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About StudioTips

StudioTips is aimed at:

Shared knowledge is the best kind of knowledge!

StudioTips does not intend to replace the Omnis Studio documentation, rather, is aimed at supplementing the Omnis Studio documentation. The Omnis Studio documentation is accurate, but is lacking in code examples. When I was learning Omnis Studio that was the most difficult part. I needed to see how to write the code, not just read about. StudioTips focuses on providing developers with tips, code snips, and real demos..

The tips and code snips included in the StudioTips libraries are available and searchable on-line at The on-line information is free to all Omnis developers. The code samples, demos, and utilties are only available to StudioTips members.

The cost of maintaining and updating the StudioTips website and creating new demos and utilities is covered through StudioTips memberships. The StudioTips libraries, code samples, demos, and extra utilities, are available to StudioTips members only. Visit the website to find out more about the benefits of being a member and how you can join. The cost of membership is very reasonable. You will receive a quick return on your investment in joining the StudioTips community.


If Omnis Studio provided developers with code examples, developers would probably start sending them emails telling them better ways to write their code. We're all better off if the engineers at Mitford House focus on Omnis Studio itself, not how to write code with Omnis Studio, that's our job. As a third party, StudioTips doesn't have to debate or defend the best way to write code, it simply presents developers with ideas that each developer is free to implement however best suits their situation.


StudioTips evolves based on questions and feedback received from developers who use StudioTips.

In some cases I am expressing my opinion, not necessarily the right opinion. Please email me if you have any suggestions for improvements, are confused by an explanation, notice any typos, or disagree with something I've stated in any of the tips. I don't want to mislead anyone using StudioTips with bad advice.

If there is something you'd like to see in StudioTips, please email me with your suggestion.

If there are user interface improvements that could be made to StudioTips ... let me know.

Many of the improvements and sections added to StudioTips are based on requests and feedback from other developers who use StudioTips.

Every time StudioTips improves, all the StudioTips users benefit. So send me those suggestions!

Doug Kuyvenhoven

Personal Biases

Everyone has certain biases when it come to programming so it is best that I tell you my biases.

  1. The Omnis data file is a decent SQL learning tool and useable for single user applications. If you get into multi-user applications or mission critical data you should move to a real RDBMS (Relational Database Management System). The good news is that Omnis Studio makes it very easy to connect your application to different RDBMSs.
  2. I prefer to use Omnis notation rather than the Omnis Omnis commands. Notation might seem harder to write, but it is much more flexible and powerful that the Omnis Omnis commands. Once you start to understand the syntax of Omnis notation is gets easier to follow and write. I am not speaking against the Omnis commands and wouldn't get into an argument over which is better. Notation is my personal bias.
  3. I avoid using hash variables (#F, #S1-#S5, #L1=#L5) and memory-only file classes. They are global variables and therefore not good practice for object-oriented programming.
  4. I only use SQL for communicating with the Omnis data file. You could use Omnis commands (Open data file, Set main file, Prepare for insert, Update files,...) but that marries you to the Omnis data file, excluding other RDBMSs. Using SQL exclusively is my personal bias.
  5. I believe in the power of community and therefore promote StudioWorks. The vision of StudioWorks is to build a community of highly effective Omnis Studio developers who benefit from each by working together on a common framework. The StudioWorks framework is a set of libraries that include a host of classes and code which is commonly used for writing custom software applications in Omnis Studio. The StudioWorks framework source libraries are completely open to StudioWorks members. You will hear me talk about StudioWorks now an then in StudioTips. It's something I believe in so I can't help but talk about it.

Legal Stuff

Use of the StudioTips Browser requires that you keep up your StudioTips membership. Please be sure to renew each year. Your continued support through your StudioTips members is important.

The contact information for Vencor Software and the author are not to be removed from StudioTips or any classes or methods which you copy from StudioTips.

Vencor Software, Doug Kuyvenhoven, and any other persons or companies mentioned in the StudioTips libraries assume no liability for the code or advice given in StudioTips. The information provided is to be weighed against the Omnis Studio documentation and your own judgement as to what will work best for your application.

The Author

Doug Kuyvenhoven
Vencor Software


I first learned about Omnis through First Avenue Information Systems in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. First Avenue was hired to write a Pricebook and Sale Quote package for Royal Homes to run on Mac Pluses being used in our Sales Offices. The first version was written in 1987 using Omnis 3.

Eventually we purchased Omnis 5 to create our own application for Production Scheduling. Bit by bit the Production Scheduling application was expanded and then moved to Omnis 7. In 1994 we had to downsize the company and in the process had to let our computer systems person go. With no programming background I started tinkering in Omnis 7. Programming with Omnis became a hobby that I enjoyed.

As the year 2000 approached a decision had to be made regarding Royal's old main frame computer and accounting software. The computer and software were not Y2K compatible. We made the decision to purchase Omnis Studio and write our own software. I spent many long hours in 1998/1999 learning Studio, learning SQL, and making the "paradigm" shift to object-oriented programming.

The Accounting, Payroll, Purchasing, Inventory, and Timeclock modules were on-line and running live by the end of 1999.

Besides being a lot of fun, the effort was well worth it. By combining the TimeClock, Timesheets, Personnel data, and Payroll into one Omnis Studio application, we immediately saved one man day a week plus the excessive maintenance charges from the Timeclock reader software vendor. The Purchasing Department and Warehouse efficiency and control improved dramatically as they were now able to quickly view and update information on screen. The application continues to grow as more departments and functions are intregrated.

Many thanks go to Tech Support for their patient and responsive assistance. Many thanks go to the helpful people on the Omnis Underground list server for answering all the questions I posted to the list server.

Attending the Omnis Developers Conference in Denver in 1999 was a real turning point for me. Through the seminars and off-line discussions I learned the beauty of table classes, and I began the paradigm shift to thinking in terms of object-oriented programming. (It really is a mind shift.)

Programming with Omnis Studio was so much fun that in 2001 I decided to end my 23 year career with Royal Homes and go full time into Vencor Software. Vencor Software still does the computer systems support for Royal Homes, but now has the flexibility to work on other projects as well.

Vencor Software's goal is to help other developers to learn and adopt Omnis Studio as quickly and efficiently as possible. StudioTips, StudioWorks, training and consulting are the ways which Vencor Software strives to achieve this goal.

This StudioTips library is aimed at helping other Omnis programmers who are learning and working with Studio.

Omnis Studio is a GREAT product, and a lot of fun to work with! Happy programming!

Personal Note

The thing that matters most in my life is my Saviour and Lord, Jesus Christ. I attended church all my life, but in 1989 at the age of 30, I discovered there was a lot more to church than "religion". I discovered that Christianity was about a "relationship" and invited Jesus to be my Lord and Saviour.

If you are looking for real joy, real purpose, and real peace in your life ... I invite you to do the same. There isn't anything in life more worthwhile than finding Jesus and life eternal through Him. God is so great! There is nothing I'd want more than for you to get to know him too. Feel free to talk to or email me anytime about this subject.


So you can recognize me at an Omnis Conference, click the Go to URL button at the bottom of the StudioTips Browser window or go to


Doug Kuyvenhoven, Vencor Software