Discussions

News: Unify Re-Enters the J2EE Market with Release of Unify NXJ

  1. A contender in the appserver race a few years ago, Unify has re-emerged in the J2EE market with the release of Unify NXJ, a visual application development environment that generates J2EE applications. Similar in scope to products from Altoweb and Versata, Unify NXJ is intended to allow business level developers to build web applications based on J2EE.

    After seeing their release I called their product manager to get a more technical scoop. NXJ is an event-driven dev-environment, similar to VB, Deplhi, .NET, etc. Generated J2EE code makes use of the whole range: JSPs - EJB's.

    Check out Unify NXJ, and Unify J2EE Tool Helps Build Self-Service Apps from internet week.
  2. Are they the same folks who used to harvest emails (from WebLogic newsgroups for example) and spam people? I remember receiving lots of spam regarding their eWave product.

    --
    Dimitri
      
  3. Hello Dimitri,

    Yes, we did have one "over zealous" marketeer a few years back which made a mistake which was quickly recognized, stopped, and not repeated again. Sorry for "intrusion". Our goal is certainly to be good citizens within the community.


    Sincerely,

    Dave Glende
    VP of Products and CTO
    Unify Corporation
    dglende at unify dot com
  4. Anothers MDA tools[ Go to top ]

    Here are 2 others MDA like tools.

    http://www.compuware.com/products/optimalj/

    and

    http://www.neuvis.com (NewArchitect)

    PS: NeuArchitet now will be integrated with Rational?s suite of tools. I would like if Rational give us more information about the NewArchitect future directions. May be part of their commercial strategy, but I thinks Rational?s site doesn?t contains the content that this tool deserves.

    Cheers

  5. What is a "business level developer"?
  6. Gartner and other analyst groups divide IT development staffs generally into two categories: enterprise developers and business application developers. Enterprise developers are the hardcore infrastructure developers that generally do all of the most complex systems architecture, design, and implementation. EAI, multi-tier systems, etc. including J2EE development is their domain. Business application developers are those which are trained in application design and implementation using products such as Oracle Forms, PowerBuilder, VB, etc. COBOL developers are generally placed into this category.

    Our goal with NXJ is to address the needs of this class of developer, thus allowing IT organizations to leverage the domain knowledge and expertise embodied within these developers in their J2EE-based projects either at the departmental or enterprise level. Unlike products such as OptimalJ, developers using NXJ need no knowledge of J2EE. And NXJ does not force developers down a rigidly structured model-driven approach like NeuVis. Both of these products appear to be very fine products and provide value to the industry. It's just a matter of matching developer skills, project schedules, learning curve and other associated costs with the proper development tools.

    In addition, NXJ provides unique capabilities within the NXJ framework for supporting rich content, highly interactive end-user experiences in an ultra-thin client without the need for plug-ins, applets, etc.

    Dave


  7. Dave,

       All the best to your company and this fantastic product. It's the kind of development tool trend that I think will become mainstream, and Unify will be well-positioned as one of the first to provide a solution.
       Does your product go high-level as well, to turn abstract business requirements into code? I'm not suggesting any particular implementation for this statement, I'm just curious...

    -Basil
  8. Hi Basil,

    That depends on what you mean by "abstract business requirements". If you are asking if NXJ provides modeling features such as those found in Rational or TogetherSoft, then the answer is no. However, NXJ works a bit differently, so this is not necessarily the question to ask. There are certainly parts of the application architecture that have been designed to be built in conjunction with a modeling tool. As the product goes forward, I'm sure that you will see this type of functionality brought out in a manner which is consistent with the target audience.

    Dave
  9. This product sounds pretty cool.

    Do you have a sample application online that demonstrates what it can generate?

    Also, can you put up some screen shots of NXJ?

    What application servers will the generated code support? There are minor variations between the different application servers -- in paricular, proprietary extensions to facilitate deployment of EJBs, etc.

    Also, does the generated application expose its business methods API as SOAP web services?

    Good job at being a contender again.
  10. Hi Peter,

    Weblogic and Websphere are both supported currently with others to follow shortly.

    We will be putting up a whitepaper and other information on our web site shortly which will provide more details. No online demo available yet.

    Web service interfaces into business objects is in the works. In NXJ, business rules are defined both declaritively and programmatically through Java. NXJ provides an event-driven programming model which corresponds to both presentation (UI) events and data source events. NXJ generates corresponding EJBs (stateful session beans) for these as well as servlets and JSPs to control and drive the user interaction. HTML and JavaScript are utilized on the client side.

    Dave
  11. If this is tool that does Business process automation, then take a look at www.fuego.com. It's a pretty cool tool to do business process automation and orchestration.

    This will definitiely become the trend in the coming days and a place where distributed architectures like J2EE will make the difference
  12. Anyone interested in RAD tools for J2EE that deliver a high level of abstraction should really cehck out Versata (www.versata.com). We're now on our 'nth' generation release, since we formed in '95, that now allows the building of loosely coupled service oriented applications as well as traditional end-to-end J2EE applications. We acquired a BPM company called Verve about 18 months ago and this technology is now integrated into the product suite.

    We also have a connector to rational rose that allows us to synchronise our XML meta repository with their MDL repository both ways.

    For the record I work at Versata, but having worked with a variety of supposed RAD tools for J2EE I really think nothing can touch the Versata suite in its current form.

    Also look out for our client plug in to Websphere Studio Application Developer 5 that we will be releasing soon.
  13. Hi James,
    > For the record I work at Versata, but having worked with
    > a variety of supposed RAD tools for J2EE I really think
    > nothing can touch the Versata suite in its current form.

    Can you please compare Versata (and perhaps other products you're familiar with) to iO's ArcStyler?
    I'm looking at ArcStyler to re-engineer a web application. I've selected the tool because of
      - the availability of Richard Hubert's CA book.
      - the ability to define/tune your own technology projections
      - the ability to reverse engineer (harvest/MDA-enable)

    Kind regards,
    Pieter Van Gorp.
  14. Pieter,

    I've never worked with ArcStyler myself and must admit I don't see it any of the Accounts that I work within for pre-sales, but having looked at the site it seems a mature MDA tool.

    Versata offer re-engineering capabilities at a Database (connector level), through DDL sctipts and also from Rational Rose MDL.

    Perhaps a good book for you to review if you are interested in the Versata RAD approach to Business Logic and Rapid J2EE applications is "business rules applied" by Barbara Von Halle - amazon link below.

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0471412937/qid=1035199145/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/002-1210661-3856030?v=glance

    Due to the nature of business rules the ability to accurately forecast project cost predictions and increase ROI is quite substantial. Another big benefit of this approach is the ability to effectively manage change.

    Versata has a number of whitepapers available on it's website if you want to know more (www.versata.com) or send me you email address and I'll mail you direct.