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MB Foster filled up its room for yesterday's webinar about the advances in the new Eloquence database and language. The drop-in replacement for IMAGE at migrating 3000 sites has been popular -- in part because of its pricing, but also because Eloquence's creator Michael Marxmeier has been persistent about updating the product. One of the highlights will be full text search in the database.

The updates don't cost extra for customers currently on support, which is not always the business model software providers use. Some vendors such as Cognos like to charge for upgrades just between performance tiers of computers. Marxmeier follows the path of the most reliable tool suppliers in the 3000 market: revenue via support.

That doesn't mean there's no good reason to make an initial Eloquence investment. A beta test period is underway for the 8.20 release of the product. Full release will come this summer, and the MB Foster webinar took 45 minutes to walk through new features. The online meeting was popular enough to schedule a second show on May 17. Signup is at the MB Foster site; Marxmeier will be on the call along with Birket Foster.

"Due to the high volume of attendees trying to get in at the last minute, we have decided to repeat the webinar on May 17 at 2 PM EST," MB Foster's sales director Chris Whitehead reported. "You can register at" Once the database is in place, users can deploy the Eloquence language in development. For example, WebDLG is an Eloquence component which enables dialog-based Eloquence programs to use a web browser as a user interface.

Foster said that the 8.20 beta starts in mid-May with a release in July, and "documentation is coming soon. These are the high level items that were discussed:
Database full text search functionality
Major language enhancements
PCL to PDF conversion
Improved WebDLG
Improved JDLG

Eloquence's Ruth Schurrle said that after the summer break, they will offer a bi-monthly training webinar to explain aspects of Eloquence functionality in depth. The first webinar is scheduled around beginning of June. Keep an eye out here, or at the Marxmeier Software website, for more schedule details and registration on those Marxmeier training webinars.