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SOA - Integration Industry Pulse

Beth Gold-Bernstein

IDEs for SOA

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Mashups and composite applications, new types of Web 2.0 applications enabled by SOA, are inspiring a new breed of development environments (IDEs). These new tools accelerate the implementation time by reducing coding and simplifying deployment.

Skyway Software’s visual workplace is the example of one such tool. Skyway takes the approach of interactive prototyping to capture business requirements in a model that then generates the solution.

Skyway Builder is used to prototype, design and build applications. It shortens the development cycle by using iterative rapid prototyping. The model can generate AJAX code, to enable the design, generation and deployment of interactive composite web applications. Skyway Director then generates and deloys the application. The Skyway solution enables non-Java developers to easily build composite applications. To learn more about the recent Skyway release, tune into Gian Trotta’s First Look Podcast.

I also recently spoke with Corizon which takes a different approach to building mashups. Corizon creates what it calls UI services. These services reside in Corizon’s runtime environment called Composer. Essentially this crates a UI abstraction layer which offers the flexibility and agility of not having the UI specifically tied to the underlying service. This enables developers closest to the business problem to create the UI and IT to control and maintain the back end services.

The Corizon Platform includes a studio for extracting and building UIs and a runtime for deploying them. While the architectural concept behind the product provides agility (does anyone remember multi-tier client server) usually there is a tradeoff between agility and scalability. Corizon assets that their runtime is highly scalable and can support hundreds of users going against multiple back end services.

Both Skyway and Corizon focus on a new breed of interactive SOA applications. While the business drivers of providing an IDE that will accelerate deployment of applications and enable non-java programmers, those closer to the business with a better understanding of the requirements, to create these new types of Web 2.0 applications. But they take very different approaches.

Check them out and let me know what you think. What would your dream mashup IDE do?

1 Comment

Beyond an SOA IDE: end-to-end optimization of mashup delivery

Definitely there is an increasing need and fit for mashup platforms inside corporate IT. At OutSystems (www.outsystems.com), we have been tracking the way our customers have been building, deploying and large portfolios of mashups inside corporations for 5.5 years. I thought we might share some of our findings over the years and the challenges we have had to face as we upgrade our product.

From our experience, the key aspects of a successful mashup platform are:

• Accelerate Application Creation with Integrated Visual Modeling – The SOA IDE must include all tools to build complete applications around services, including: user interface navigation modeling, business process modeling, web services exposure/consumption, business rule modeling and persistent database modeling;
• Automate Application Deployment – Deploying and running applications defined as visual models must be an easy, error-free and fully automated activity;
• Enable Rapid Modification and Easy Adaptation to Business Changes – It must be easy to modify the components of an application, and then it must also be easy to apply and reflect those changes to all dependable components and re-deploy them. e.g. when changing the interface of a Web Service, it must be easy to reflect those changes to the related end-user interface components or business process flows;
• Foster End-user Innovation with Drag’n’Drop Composition at the UI level – It must be easy to compose the user interface content in front of a business user and it must be feasible to test it with real data;
• Managed, Controlled and Collaborative – As SOA becomes mainstream inside organizations, a lot of collaboration and control is required to enable the required degree of flexibility and agility. All aspects of traditional application development that go beyond the development tools must be integrated in the Application Delivery process. Those include, at least: integrating a services repository for future reuse; a version control sub-system; tools for reviewing and merging differences among visual models; and distributed (cross-service) debugging tools;
• Non-proprietary, Standard and Scalable – Productivity and SOA-enablement often come at a price. Since ever, when the mashups are initially built as “edge applications? our customers have required the use of standard runtime technologies (like .NET and Java), openness of generated code and attention to scalability issues. At the end, the applications are expected to perform as well as if they were written by a skilled java programmer.

I guess the list above comes close to what our customers have been telling us of what a dream mashup platform should be!

Best regards,
Carlos Alves
OutSystems (www.outsystems.com)

Industry trends and vendor spotlights from Beth Gold-Bernstein.

Beth Gold-Bernstein

Beth Gold-Bernstein is a recognized expert in integration technologies and SOA with over 20 years experience View more

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