JBA Guidelines

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Screencap from a notebook test window on an early version of JBA Guidelines.

C++ development environment and an application generator for OS/2 that could also generate code for MS Windows. Introduced in 1992 and originally written as a tool for developing GUI front ends for the AS/400 software products from the JBA Holdings company but was extended into a general business application development tool.

You build your application in a GUI designer then write the back end in either C++ or in a proprietary event driven fourth generation language called JOT, Guidelines then generated C++ code from your front-end design and JOT code and you compiled it with your choice of C++ compatible compiler suite, or had Guidelines do it for you. In addition the company offered optional Client/Server back ends for AS/400, Unix SQL servers and ODBC.

Version 3.3 introduced quite advanced support for CORBA object message passing, including over a network (Distributed object message passing).

While Guidelines did nothing in the OS/2 or Windows marketplaces it survived as an in house tool and was used for most PC system development at the company, however a number of people hacked the Guidelines package to act as a GUI builder for other systems, the first version of Visual Ada Developer used the package as its front end for instance.



  • Latest OS/2 version: Version 3.3 - 1996
  • OS/2 2.1 or higher

One of the following C++ compiler products:

Early versions of the software required IBM C Set++ 2.01 or IBM VisualAge C++ 3.0 and the OS/2 Developer's Toolkit to compile the Guidelines output, later versions don't support C Set.

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License & availability

  • Commercial software, now discontinued.

The retail price for JBA Guidelines was:

  • Guidelines Base pack: Free - Essentially a GUI creator without any background C++ generation, so both functional as a small time GUI creator and as a demo for the full package.
  • Professional Developers Kit $595
  • Client/Server Connectivity $995
  • MS Windows Code Generation $395
  • Database Connectivity Pack (ODBC) $395
  • Lotus Notes Support Pack $99


  • Guidelines for Corporate Developers $7750 per seat.