The Xojo programming environment and programming language is developed and commercially marketed by Xojo, Inc. of Austin, Texas for software development targeting macOS, Microsoft Windows, Linux, iOS, the Web and Raspberry Pi. Xojo uses a proprietary object-oriented BASIC dialect, formerly known as REALbasic, but now known as Xojo.[2][3][4]

Developer(s)Xojo, Inc.
Stable release
Xojo 2019R1.1 / May 21, 2019 (2019-05-21)[1]
Operating system
Available inEnglish, Chinese, Japanese


In 1997 FYI Software, founded by Geoff Perlman, bought CrossBasic,[5][6][7] which had been marketed by its author Andrew Barry[8] as a shareware product. CrossBasic got its name from its ability to compile the same programming code for the classic Mac OS and the Java virtual machine (although the integrated development environment was Mac only). A public beta was released in April 1996.[9][10] The CrossBasic name was trademarked by another company, so the product was renamed REALbasic.[11]

Prior to REALbasic version 2, the Java target was dropped and later replaced with a Windows target and database support.[12][13] Windows builds contained many bugs when finally released, and it was very difficult to write applications that ran on both Mac OS and Windows.[14] The option to compile for Linux[15] was added in 2005 and the integrated development environment (IDE) was ported to Windows and as a free public beta for Linux platforms. The new IDE employed a new user interface redesigned to more closely resemble Xcode.[16]

In 2004 REAL software announced the "Made with REALbasic Showcase" program to highlight applications created with the product.[17] In 2009, a migration assistant was launched to help move code from Visual Basic.[18] In 2010, to combat the perception that REALbasic was similar to the original BASIC, it was renamed Real Studio.[19][20] Real Software also announced Real Studio Web Edition, allowing developers to compile web applications without the knowledge of multiple web technologies.[21]

On June 4, 2013 Real Software officially changed their name to Xojo, Inc. and Real Studio was renamed Xojo.[22] Also on this date they released Xojo 2013 Release 1 which included an all-new user interface, full support for Cocoa on OS X, improved support for web applications, all new documentation and a new Introduction to Programming Using Xojo textbook[23] that was designed for beginners to learn the fundamentals of object oriented programming.[24] Despite the multiple name changes, Xojo continues to be associated with the BASIC language,[25] and Xojo, Inc. calls it "the spiritual successor to Visual BASIC".[26]

The Xojo IDE is currently available for Microsoft Windows, macOS, 32-bit x86 Linux,[27] and can compile 32-bit and 64-bit applications for Windows (Windows XP and higher), macOS (running on Intel-based Macs using the Cocoa frameworks), x86 Linux, iOS, the web, and Raspberry Pi. Xojo is self-hosted: the Xojo IDE is built with the current release of Xojo.[28] The 2015r3 release includes 64-bit support for Desktop, Web and Console targets as well as a new platform, Raspberry Pi.[29] [30]

In 2016 Xojo was awarded the Big Innovation Award[31] from the Business Intelligence Group for being an "innovative" development tool that has "brought new ideas to life".

Xojo is not, and has never been, listed among the top 150 programming languages as published by TIOBE, a company which rates the quality of software.[32]



  • In 1996 Geoff Perlman founds the company that is now Xojo in Austin, Texas.
  • CrossBasic is acquired in 1997.[33]
  • In 1998 REALbasic 1.0 released and introduced at MacWorld Expo. This first release made it easy for anyone, not just developers, to create apps for the Mac System 7 running on a 680x0 or PowerPC processor.
  • Windows support was added in 1999 with the release of REALbasic 2.0, making REALbasic a true cross-platform development tool.[34]


  • Support for Mac OS X is added to REALbasic in 2001.[35]
  • In 2002, the first Windows IDE of REALbasic is announced.[36]
  • In September 2005, REALbasic is updated to include support for building Linux apps.[37] REALbasic now compiles for three desktop platforms from a single code base.
  • Continuing to keep up with the rapidly changing needs of developers and hobbyists, Intel-based Mac support is added in 2006.
  • Expanding beyond desktop platforms, support for building web applications is added in 2010.
  • REALbasic becomes Xojo in 2013.[38]
  • Xojo Cloud, Xojo's one-click deployment service for Xojo web apps, is launched in early 2014.
  • In December of 2014, Xojo iOS, Xojo's first mobile platform, is released.
  • After much interest from the community, Xojo Pi is released, letting users build applications for Raspberry Pi with Xojo in 2015.[39]

Editions of IDE

The Xojo IDE is free to use for learning and development. Compiling or deploying applications with Xojo requires a license. Multiple license levels are available for purchase, enabling Desktop, Web and iOS. Xojo Pi for building applications for Raspberry Pi is free. Licenses can be purchased a la carte, in any combination required. Also available is Xojo Pro, is a bundle that includes added support, guaranteed beta program access, access to a Xojo professionals' forum, 3x Feedback multiplier when ranking support cases, access to consulting leads, and a license that will work on three machines.[40]

Unlike most programming environments, project source code is not stored in plain text files by default, but in a proprietary, single-file format. However, source code can be saved to a plain-text format for use with version control systems and can be exported to XML format as well.

Xojo Cloud

On March 11, 2014 Xojo launched Xojo Cloud, their cloud hosting service for Xojo web applications.[41]

Example code

The Xojo programming language looks similar to Visual Basic.

The following code snippet placed in the Open event of a Window displays a message box saying "Hello, World!" as the window loads:

// Display a simple message box that says "Hello, World!"
MsgBox("Hello, World!")

This code populates a ListBox with the values from an array:

Dim names() As String = Array("Red Sox", "Yankees", "Orioles", "Blue Jays", "Rays")
For i As Integer = 0 To names.UBound
    V ListBox1.AddRow(names(i))

See also


  1. https://www.xojo.com/download/
  2. Xojo (December 9, 2014). "Xojo, Inc. Announces Xojo 2014 Release 3; Includes Support For Developing Native iOS Applications". Xojo. Retrieved 2014-12-09.
  3. prMac (December 9, 2014). "Xojo Includes Support For Developing Native iOS Applications". prMac. Retrieved 2014-12-09.
  4. Lorenzo, Mark (May 15, 2018). The History of The Basic Programming Language. Philadelphia: SE Books. p. 160. ISBN 978-1-974-27707-0.
  5. "REALbasic-NUG". lowendmac.com.
  6. "REALbasic development history of cross-platform development tools". databaseskill.com.
  7. "Yes, Virginia, There Is a REALbasic". tidbits.com.
  8. "REALbasic: The Definitive Guide".
  9. "Operator Headgap Web Conferencing". headgap.com.
  10. "CrossBasic: Shareware BASIC Environment".
  11. "Upgrade Guide" (PDF).
  12. "REALbasic 2.0 Shipping".
  13. "REALbasic 2.0 Standard Edition Review". Archived from the original on October 29, 2013.
  14. "REALbasic University" (PDF). The Windows compiling feature isn't bug-free (to say the least), and it's quite complicated making a program that will run on both Windows and Mac OS.
  15. "Real Software on Linux". jupiter broadcasting.
  16. "REALbasic 2005 ships for Mac, WinXP, Linux". REALbasic 2005...sports a new UI that's more in tune with Apple's Xcode development environment than REALbasic 5
  17. "MacObserver".
  18. "REALbasic launches Visual Basic Migration Assistant".
  19. "Upgrade Guide" (PDF). ...hearing a development environment with the word "basic" in the name caused many of your colleagues’ eyes to roll...Some developers found they were no longer battling the reputation of BASIC while others were confused because we continued to call the language itself, REALbasic.
  20. "REALbasic Name".
  21. Frank, Ohlhorst (June 2011). "3 Tools to Accelerate Web Development". IDG. Retrieved 2011-06-17.
  22. Xojo (June 4, 2013). "Xojo Press Releases". Xojo. Retrieved 2013-06-08.
  23. Xojo (June 4, 2013). "Review: Xojo Book Download Page". Xojo. Retrieved 2013-06-04.
  24. Xojo (June 4, 2013). "Xojo Release Press Release". Xojo. Retrieved 2013-06-08.
  25. "Xojo: A Linux development suite that doesn't really support Linux". So, when I say that Xojo, a RAD (Rapid Application Development) IDE that uses a syntax of BASIC, makes me want to gouge my eyeballs out with a dull spoon... you know it's not because I don't like BASIC. BASIC is fine by me. It's Xojo itself that makes me feel so anxious to inflict bodily harm on myself.
  26. "Xojo: Alternative to Visual Basic". Xojo is the spiritual successor to Visual Basic...the programming language will look very familiar to you
  27. Barr, Joe (August 4, 2005). "Review: REALBasic 2005 for Linux". Linux.com. Retrieved 2010-02-09.
  28. Xojo (December 9, 2014). "Xojo, Inc. Announces Xojo 2014 Release 3; Includes Support For Developing Native iOS Applications". Xojo. Retrieved 2014-12-09.
  29. "XDC 2015 Recap". May 6, 2015.
  30. "Xojo 2015 Release 3 Now Available Recap". October 20, 2015.
  31. "THESE 47 COMPANIES CONFIRM THAT THE BUSINESS OF INNOVATION IS FLOURISHING GLOBALLY". Business Intelligence Group. February 3, 2016. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  32. "TIOBE INDEX FOR NOVEMBER 2019". TIOBE. November 2019. Retrieved December 6, 2019.
  33. "Yes, Virginia there is a REALbasic". 1998-08-17.
  34. "REALbasic 2.0". 1999-10-01.
  35. "REALbasic 3.1 for Mac OS X arrives". 2001-03-22.
  36. "REALbasic 5- with Mac and Windows support - previewed". 2002-10-01.
  37. "REALbasic 5.5 adds Linux, enhances Mac support". 2004-02-25.
  38. "Start Programming Free with Xojo". 2013-06-11.
  39. "Xojo 64-bit apps and Raspberry Pi". 2015-10-20.
  40. Xojo (June 4, 2013). "Xojo Store Information". Xojo. Retrieved 2013-06-08.
  41. "Xojo Announces Xojo Cloud For Deployment Of Web Apps". Mac News. March 11, 2014. Retrieved 2014-03-13.

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