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January, 2007. Step Ahead releases open source exPOJO!

Step Ahead Software has just released a new product for the development of web and desktop applications that use the "Exposed Domain Model" pattern. Developers understand the freedom and productivity that developing their domain model using Plain Old Java Objects (POJOs) brings and now, with the maturity of transparent (JDO) and almost transparent (Hibernate) persistence engines the exposed domain model pattern is the right choice for delivering high productivity, high run time performance applications. more>>

November, 2006. Freeware Javelin Modeler released.

Step Ahead Software has just released a freeware version of it's flasgship Javelin Modeler+Coder tool. The freeware Javelin Modeler is a free, non expiry version with all the modeling capabilities but without any code generation or management. Analyse, design, import, print - do it all from the new Javelin Modeler for free! more>>

June, 2006. AnFX support for Bezier Curves

AnFX free form/vector shapes are now capable of displaying any shape conceivable using the new bezier curve features. With a new curve editor similar to those in Adobe Illustrator and other high end graphics tools you can create the veector shapes of your dreams. Vector shapes are stored in a much more efficient manner in the the SWF file than bitmap images like JPEG and GIF and so using vector shapes where appropriate over bitmap formats will typically give you a much smaller SWF file - which means a much more snappier website for your site visitors.

June, 2006. Step Ahead Software acquires!

After more than a year of negotiations Step Ahead Software has acquired the domain name from it's previous owner. We believe owning the product domain name will further strengthen the AnFX brand name. It also makes it easier for our users to get to our site. Obviously typing is a lot quicker and easier to remember than typing

April, 2006 AnFX Provides integrated workaround for Eolas + IE patent issue

There's been a lot of press about this patent issue and now that Windows update is causing Internet Explorer installations around the world to show gray borders around Flash content loaded in the conventional way it's time to do something about it! The latest version of AnFX integrates with the defacto standard javascript "FlashObject" that works around the problem of a gray border appearing around active content (like Flash) in Internet Explorer. This new feature makes using AnFX to generate high impact, impressive animations as easy as it was before this patent issue rose it's ugly head! more>>

April, 2006 A new version of Javelin now gives even greater customization of meta-data generation

Javelin 7.0.7 has just been released with useful new features including greater customization of Hibernate and JDO meta data file generation plus new Pattern Wizards. more >>

April, 2006 AnFX Released

This latest version of AnFX fixes a problem with designs saved to the AnFX Java Player format and some help file issues.

March, 2006 Javelin Automates Relationships

Javelin has automated relationship management at both the coding level, as always, but now also at the diagram level: Javelin now provides intuitive placement of relationships in a class diagram to significantly reduce the amount of mouse interaction required to maintain an appealing layout. Orthogonality (lines drawn at 0 or 90 degrees) of association relationship line segments is maintained where possible when moving classes or bend 'node' in the relationship's line avoiding the need to adjust anchor nodes to get them back to 0 or 90 degrees after moving a class. Download the free Javelin Trial and create a few classes and some relationships between them then move the classes around to see how much easier it is to keep a nice layout.

December, 2005 Javelin support for JDO 1 and JDO 2

Can't choose between JDO or Hibernate? - now you get on with the development of your model and defer your final persistence decisions until later. Start modeling, coding and testing your model today in Javelin using any O/R mapper that Javelin supports (Hibernate, JPOX, Versant Open Access or Kodo). If you discover that one technology allows you more freedom in how you map your objects or provides higher performance than another then you can flick the O/R mapping switch in Javelin and instantly regenerate mapping files appropriate for that O/R mapper. Javelin class models contain much more information than that contained in Java source files and so it is much more capable of generating appropriate mapping files for your JDO or Hibernate persistence engine. Download the free Javelin Trial and try see how much more productive you can become now that you have the full power of object modeling at your fingertips without having to worry about how you are going to persist your objects with their complex associations and inheritance hierarchies.

November, 2005 Javelin support for Hibernate

When it comes to Java object modeling Javelin has all you require. When it comes to transparent persistence of your Java object models Hibernate has everything you need. Join both technologies together and you have a powerful mix that is the Nirvana that many object oriented software developers have been seeking for years. The Javelin/Hibernate combination means that you can at last transparently bridge the gap which is the impedance mismatch between between the object world and the relational world. Download the free Javelin Trial and try see how much more productive you can become now that you have the full power of object modeling at your fingertips without having to worry about how you are going to persist your objects with their complex associations and inheritance hierarchies.

October, 2005 Continuous Common Layer Support in AnFX

Version now supports continuous common layers. The common background and foreground layers now play continuously even when the scene changes from one to the next. This means that you can create ultra smooth menus and movies where a background animation doesn't have to restart every time the scene changes. You can also add a sound to the background or foreground layer and it will continue playing in the background. Plus there's many more features to try. Download here.

September, 2005 Javelin and Visual Classworks support interfaces

Release 6.7.7 of Javelin and Visual Classworks now have enhanced support for interface based development. Existing classes can be converted to interfaces and interfaces can be converted back to classes via a new right click menu option. Interface inheritance used in combination a judicious use of implementation inheritance can improve the speed of software development and make software less likely to break when changes are made.

August, 2005 New look Newsletter for AnFX users

The new look AnFX newsletter is now available for all AnFX users via our online archive. Simply follow the link in the email you were sent and you will have access the all the hottest news from the Step Ahead Software team. As well as all the latest hints and tips to get the most out of your AnFX designs and for that professional touch. The newsletter will also include links to other users AnFX sites when they are available. We also have links to our Forum pages for you to have a look at the latest topics and polls. So happy reading!

August 5, 2005 AnFX Shape Filling and Outline Enhancements

AnFX is now available and adds the ability to use linear or gradient fills with rectangles, ellipses, and free form shapes. Artful use of gradient fills can often add that extra feel of quality to your movies. The fill colors can have an alpha value applied which enables you to create smooth masks that float over the top of other actors to give them a sliding fade effect. There are a few extra features also like the ability to specify simultaneous outline and fill and specifying the thickness of an outline in a free form shape.

July 28, 2005: AnFX Maintenance Release

We now have a release of AnFX that fixes a few "potential" bugs which have never been reported by users but we like to fix them just in case. Any one wanting to know what has been fixed can have a look at the AnFX history page for full details. To upgrade your existing AnFX installation simply download and install. As usual there is no charge for this upgrade for existing 5.x licensed users or evaluators.

May 26, 2005: New Payment System!

We are now RegNow vendors. This is very exciting news for all our new customers and all our affiliates. Through RegNow we accept Affiliates to promote our products on their respective sites. They do receive a percentage of the profit, but you'll be very happy to know this will NOT increase the price of any of our products. All the prices will remain at the original price!

January 12, 2005: AnFX Released!

Flash: Designs exported to Flash are now even more compact for designs where the same image is used multiple times. In one case the size of a .swf file was reduced by 58%! A further reduction in .swf size can be achieved by placing actors that are common to many scenes in a background or foreground layer.

Studio: Allows previewing and exporting of designs without first prompting to save the design in the cases where there are unsaved changes.

Studio: Removed waypoint positioning dialog that appears after waypoint creation.

Studio: The right click context menu for actors and waypoints has been rearranged making it harder to accidentally select the Delete Actor option.

Studio: Designs with images set up to "maintain original size" no longer falsely indicate that the design needs saving after loading.


Recent expansion of our marketing department has prompted a complete re-design of our web site. Although it is slow going we have redone the front page with a more modern look.

August 15, 2004: All products - New flexible licensing terms allow for home and work use!

In the interests of fairness and common sense Step Ahead Software has decided to change the licensing of all their products* so that each software license entitles the licensee to install and operate the software on their work computer and their home computer under the condition that the two installations are never used at the same time by different people. This is in reponse to a number of requests from customers who like to have the freedom to use our products at both home and work - we believe it is unreasonable for users to have to buy two separate licenses to achieve this flexibility. For products that are "key locked" to a specific PC a second key can be issued on request.

*This does not apply to licenses granted under a site license agreement.

April 2004, Step Ahead Software completes Canon Project

This month Step Ahead Software completed a 2 year outsourced project for Canon, well known manufacturer of a wide range of high quality electronic equipment. Visual Classworks was used for the modeling and coding of this software in this sophisticated and advanced project and Step Ahead's GOLF library was used for the development of the user interface.

Update: The product we developed has been a huge success for Canon in terms of sales and robustness.

March 2, 2004: AnFX Released!

The loading page now has a progress bar that slides from left to right indicating the progress of the movie download.

Loading page no longer flashes "LOADING" momentarily for pages that are already loaded (ie, they were cached after a previous download).

Improved look and feel of of stage window

Check out AnFX now at:

January 24, 2004: Amichart 1.5 Released!

Users can now specify number formatting (ie., number of decimal places, use of thousands separator, scientific - showing exponent, accounting - bracketted negative values) for numbers shown on the Y scale, values shown when "mouse over" is turned on and pie graph percentages.

For file data sources: AmiChart automatically analyses the file to determine the delimiter (comma, semicolon, tab etc.,). If it is different from the selected delimiter it will asks if you would like to change it.

Better error handling: AmiChart now handles errors resulting from incorrect data source settings and provides informative messages to help guide you towards adjusting those settings.

October 15, 2003: Visual Classworks 6.6.2 Released!

Visual Classworks is the C++ programmer's ideal integrated modeling and coding tool. Developers design software via UML diagrams which stay in sync with the underlying code without requiring the clumbsy import/export process of other more expensive and formal tools. Visual Classworks is the extreme programmers choice.

With the release of version 6.6.2 it now writes human readable text format .vcm files intead of binary .vcw files so that the tool can be used more easily with source control systems like CVS, PVCS, RCS etc.,. The text format .vcm (Visual Classworks Model) files are well formatted and contain comments to aid when merging changes from different developers.

Check out Visual Classworks at:

January 10, 2003: AnFX 5 Released!

The exciting next generation of AnFX software: design and export animations to Macromedia Flash™!  With a host of exciting new features, including scaling/rotating fonts; anti-aliased shapes; and an improved graphical interface that makes AnFX even easier to use than before. 

Check out AnFX 5 now:

October 17, 2002: AmiChart released!

AmiChart, a powerful yet easy to use dynamic chart creation tool has been released. Read all about this exciting new product from Step Ahead Software and download the trial version at:

July 12, 2002: New Product Development: AmiChart Beta released

AmiCharter, an easy to use chart creation application is now fully released.

January 28, 2002: Polygon Shapes Feature Added to AnFX

AnFX 4.8 now supports polygon shapes so you can make an unlimited variety of Shape actors. Check out the spaceFighter example in the installation.

Version 4.8 is a free upgrade for all registered version 4.x users and is also available for evaluation.

October 18, 2001: AnFX Released

AnFX now has support for background and foreground layers to make complex web based presentations easier than ever. Now you can create PowerPoint like presentations with the Flash like animations - all from the one tool! New optimizations make the AnFX player even faster.

Version is a free upgrade for all registered version 4.x users.

July 15, 2000: AnFX 4 Released

AnFX 4 has the ability to fade images in and out. This remarkable feature, quite challenging to implement while maintaining our tiny applet size works by processing various levels of image intensity on demand. Version 4 also contains many fine tuning refinements that make it even better than before. Users of 1.x, 2.x and 3.x AnFX may upgrade to version 4 for US $15.

March 10, 2000: AnFX 3.23 Released

AnFX 3.23 breaks new ground in usability and player efficiency. The new player performs image preloading to ensure that images are downloaded and ready to roll when the first scene starts. A new triggering form makes the process of setting up action triggering even easier and more intuitive than ever before.

Dec 1, 1999: AnFX 3.11 Released

Step Ahead Software has just released AnFX 3.11 which adds extensive wizard support to facilitate the fast and easy set up of interactive menus in various styles and also banners.

The menu wizard provides a way to set up many aspects of the menu such as the appearance of the menu options when the mouse is over them and the various links to jump to if the user presses on an item. This is all handled within the AnFX design studio.

The banner wizard creates banners which enter onto a scene in a variety of ways: flying, wave or plain.

Various other improvements were also made including a more efficient simulator which can now, much more accurately, simulate the correct timing of a design.

November 29, 1999: Step Ahead Software completes data processing and logging software for off shore gas platform.

After many months of software architecture and implementation Step Ahead Software have completed a data processing and logging application for the gas industry for use in off shore gas platforms. The software runs on Windows NT and makes extensive use of multi threading to provide efficient processing of the incoming data.

May 15, 1999: Step Ahead Software completes phase 1 of a management system for new Lucent Technologies telecommunications equipment

Step Ahead Software have completed phase 1 of a Windows based management system for some of Lucent's new telecommunications hardware. The software runs on Windows 95/98/NT or 2002 and makes setting up sophisticated telecommunications equipment easy through its intuitive interface. Interest in the product is gathering momentum from many different areas of the globe.