Clarion metabases allow new developers to generate project-specific code using templates created by master programmers. The metabase contains most of the information that Clarion needs to create a fully-functional application, that directly applies to their specific project requirements. The benefit for the developer is that they can immediately create very high quality "corporate" applications that maintain and report the data, and then they can use the additional Clarion tools to customize the generated application to suit their special business needs.
The Clarion metabases store the metadata (business logic and database schema), application (application logic) and user interface layers for all projects referencing corporate data. An extensible code generation system generates full featured applications from the descriptions stored in the metabase storage files. These Clarion metabases are called the Data Dictionary and the Template Registry.
Business developers may generate many applications from the same metadata, e.g., an application to access the Human Resources tables, and another to access the Accounts Receivables tables. The generated applications will have the uniform look and feel that the developer specifies, providing a corporate standard and making it easier for users to learn new applications.
The code generator relies on "templates" to store the application logic. A master programmers can create their own templates, in effect flawlessly cloning their expertise to all subsequent projects produced by entry level programmers, even ones that reference different data or even different databases. This creates a "automated production" model for software development.
The breadth of options stored in the Data Dictionary, and the amount of flexible, extensible application logic stored in the template registry distinguish the Clarion development model from any other.