Presentation and newbie question

Hi everyone,

Totally new here, barely installed Xojo. I’m coming from musical world where I’m using Reaper, and it seems that this forum has a similar taste to Reaper’s one. Great…

I 've builded an app with Visual Studio in (just a few forms), which is connected to a MySql database. The structure of this base is a bit complex (but not too much), and my ambition would be to make some cross platform desktop app (or webapp), and mobile apps that could fit Android and Iphone’s worlds.

That application is really close to some library or content manager with movies, clients, tasks, schedules, etc.

I think this is the right moment to quit that Seveso plant that is Visual Studio, and I’m looking for the right tool.

I’m certainly not a professional programmer, I’m quite used to object oriented programming, but I’ve got some huge gaps in my skills.

Here’s my question : do you think that XOJO could be the tool I need ?

To be specific, as my database has plenty of relations, I was asking myself if Xojo correctly deals with queries and forms based upon relational databases. For example, is there any control like scroll lists that could be populated with some query ? Or will it be a daily challenge to deal with all those stuffs.

Thank you !


take a look at the eddie electronic example in the xojo example folder…

Hi Michael,

Welcome to Xojo! I’m sure you’ll be soon delighted with the amount of work you can accomplish for Multiplatform apps.

Of course, you can do MySQL queries and populate ListBoxes and other controls as you need with the resulting data (this is something done with Xojo in practically a “daily” basis!)… but not directly connected with the query.

I mean, you need to do the query against the DB, getting the matching records and iterate over these to populate the ListBox (or any other control you need) from the record fields data. Not rocket science anyway.

By now, you can create an deploy compiled an native apps for Desktop (macOS, Windows, Linux), Web, Raspberry Pi and iOS… with Android in the horizon!

In addition to the project examples you can find within the Xojo folder, I’m sure you’ll appreciate the excellent video tutorials and webinars found in the official Xojo YouTube Channel and, of course, the resources available at

When it comes to specific questions about “how to do” something or problems you can’t solve by yourself, the Xojo forum is an invaluable resource, full of nice people wanting to help and share!

Hello and welcome! The first challenge you’re going to run into is that Xojo iOS can’t connect to MySQL databases. You need to set up middleware to handle that communication. And although Xojo Android has been announced for ages, we’ve never seen anything more than slideware. So while the challenges make a mobile app very difficult, I love Xojo for Desktop.

Xojo Desktop will help you make a Mac, Windows, and Linux cross platform desktop app easily. You can connect to MySQL directly with the correct license, and using third party tools you can pump out a database connected app quite easily.

This kind of library / database driven application is easy to do with Xojo :slight_smile:

When I started with Xojo I was not a professional. I read the manual, documentation, and examples; tried to understand what they were saying; and now I’m up and running using Xojo every day. Having the concept of OOP down is a great start. What bites a lot of Xojo users is that they write their software like it’s 1998, and won’t admit that times have changed. This is easy to overcome, just be willing to learn!

It could be. I fully recommend Xojo Deskop for cross platform desktop development. But in all honesty, Xojo iOS is a joke. Xojo Android isn’t out. Xojo Web is outdated, and we’re waiting on a new version that’s been nothing but slideware yet. I have it on good authority that the project is actually tangible, but we won’t be seeing it until Xojo gets through it’s Roadmap

Xojo itself is not a database tool like FileMaker is. You need to connect to the database and run queries yourself. Those queries can be as complex as you need them to be. What can make working with databases significantly easier is an ORM like Active Record.

I love ARGen because it makes working with databases as easy as working with Xojo objects. Columns are properties, CRUD is as easy as Save or Delete, and it can even pre-create windows and controls in a project. Full disclosure - I work for the company that makes it.

Xojo is a rapid application development tool, and while it can connect to databases, they don’t focus their product on trying to be FileMaker. For example we have Listbox, which we can load up with rows of data. Listbox handles the scrolling and presentation to the user for us. What makes it flexible is that it can be any data loaded in, and it’s not directly connected to a database via a query.

I don’t consider it a challenge to do these kinds of tasks, they’re simple enough to do. You can even create and subclass your own controls should you want to have something connected via a query - but that digs into the advanced class :wink:

If you have any more questions, let us know. We’re a volunteer community of Xojo fans, and we love to help!

@Michel Duprez — I am not sure that Xojo is better than Visual Studio, but it is cross-platform. That also means that it usually adopts the lowest common denominator between all the platforms ! You can still access a given platform’s abilities but it will require some “system calls”.

Hi everyone,

Thank you so much for your kind a precise answers. This forum is enthusiastic.

So, in the meanwhile, I made some research and tried to define a bit more precisely my needs. I think my priority is to get some app operational on Android and Iphones. Please tell me if I’m wrong, it looks like a Webapp would be the best choice for now, because it’s cross platform by essence. Maybe I should wait a bit for the new version you seem to wait for, and try in the meanwhile to manage this with

But I take note of what you say about the desktop apps on XOJO, which seems indeed lovely and looks so clear and simple regarding the VS’one. That’s important to me, as too much parameters quickly reveals my gaps. I’m quickly lost.

So I’ll come back as soon as I’ll start a new Desktop app to manage my DB, but first, I need some Webapp working on A and Iphone.

Thank you so much again,


Well I changed my mind just having tried again to start some webapp in Visual Studio. I’m pissed of all those layers I don’t understand. I’m gonna follow some tutorials here and make my opinion today.


Is there any way to display all my DB fields and drag&drop them on a sheet ? Or do I have to populate any control with code ?

Thank you,


Xojo database interface is … crude to say the least … it is really not as friendly as filemaker for example.
I made a companion app to edit my databases, then select and copy paste the db fields into xojo window.
it’s completely awesome because I can make almost everything as I want, but it took time to make it
and frankly it’s not for beginners.
so yes you will have to drag&drop every one of your db fields, unless you make a program to automate it …

it’s also difficult to populate the controls by code, because you can’t create a new control by code. but you can duplicate an empty control that has been dragged from the IDE into a window (and made not visible), then modify it at your needs.

Thanks for you reply Jean-Yves (I’m from Belgium and speak french, but let’s continue here in english),

The next question, obsiously, is : how can I drag&drop a single control ? What you show here (“VNS structure editor”) is the app you made, isn’t it ? Well I don’t need such a structure editor (because it’s already done), but at least some list where I could pick pre-linked controls… Is there any such thing in Xojo ? I can’t find it. If it doesn’t, then I’ll let Xojo fall because there are too much controls to put on the forms (or sheets) I need.

then you need an external tool like ARGen Tim mentionned above. it is not included in Xojo.
In the Eddie Electronic example that comes with Xojo, there almost anything you need to build a database user interface, but there is quite no tool to build it easily.

Hello Tim,
What is your advice for a cross-platform mobile development tool?
thank you.

Locking this since it is drifting off topic.