Feeds

CodeGear bets on Application Factories to transform JBuilder

Optimus primed

SANS - Survey on application security programs

CodeGear is betting on something called Application Factories to distinguish its Eclipse-based JBuilder developer suite from the rest of the Java tools herd.

Application Factories will be part of JBuilder 2008, now going into beta, and be "a major leap in development paradigm" according to CodeGear principal architect Ravi Kumar - as if we had not heard such things a thousand times before.

Unveiled for during a "sneek peek" session at CodeGear's virtual CodeRage conference late on Friday, Application Factories will generate applications from pre-defined scripts and templates.

The concept also includes a new approach to organizing and navigating application code, using diagrams and even a fashionable tag cloud instead of rooting through folders.

"We're trying to shift to an application-driven paradigm, by overlaying a bunch of metadata on top of the existing structure," Kumar said. Many applications today begin with a whiteboard sketch showing the basic architecture. Kumar's idea is to preserve that high-level view in the IDE, so that even new team members can quickly understand and navigate the code.

In JBuilder's Application Factories, reusable code is delivered in the form of modules, which both contain code and capture knowledge about its purpose and design. Developers will choose from a palette of modules, stored in a factory repository. Kumar showed how JBuilder lets you preview a new project and then click Create Application to generate the code. The output includes the metadata as well as the code, thus enabling the new navigation tools. However, once the code is generated there is no way back; the Create Application button is the boundary of reuse.

The roadmap looks like this. JBuilder "Bonanza" is due in the first half of 2008, and will include the first iteration of Application Factories, targeting specific frameworks including Tomcat, MySQL, Struts 2, Spring, Hibernate and JSF. This will also be offered as a JGear add-in for Eclipse users who do not require the full JBuilder.

Later in 2008 we are promised JBuilder "Grasshopper", which will extend Application Factories to allow user-defined modules. In 2009 JBuilder "Optimus" will further update the feature "to enable the rapid assembly of applications by composing existing applications and services into managed assemblies."

The factory concept has several attractions. In theory, it enables faster development. "We will establish very high starting points for applications," Kumar said. "You wouldn't start with a Java class, a JSP or a servlet, an EJB or a session bean. Our base line will be higher."

One use case is where a team is delivering similar but slightly different applications for different customers. CodeGear also envisages a third-party market for commercial modules, along with free modules shared by the community.

It is a bold idea, but will it fare better than countless other attempts to promote software reuse? Notably, Microsoft two years ago embraced the re-use concept along with the "factory" name when it launched Visual Studio 2005, and introduced Software Factories. Unfortunately Kumar's session was big on buzzwords, but light on detail.

CodeGear - the unwanted Borland Software subsidiary its parent pimped on the market for about year but failed to find a buyer for - is trying to give JBuilder a lift in a commoditized market, but risks sapping energy that could go into less visionary but more immediately useful coding tools.®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Ubuntu 14.04 LTS: Great changes, but sssh don't mention the...
Why HELLO Amazon! You weren't here last time
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Next Windows obsolescence panic is 450 days from … NOW!
The clock is ticking louder for Windows Server 2003 R2 users
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
OpenBSD founder wants to bin buggy OpenSSL library, launches fork
One Heartbleed vuln was too many for Theo de Raadt
Got Windows 8.1 Update yet? Get ready for YET ANOTHER ONE – rumor
Leaker claims big release due this fall as Microsoft herds us into the CLOUD
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
Red Hat to ship RHEL 7 release candidate with a taste of container tech
Grab 'near-final' version of next Enterprise Linux next week
Apple inaugurates free OS X beta program for world+dog
Prerelease software now open to anyone, not just developers – as long as you keep quiet
prev story

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.