CodeGear cultivates developer intelligence

The company has introduced a new approach to code generation into its IDE for Java based on Eclipse
Written by Adrian Bridgwater, Contributor

Formed from the developer tools division of Borland, independent brand CodeGear has introduced an approach to code generation that it says is re-usable and suitable for Java based on Eclipse. 

Application Factories is the new brand name for the tool that fits into the JBuilder 2008 Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for Java.

The methodology and associated collection of tools behind "Application Factories" aims to encourage the development of reusable components and address the hurdles Java developers face when they try to make sense of the complexity of framework choices available. These will include open-source options, internal code restrictions and deregulated technology standards available to them as they determine how to use and reuse individual application components.

According to CodeGear, Application Factories features reusable code delivered in the form of modules. These contain both code itself as well as captured knowledge about its purpose and design. The company says developers can choose from a collection of modules that are stored in a metadata repository or, if necessary, create their own application modules that they can store in the same repository for later reuse.

"Application Factories transforms what would once have been a generic IDE into an application-specific IDE with greater knowledge of the project in hand," Jon Harrison, lead technical evangelist at CodeGear told ZDNet.co.uk. "It is designed to encourage developers at every level to add tags to their source code and help model towards visualisations of the final product."

"Our aim is for team leaders and senior developers to use it to push knowledge down the line as they communicate direction, highlight recommendations and point to resources for a better end result," Harrison said. 

Doychin Bondzhev, owner of dSoft-Bulgaria Ltd, a CodeGear customer, explained why this approach worked well for his company's developers. "Having complete knowledge of the project evolution along with the source code, all maintained within the IDE, allows our developers to concentrate on real problems without having to worry about non-essential issues," he said.

"Application Factories integrates with our EJB-based middle tier running on JBoss and our in-house Swing application-development framework, and ultimately has given us a way to create a higher starting point and better standard practices for every new project we develop," added Bondzhev.

CodeGear claims JBuilder 2008 is the first commercial IDE for Java to include Instantiation's Swing Designer visual layout tool as an integrated feature of the product. It is supported on Windows XP (SP2) and Vista, Mac OSX (10.4/Tiger) and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4. JBuilder 2008 Turbo is available as a free certified Eclipse bundle with pricing for the professional edition starting at £299 for new users.

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