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Niles Home Page

What is Niles?

Niles is a development tool for database based applications. It aims to provide a convenient way to build standard stuff, doing all the obvious, repetitive work for you.

It's named after The Nanny's butler, and it has some resemblances to tools as GeneXus, but it's based on my own thoughts about the issue.

The basic idea is, you build the skeleton of your application as a XML file(A graphic tool is not needed, although it should be a nice thing to have). You describe how your database is structured (Of course, a way for sucking it automatically is planned), what forms you have, which fields you want to put into them, and so. You should be able to include some hooks for coding special stuff as events, or even whole hand-made functionality.

After that, Niles takes your file, and builds all the windows, queries, etc. on the fly. You could build forms with fields of any number of different tables, but most of the work is done by Niles itself (cascade handling, etc).


I've written some documentation about the project and its goals. Please remember the development is in a early stage (and worse, progressing slowly), so there is no much neither working or usable stuff right now.

1. Motivation A tongue-in-cheek writing about my experience with such tools as xBases and RADs.
2. Features Current and planed features
3. Before we start Requirements, and some conceptual background
4. Building a Niles application (incomplete) Step by step guide to build an app
5. Tag reference (incomplete) Detailed description of the tags
6. Class reference (not yet) Description of the classes


These are rather poor screenshots. I hope to bring you some more attractive stuff soon:

Main Window, with menus and a toolbar (icons still lacking, sorry).

Main window

An entry form. Currently only one-table forms are usable, while multitable handling is in progress.

Lookup label

The standard buttons are internationalized, of course. The look of the forms can be easily tweaked, as building of a library of different base forms is an easy task. The layout of fields into the form is handled using ad-hoc layouts managers. Look the tutorial to have an idea about how that was made and how easy it is.


Please send me your questions and ideas about how Niles should be, I'm open to suggestions and ideas, even when I will keep doing the development by myself for a while. When the things become more stable and gets a well defined shape, I'll be more open about. Meanwhile, feel free to ask! :-)

Development model

At this time, Cathedral, and iterative. Waterfall is not a fun way of doing things :-)


I didn't make a final decision, although it will have, of course, a standard Open Source license. I'm not sure about developing some propietary extras in the future, but the basic thing (those described in features) will be free.