me into trouble with Oracle and you know how court happy they are ;-)

Also, I have been in contact with Oracle UK and a girl called Nickee said today:

"I have had a reply regarding your queries and it would seem that Oracle has not purchased Appforge and it would be very unlikely we would purchase a company that has gone bankrupt. I am unsure where you have obtained the information that we have. It does appear that Appforge is an Oracle partner but that does not mean we have any other financial links with the company.
Apologies that I can't help you any further."

So even Oracle people have no idea!

Let me know if you think we should setup the site for exAppforge peeps.

M

16 April 2007 at 04:08:00 GMT-7  
Anonymous George Kirkwood said...

I've set up a form that will be open within 24 hours using the following domain name :

http://www.activateappforge.co.uk/Appforge

While the domain name is being activated, it can be reached on :

http://81.149.78.146/Appforge

Let's see if we can pool our resources to get our businesses working again and our unused (but paid for) client licences activated.

16 April 2007 at 06:34:00 GMT-7  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Everyone

Try emailing damian_brodrick@yahoo.com he may be able to help you

Liam
Lancashire, UK

16 April 2007 at 08:18:00 GMT-7  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is an appforge customer having the same problem. Please contact me.
gaguerrero@hotmail.com

16 April 2007 at 09:37:00 GMT-7  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi All

Read the Grim Reality of exactly how AppForge was being run.

http://www.haysconsulting.net/appforge.html

This is a link to the liquidators site with PDF's of all the court documents. The major creditors is the most interesting. They owe $916,666.16 to the bank that they borrowed in august last year which I assume was to pay the $124,000 monthly wage bill. Also they lost a court action against Extended Systems who are now part of Sybase for $700,000

Liam
Lancs, UK

17 April 2007 at 01:35:00 GMT-7  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My advice for former AppForge users: check out CASL (Compact Application Solution Language).

Create apps using the SAME CODE to run on Palm OS, Windows Mobile, and Windows desktop.
http://www.caslsoft.com

Power tool at MUCH lower cost than AppForge.

17 April 2007 at 15:07:00 GMT-7  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Same here, I switched to CASL. No runtime fees and the Palm applications compile to a true .prc (no boosters!) Of course, after I purchased THEN they post an upgrade offer for AppForge customers http://www.caslsoft.com/specials/appforge.htm . Oh well, still well worth the money and allot cheaper than what I spent on AppForge.

17 April 2007 at 18:06:00 GMT-7  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NS Basic is anoher option. It has a VB look and feel, both in the IDE and the language itself. Pricing is reasonable with no runtime fees or activation hassles.

18 April 2007 at 01:47:00 GMT-7  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not a rumour any more !:-)
See below :

http://www.marketwatch.com/News/Story/Story.aspx?guid=%7bEFA3466B-F05C-4A26-989A-2BB7027B9A1E%7d&siteid=yhoo&dist=yhoo

18 April 2007 at 23:29:00 GMT-7  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, there you have it, folks. If you were an Appforge customer, you've received the "You're screwed!" email from Oracle.
And I Quote:
I would like to inform you that Oracle has acquired the intellectual property assets of AppForge, to extend Oracle’s mobile application product strategy. Oracle did not acquire the AppForge company or its non-IP assets or former customer contracts, so Oracle does not plan to sell or provide support for former AppForge products going forward.

I guess I will try CASL.

20 April 2007 at 13:50:00 GMT-7  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

CASL it is for me too. See ya AppForge, I just don't have the time to wait...

22 April 2007 at 14:29:00 GMT-7  
Blogger Stephen said...

We moved to VB.Net some months ago due to lack of support of the Appforge product. Devices run much faster, no licensing issues, and great support so far from Microsoft.

23 April 2007 at 07:27:00 GMT-7  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Damian Brodrick

I've read the note in http://radiofreetooting.blogspot.com/2007/04/oracle-buys-appforge-rumour-on.html
and someone posted your email

I'm a worried Appforge developer who deployed an app for Nokia 6620 phones integrating GPS and GSM/GPRS with Central Database for services location in real time, ...

The app is a mature application working since earlier 2006 and I'm in the same situation that all appforge's users and developers aorund the world: we are into the furnace" (hell) (here we say "estamos en el horno")

How can I offer my hands to crack the process to activation key of appforge clients to my cellulars?

At the usually rate prices for the licenses of Appforge Clients, there not be a problem, but could we stay quiet if Oracle enter in that business?

I will appreciate your comments and support of you and all

Best Wishes

Claudio
claudio.vigo@gmail.com

24 April 2007 at 12:23:00 GMT-7  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone made any progress on this yet. We have any lawyers in the house?????

I have SEVERAL applications runninng on the appforge platgorm, PAID the 3 grand or whatever it was for an ISV license less than a year ago, and got totally F'd by these guys. My entire companies products are in jeopardy now and just signed one of hte largest customers in my market.

If anyone has a way to licnese our devices I'm willing to buy in.

Otherwise, I'd personnaly like to sue the H#$L out of the appforge partners and take my business back from them.

Email me please if you have any ideas or someone decides to go class action against these bastards. I'm In!

Philip Coyner
CEO
IT Toolworks, LLC
p.coyner@ittoolworks.com

30 April 2007 at 09:34:00 GMT-7  
Blogger Brian B said...

Why is everyone worried about Oracle sueing them for cracking the software. Oracle IS NOT getting into the mobile business. They have a lot of products built with Crossfire and got screwed too. So they bought the source code and hired a few developers so that they can keep their apps running. They aren't selling or supporting Crossfire. They just want to keep running their apps.

1 May 2007 at 12:44:00 GMT-7  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

After much research, here is the story from the inside.

AppForge shut down as a result of three factors, on the surface we have the poor managment decisions and planing which lead to ... (two) investors losing faith in the senior managment team. Of course if you dig deeper (three) its not difficult to see that the market for non PPC devices is almost dead, making a very cool but also expensive to build and maintain system like Crossfire no longer viable. Lets face it MSFT hurt AF very badly when it made its tools free or nearly free when AF was spending millons a year to maintain Crossfire. Add in the demise of Palm as a real contender and you have a problem.

Still, the company was so sure (and possibly unfocused) that the investors were good for another round of $s that when the deal fell through, the employees were given just two hours to clean out their desks. A bigger bluder was still yet come ...

The plan was to auction off the company, however this never happened, due to what may may have been a critical lack of planning and understanding of the value proposition by the managment team. The development team was termininated along with everyone else on that day. The planned auction of the company never happened because the bidders simply hired the development team (now on the street) reducing the value of the IP to nearly zero. No developers no product, no product no company ... oops!

Once this happened, it appears frustration set in and with nothing left to salvage, the plug was pulled. The loyal customers, still in the dark, were as you say, "left high and dry."

Since Oracle owns the IP but has no plans to develop it as Crossfire, the crossfire product is effectively dead. In otherwords, no one other than Oracle has an official copy of the source code. Therefore it is difficult to see who could make the product alive again and thus who would care if CF were cracked.

28 May 2007 at 07:15:00 GMT-7  

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