I watched the xdialog session put on by Selwyn yesterday and it was very good. As he explained in the beginning of the session, xdialogs are basically unbound forms except there is no visual designer, since they are essentially instantiated on the fly based on your xdialog code.

Not having all these forms around to clutter things up is definitely a huge advantage, but that has to be tempered by the fact that you can't visually design these forms and must learn xdialog coding techniques to make them look and work the way you want. Granted, there are some Genies provided to help with some of the implementation, but this will definitely take some time to learn.

It was further explained that the data solicited from the enduser of your app is stored in variables; however, Selwyn showed a really neat example of how you could create an xdialog with bound data values; exactly the way you would bound data values in the form designer.

The session ran over 2.5 hours (scheduled for 2) and I was very impressed with the thoroughness of the topic covered in the session. After watching this session, I can't help but feel that xdialog is an application within an application. It is powerful, flexible, and will definitely reduce the number of forms required for a project.

For reference, coming from the Visual Foxpro world, we were able to duplicate some of this functionality by creating a form and placing a tabbed frame (called a pageframe in VFP) on a form and then turn off the tabs. We would have to write event code to change tabs at the right time. This allowed us to use the form designer to create wizards (called Genies in A5); however, every one of these became a form in your project. They were so time-consuming to create, that we resorted to using a separate form for every page (tab) of our wizards, which greatly increased the number of forms in a project.

VFP provided the flexibility of allowing you to use the form designer to create data-bound or unbound forms; however, the offset to this was that you would have to control everything ALL the time. I'm still trying to wrap my head around A5, but sessions like this make it easier for me to see how A5 just might be a very good alternative to VFP, which Microsoft has pulled the plug on. Just the fact that Alpha Five is offering learning sessions like this makes it easier for someone like me to make the transition.