Longtime Macintosh developer ProVUE Development has released Panorama 4.0, the latest version of its RAM-based database application. Panorama’s been around since 1988, and has always featured blinding performance because it stores working data in RAM, rather than on comparatively slow hard disks. This might sound risky, but Panorama’s always been so stable that it rarely poses a problem, and the performance benefits are substantial. Back when high-end Macs had 8 MB of RAM, Panorama could be expensive and resource-intensive; today, RAM is plentiful and cheap. Panorama 4.0 has been almost completely re-engineered, and the application is now PowerPC-native (previous versions had featured hand-tweaked 68K assembler, making it difficult to port to PowerPC) and (for the first time) a version is available for Windows – all Panorama’s files are fully cross-platform and fully backward-compatible. (Apparently they’re forward-compatible too, which could be handy). Version 4.0 also sports improved development tools including a formula wizard, a debugging wizard, online references, improved editing tools, timer-based events, and extensions to Panorama’s internal programming language. Panorama costs $300 (upgrading from version 3.x costs $70), and requires a PowerPC-based system with Mac OS 7.6 or later, including Mac OS X’s Classic environment, and at least 16 MB of RAM (the more the merrier!).