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Panorama User Testimonials

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For over 25 years ProVUE Development has had some of the most loyal users on the planet, as reflected by Panorama 5.5’s five star rating on both VersionTracker and MacUpdate. To read some “real world” stories of typical Panorama users see Panorama User Testimonials, Panorama Enterprise Testimonials and The Making of 300. You can also get involved interactively with the Panorama user community using our Panorama QNA on-line discussion forum. If you’re already a Panorama users thank you for your support, and we'll continue to work every day to earn that loyalty in the decades to come.

Panorama in the Press

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Panorama (and its predecessor OverVUE) has been garnering rave reviews and prestigious awards since 1985. We’ve gathered some of the more recent reviews below.

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Panorama 6 was Adam Engst's "pick of the week" on the May 25th, 2010 episode of the top rated podcast MacBreak Weekly.
Watch this clip from the episode as Adam and Leo Laporte discuss Panorama's long history and features from the new release.

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TIDBITS Electronic Publishing has the distinction of being the very first on-line publication in the entire world, publishing their first issue via e-mail in 1990. They've been covering the Macintosh world ever since, and the MDJ annual survey of Macintosh industry insiders consistently ranks TidBITS Publisher Adam C. Engst as one of the top five most influential people in the Macintosh industry.

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Panorama Enterprise Offers Internet Database Synchronization" (by Matt Neuberg, TidBITS, August 2008)

In this article, Matt Neuberg takes a rather detailed and geeky first look at Panorama Enterprise, and really likes what he finds.
“Panorama is a remarkable database application that we've been following in TidBITS for over 15 years ... In short, Panorama keeps us going, in more than one sense: we rely on it, but also it encourages use ... a somewhat unusual architecture for a database - and therein lies its brilliance ... Panorama's server-client architecture lets a database be distributed among multiple Panorama users ... In other words (drum roll, please), Panorama is now not only a software construction kit, it's also a Web application construction kit ... If this sounds exciting to you, as well it should, your next step should be to head for ProVUE's web site to learn more”

"Seeing the Light with Panorama" (by Matt Neuberg, TidBITS, November 2001)

Although this comprehensive review covers an older version of Panorama (4.0), it is still about 90% relevant. The review covers the advantages of Panorama’s RAM based technology, multiple database views (data sheet and forms), ease of use and powerful programming language.
“Let me not beat around the bush. ProVue Panorama is the best general database program I've ever used. ... I'm so happy with Panorama that I have moved all my data into it, reproducing all the functionality I previously achieved using FileMaker, Helix, and HyperCard. ... Access to data is instant; sorting, or running through all your data gathering information or performing some calculated change on a field, is lightning-fast. ... In contrast to FileMaker, there is no need to overpopulate your data with extra calculation fields; the calculation takes place in the form itself, where it belongs. ... Panorama's programming language is extremely powerful and quite ingenious — the range of what you can do is astounding. ... the Panorama milieu is a tool-making environment supplemented by tools made in that environment (again, extremely HyperCard-like) ... Getting started with Panorama is easy. It's one of those programs where 80 percent of users probably use only 20 percent of the power, and you can pick up that 20 percent quickly. ... Have I communicated just what I find so wonderful about this program? It's the fact that my data feels safe and is easy to check on. It's the ingenious anticipation of my needs. It's how the workings of my databases are easy to track down. It's the generosity of the supplied examples. It's the fact that easy things are easy and hard things are not that hard, in contrast with other database programs where you have to dance all around the moon to get certain things done. Ultimately, it's the total programmability, which makes me feel I could build anything I like. ... This program rewards and deserves exploration. I'm delighted with it, and am using it more and more heavily.” By the way, the one "major flaw" mentioned in the review, “a functional expression cannot call a procedure”, has been resolved in Panorama 5.5. We've also written simplified documentation, as suggested in the review.

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Panorama V for Victory" (by Matt Neuberg, TidBITS, December 2004)

When Panorama V was released TidBITS published a follow up to the Panorama 4.0 review above. This review covers only the new features in Panorama V without covering Panorama's basic features.
“The whole look and feel of the program has leapt into the 21st century. ... Particularly slick is the Live Search feature ... the native scripting language is greatly expanded in some profound and thoughtful ways ... now’s the time to dive in”

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When You Need a Panoramic View" (by Adam Engst, TidBITS, March 2005)

In this article Adam describes how he used Panorama to set up a database to calculate royalties for authors of "Take Control" PDF eBooks. “I knew going into my project that I didn't have a clue what the database would look like in a year. And not only could I not predict what I was going to want, I didn't have time either to guess at what might be important or to spend a lot of time creating a database that performed tasks I didn't need. I knew I needed to calculate monthly royalty statements for a couple of books based on the data in tab-delimited text files that I received daily from eSellerate. At that point, though, I could barely imagine that some authors would be writing multiple books, that we'd also be paying editors and translators (some of whom could also be authors), that we might end up with multiple authors sharing royalties on a book, and so on. Plus, when I started writing the database, I knew relatively little about my incoming data. I couldn't predict that we'd want coupons for individual books, for bundles of books, and for entire orders, and until some appropriate orders came through, I had no idea how affiliate adjustments had to be made. In short, I was flying low, fast, and blind, and I needed a highly maneuverable airplane to skim through my data. In a word: Panorama.”

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An Unusual Use for Panorama" (by Adam Engst, TidBITS, April 2005)

In this article Adam uses Panorama to process bounce messages to clean up an e-mail list.
“By using Panorama's built-in capabilities, all accessible from obvious menus, I was able to do some surprisingly complex text processing in very little time.”


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Macworld magazine has reviewed every version of OverVUE and Panorama since OverVUE 1.0 in 1984. In their 2001 "Panorama 4.0 Review" (written by Geoff Duncan) Macworld awarded Panorama "4 mice" and said that Panorama "may be the ultimate relational database for your desktop ... lets you create powerful databases whose interfaces, features, and performance blow FileMaker Pro out of the water". William Porter, who wrote the Macworld review of Panorama V, does not agree. Although his review makes some favorable comments, many users have called and written both ProVUE and MacWorld's editors to express their concern about the many significant ommissions, contradictions and outright errors in this review. His review even neglects to mention Panorama's most unique and distinguishing feature — that Panorama is RAM based instead of disk based. Most importantly of all, the original printed review also fails to mention that the reviewer, William Porter, is a full time FileMaker developer and the author of an upcoming book about FileMaker (this omission has been partially corrected after the fact in the on-line version of the review). For more about this review and the response to it see:

"William Porter's Panorama V Review"

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The "Mac OS X Bible" says that Panorama V “is an excellent program and a good choice for business users.” You'll find the complete story on page 491 (2004 edition).