Ed Salva (10/8/2010)
I'm enjoying reading the comments, but I'm curious, what happens when someone comes up with a better engine (or as in our case better software)?
Do we buy into it, or ride the current wave until it is exhausted? perhaps because it's easier or cheaper? Then at the end of the ride were do you go?
Standards are a good thing. It helps with continuity and somewhat simplifies things.
if "continuous quality improvement" is part of the process then the best you can have is the "standard du jour"
Ed: First of all, RAP doesn't leave you with something that you can't maintain without the ongoing use of RAP. At the end of the day you still have a chunk of .NET and SQL code that you can continue to maintain by hand if you wish. It's just that it's probably a much more consistent and better structured piece of code than you possibly could have had the time or the budget to write yourself. So you don't incur any substantial risk by using RAP in terms of being left high and dry with something unusable afterwards.
Secondly there is no wave to ride. There is no crowd to follow. So this is an adventure, and instead of deciding whether to go with the crowd you'll have to instead decide whether this tool and this paradigm would make your life a whole lot easier. I'm not expecting many followers. I just want a few that will allow both me and my company to demolish my competition in a real-world demonstration of what is possible when you automate things rather than redo them by hand constantly.
The "standard du jour" argument could be used to exempt one's self from using any technology. How about C#? Remember C# is the replacement for non-compatible VB.NET in many shops. And VB.NET was the replacement for non-compatible VB6. Good heavens, why use compilers at all? If we really want to avoid paradigms and tools, we could even dispense with operating systems and go back to coding machine language. But oops - your machine language constitutes a possibly misguided investment in a particular processor architecture! Where does one turn? It seems that no matter where you look, you are making an investment in one technology or another.
Even if your vendor is Microsoft, there's no assurance that the tool(s) you're using today won't be obsolete tomorrow. The choice with RAP is to have a tool that generates most of your app code automatically, complete with features you could never afford to implement by hand, or alternatively to go without and reinvent the wheel - probably meagerly due to budget & time constraints - with every new app you have to write. The choice, of course, is yours.