2005 Enterprise Development: Tools of the Year
emergence of a full scale multi-tier enterprise computing, application
development created a need for enterprise level tools and technologies. These
robust applications go beyond simple code editors or designer functionalities,
by providing a comprehensive integrated development environment (IDE) or
technology platforms for designing, modeling, testing and deploying multi-tier
JupiterMedia Corporation has selected a number of enterprise development tools
for the Product of the Year 2005 Contest based on the reader’s votes.
the existing enterprise level IDEs feature modular development capabilities, Graphical
User Interface (GUI) creation wizards; code highlighting, code formatting and code
auto-completion, but the best tools also provide rich sets of templates, modular components and wizards
that greatly facilitate development and design processes. Many of the nominated
development tools also provide
a visual design
environment where entire application can be architected and separated into modules.
Many tools use standardized technologies such as Unified
Modeling Language (UML)
to help developers create schemas and rules of the projects. Many nominees also
feature wizards for Web Services design and deploy components, Database
connectivity toolkits and pre-packaged drivers, and Mainframe, Customer Information
Control System (CICS)
and other legacy platform connectors.
finalists selected for the best enterprise development tool category are: WebSphere Studio Application
Developer (WASD) from IBM Corporation, Visual Studio .NET from Microsoft
Corporation, Java Platform J2EE (Enterprise Edition) from Sun Microsystems
Corporation, PowerDesigner from Sybase
Corporation and TierDeveloper from AlachiSoft.
Visual Studio .NET
runner up in second place and notably elite IDE for working with Microsoft .NET
technology is the Visual Studio .NET. If an enterprise has chosen to work with
Microsoft platform and deploy its applications on Microsoft windows based operating
system, Visual Studio provides an unmatched and literally completion-free
of a set of tightly packaged modules and compilers, this very capable IDE comes
in several editions: Enterprise Architect, Enterprise Developer, Professional and
Academic. In addition to having all the features of the Enterprise Developer
edition Visual Studio
Architect allows software architects to design, model and specify application
architecture. All versions follow visual rapid applications
Studio .NET encompass several development environments in one interface,
including C++, Visual basic, ASP .NET, C# and even embedded programming for
handheld and wireless devises. It also has extensive integration with XML Web
Services and let developers quickly build and deploy them on the .Net platform.
Development with Visual Studio .NET is tied to the
Windows operating system, which is a drawback for some enterprises. However a
new feature of the .NET platform, Microsoft Common Language Runtime (CLR)
executes a language-independent intermediate language (IL). This removes
dependency on a particular programming language. For instance, code from any
language that support the CLRs such as C# or VB. NET can be compiled into IL,
which can be just-in-time compiled into native Windows code, instead of
creating EXE or DLL
to one of the Developer.com reader’s comments Visual Studio .NET is the best development tool available
for Windows today. It provides a comprehensive IDE with many easy to use
wizards and hundreds of examples for C# and Visual Basic .NET code. For people
migrating from previous versions of Visual Basic it offers migration tools and a
complete help package.
Visual Studio .NET makes development and
deployment easy, but may require come customization and a learning curve for
developers not used to writing for the Microsoft Windows platform.
of the enterprise development tools rely exclusively on the Java or .Net
technologies, PowerDesigner is a very advanced data–
modeling tool. This application simplifies data–modeling process by providing
visual environment and adapting standards such as XML, UML, Business Process
Modeling and Web Services.
PowerDesigner offer complete range of data
modeling options in addition to traditional database modeling techniques
including: Conceptual, Logical and Physical Data
models, including Warehouse Modeling extensions, based on Information
Engineering or IDEF 1/x notation.
Notably it also has enterprise-wide metadata management such as hierarchy
diagrams and strong integration with Java, PowerBuilder, C# and VB.NET
Overall Sybase PowerDesigner is a strong tool for data modelers and
database administrators. Developers can use it to map objects to data via UML
or utilize its meta-data capabilities.
TierDeveloper is an enterprise level tool that utilizes .Net platform. It is
designed to facilitate creation of complex .NET database applications. By using standards
such as SQL and Business Process Modeling it can generate code on–the–fly.
capabilities is code
optimization, simplified creation of complex business rules, queries, and object relationship definitions. Created
objects can be exposed as web services for use over the web. TierDeveloper also
lets developers generate business and data objects, and auto-create working
ASP.NET applications from them. In addition to ASP.NET it can create Windows Forms applications that are similar to the ASP.NET application in all its
TierDeveloper offer a lot of great
features for database driven application
development that is based on the .NET platform.
WebSphere Studio Application Developer (WASD)
IBM’s WebSphere Studio Application Developer (WSAD) is a truly
powerful Java based IDE with the extensive set of features for design,
development, testing, debugging and deploying of enterprise Java applications. It
is also has an admirable market penetration.
WSAD features a set of “perspectives” for visual rapid applications
development, including web development, server-side coding, database modeling,
UML design and web services programming. Even though the IDE has a learning
curve, most of the interfaces are intuitive and putting some time to learn it
will be very rewarding.
Since November 2001, IBM has sponsored the open-source project
Eclipse (Development Tool of the Year Winner) for building programming tools. WSAD
uses Eclipse as underling platform and builds on top of it by using eclipse’s
extensive plug-ins capabilities. By comparison, free Eclipse is about 90MB
installed, where as, WSAD is close to a 1GB. It bundles loads of components and
modules for enterprise development staring with database connectors and a full
application server test environment and ending with its own image library for Java
Server Page (JSP) design.
WSAD completely supports J2EE 1.3 (including EJB 2.0), Servlet
2.3, and JSP 1.2.
The few of WSAD highlights include HTML editor, visual process
editor, very capable debugger with JSP debugger, advanced transactional
connectivity, an XML Schema wizards with UML editor, connectors for Customer
Information Control System (CICS), and support for Java Connection Architecture
(JCA). If all of the included modules are not enough, using Eclipse plug-in APIs can expand WSAD. Many third party vendors have already released
plug-ins for it.
Being that WSAD is an IBM product it has very tight integration
with WebSphere Application Server and DB2. Web development, including Web
Services for Web Sphere Application Server is very easy using intuitive wizards
and included libraries.
Overall WSAD is one of the most comprehensive enterprise
development environments available today.
The Enterprise Development Tool of 2005 Winner
Java Platform J2EE (Enterprise Edition) from Sun
The winner with almost 61% of the votes is Java 2
Enterprise Edition (J2EE). It is a clear Enterprise Development Tool of the Year development
Java was developed in 1991
Gosling and other Sun engineers, as part of the Green Project and
first became available to public in 1994. Java become popular primarily because
of its web based capabilities for applet client-server applications. Specifications of the Java
language, the Java
Virtual machine and
the Java API are community-maintained through the Sun-managed Java Community
creation, the Java framework has evolved a robust server-side development
platform. J2EE was crated on top of the Java 2 Standard Edition (J2SE) that by
itself offers a lot of features for software development, including built-in
object garbage collection, threading support, I/O and memory management, and
finalized J2EE offers highly scalable, secure and highly available framework
for enterprise-scale application development. According to the Sun Microsystems,
Java 2 Platform Enterprise Edition (J2EE) defines the standards for developing
multi-tier enterprise applications. The J2EE platform simplifies enterprise
applications by basing them on standardized, modular components, by providing a
complete set of services to those components, and by handling many details of
application behavior automatically, without complex programming. It simplifies client/server based architectures
and also provides support for message-oriented middleware, distributed computing
and dynamic Web development.
J2EE has a very large enterprise development market share,
with many acknowledged corporations supporting it. Companies such as BEA,
Borland and IBM, embraced the technology and have created application servers,
IDEs, and multiple projects that utilize its enterprise components. JBoss also signed
a multi-year agreement to support the J2EE platform.
Some of specifications for J2EE standards are: Enterprise
Java Beans (EJB), Java Server Pages (JSP), Web Services, Servlet APIs, Java
Native Directory Interface (JNDI), Java Messaging Service (JMS), Remote Method
Invocation (RMI), Java Reflection, Java Transaction API (JTA), Java API for XML Parsing (JAXP),
Java Authentication and Authorization Service (JAAS) and JDBC APIs.
Overall J2EE is extremity comprehensive technology framework
with standards and toolkits for simplifying all types and phases of a
multi-tier enterprise-scale development.
There were a lot of nominees in the enterprise development
tool category. From the reader’s responses and votes, it is clear that current
enterprise development market space is dominated by two rivaling technologies:
Java 2 from Sun Microsystems and .NET platform from Microsoft Corporation, with
clear winner being Java J2EE in market penetration. The other finalist applications
in this category simplify working with standards such as SQL, UML, Database
access and Web Services on either Microsoft Windows or Unix platforms, which
shows that many multi-tier enterprise architectures utilize
these technologies in their development process.
About the Author
Vlad Kofman is a System Architect
working on projects under government defense contracts. He has also been
involved with enterprise level projects for major wall-street firms and US government. His main interests are object oriented programming methodologies and design
Studio Application Developer 5.0
Decision: J2EE or .NET