Moving forward with PanX

If you just want the point of this post and skip the back story, see the bold text below.

I’ve been researching various database apps to help me organize my music program (music teacher). The main contenders are Filemaker, 4D and Panorama. I’ve used Filemaker for years but have felt limited. 4D is over my head at this point. Intuitively, Panorama seems like a good balance between usability and power, but I’ve never had a chance to actually use it. Mr. Patrick in sales suggested I apply for the early access program, which would require a $100 commitment up front. Though I think it is a little unfair to ask someone to plop down $100 without getting a “test drive,” I’m actually still (mostly) excited to do just that based on what I’ve been able to learn about Panorama X in this forum and other online sources.

My concern however, is that I’m getting a database program to get real work done in a busy work life. While I’m certainly willing to work through bugs and communicate about those issues, I just don’t have time in my work day to suffer numerous crashes and freezes. As they say in show business, “The show must go on!”

So, can someone speak to the currently reliability/robustness of Panorama X. For creating new databases (I realize there are some issues with importing Pan6 files.), is Panorama X development at a point where the program may be relied on to get “real work” done. (A subjective statement, I know.) If I think I can trust Panorama X to be fairly stable, say for example no more than a crash or two per day resulting in a quick restart and relatively little loss of data, then I’m all for “plopping” down $100 and seeing where it takes us. :slight_smile:

I’ve been using Pan X for my main production DB for a good many months safely. My setup includes a main contacts DB and a DB for workshops that exchanges data back and forth with the main DB. The workshop DB has lots of conditional gadgets and lots of forms for generating various reports and entering data. I converted it from Pan6 without too much trouble (not your situation, I realize) and now it keeps me going with no problems or crashes at all. The revisions I’ve been doing bit by bit to streamline it and add things as I think of them have all been easy and successful. I haven’t had any crashes using it in months. Loss of data is almost never a problem because there’s constant behind-the-scenes saving and you can undo to your heart’s content, or revert to earlier versions.

I also tried a couple of other projects, one of which stalled because I was trying to do something way at the outer edges of what PanX is designed to do and in fact can’t really do (kludging together a tachistoscopic display for music teaching!–it almost worked but not quite). For the other one I was using matrix display forms and either I was doing things wrong or there are some unsquashed bugs involved. I’ll get back to that sometime when I’m not so busy; it should work.

But for anything I wanted to do to run a music program, I believe that Pan X would be excellent. Once I put together a set of DB’s to run a materials library for the Ohio State music ed department, with borrowers, inventory, and checkout records. It’s long obsolete, but I could have transferred it from Pan 6 to Pan X very easily.

You can e-mail me off-list at with specific questions if you like.

I think reports of crashes are depending very much a) on the health of your Mac and b) on the complexity of what you are intending to do with Panorama X.
E.g. when you are programming a custom application in Panorama X and try to control the complete user interface of your application, then it is more likely that you could experience some crashes at some point (where you perhaps made errors using the correct syntax for Panorama X statements and functions in your procedures).
On the other hand, if you are a user like me who uses the data sheet as well as forms, a user who is doing im- and export of data as well as analyzing them on a regular basis and who has automated those workflows in Panorama X, then maybe you won’t see any crashes at all.
All my databases (from financial bookkeeping over membership databases to soccer tables) are running perfectly well; I will have to wait for crashes until I do more experiments in Panorama X.