Holy Crap — IronSpeed is Dead!

Alright, un-clutch your pearls and pick up your jaws — I know I should not have shocked you like that, but it is true: my beloved data-based Rapid Application Development (RAD, no really) tool is… an ex-parrot.


IronSpeed Designer is a product I GLEEFULLY used for a couple of years, after I got it approved for Federal purchase, and then bought the durned thing (initial purchase requestor has the burden of shepherding a product into the system — if you really need it; you’ll get ‘er done).

More on this later.  I kind of have the vapors.  From the then-competitor’s link above:

“We were surprised to learn that Iron Speed, Inc. has decided to discontinue operations. The primary reasons were cited by the company CEO as “expense of litigation with patent troll” and “product sales have been severely impacted”.

Iron Speed has always been a product that generates a large number of data input forms from database tables. These data input forms were based on aging Web Forms technology virtually abandoned by Microsoft. The fact that “product sales have been severely impacted” indicates the possibility of Iron Speed going out of business even in the absence of litigation.”



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7 thoughts on “Holy Crap — IronSpeed is Dead!”

  1. Thanks, guys!  Their DRM was pretty onerous — lots of phoning home.  So the keygen issues were predictable in the same way that 19% is the maximum tax rate achievable.  You may *charge* whatever you want, but you will never collect more than 19%.

    However, license issues for feds (as I was at the time) are simple — “pay the man”.  If nothing else, it’s better stewardship of the public trust than exposure to lawsuit or injurious penalty.


  2. Now at office. I updated comment 1 to add a related patent.

    Interestingly, the first one was just allowed to expire for failure to pay a maintenance fee.

    The next maintenance fee on the second is not payable until 7/15/19.


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  3. The article from Code On Time, albeit from a competitor looking to pick up their customers, hints the story might be a bit more complicated.  They note, “These data input forms were based on aging Web Forms technology virtually abandoned by Microsoft.”  So, once again, we may be looking at an example of why it is so perilous to base your product or company upon a Microsoft proprietary technology.

    In short, Microsoft has a record, over more than three decades, of having absolutely zero respect for their customers’ or partners’ investment in their products.  They capriciously discontinue, cease to support, or release incompatible updates which break customers’ applications, with utter disregard for what this costs the customers.  Web Forms, which was part of ASP.NET, is an example of this.  Microsoft basically lost interest in it, and Iron Speed, whose product was built on that foundation, found themselves supporting a technology Microsoft was in the process of abandoning.  This has happened many times before to companies foolish enough to align themselves with Microsoft.

    As one small example, I originally developed the computer tools for The Hacker’s Diet as Microsoft Excel macros, starting on Excel 2.1 in 1990.  These macros, which were very simple compared to many corporate applications based upon Excel, broke in every single subsequent release of Excel between 1990 and when I abandoned support for Excel in disgust in 2003.  Almost every one of these problems was caused by a gratuitous change made by Microsoft with no obvious benefit to users for which it would have been easy to maintain compatibility with existing macros.  After a while it became obvious they just didn’t care.  Along the road, Microsoft lost interest in the original macro language, trying to force their developers to move to Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), and they subsequently allowed the macro language to suffer “code rot” as it was not kept up to date with changes in Excel.  It was estimated in the business press that these incompatibilities in Excel macros from version to version cost corporate clients hundreds of millions of dollars and, in addition, made it difficult to deploy their applications as everybody had to change to a new version of Excel and updated macros all at the same time across the entire organisation.

    This isn’t a matter with Excel—it’s the case all across their product line.  Even something as dirt simple as a screen saver will break again and again with new releases of Windows.  I have also given up supporting these screen savers on that down-market platform.


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  4. ctlaw:
    complaint and two related patents




    I am astounded that these BS patents were ever issued.  This looks like an A+B patent, where A and B are previous art, but putting them in the same product is somehow noteworthy.  I could submit an application for a patent that “Hello World” would infringe.


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