IBMs New Enterprise Patterns Show Similarities to Microsofts Line

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2005-05-09 Print this article Print

The set of new enterprise patterns is intended to help make developers more productive and promote the reuse of code and other assets; the patterns are integrated with tools to automate the development of enterprise applications.

IBM announced on Monday what appears to be the Java equivalent of Microsofts Software Factories vision. IBM has announced a set of new enterprise patterns to help make developers more productive and promote the reuse of code and other assets, said Angel Diaz, director of On Demand Software Development for the IBM Software Group. The new patterns are integrated with tools to automate the development of enterprise applications, Diaz said.
Moreover, the initial patterns are generic patterns, but IBM also plans to deliver patterns that simplify development in specific vertical segments, said Grant Larsen, a model-driven development strategist for IBM Rational.
Larsen said the new IBM enterprise patterns are represented in software code and integrated with the companys IBM Rational Software Architect. The new IBM patterns are: the Business Delegate, which allows developers to easily connect to business services in the system; the Session Facade, which improves the systems ability to respond to business changes by hiding system details; the Data Access Object, which allows systems to integrate with many sources of data and information; and the Message Facade, which enables the system and users to continue while business service requests are processed in the background, IBM officials said. "For a long time weve been working with our customers to try to codify the things they do often," Diaz said. "So we made these patterns, and we made them marketable so people can use these patterns and also take these assets to do patterns of their own." Carl Zetie, an analyst with Forrester Inc., said, "Using patterns to kick-start designs or code is proving more pragmatic than code generation, and consequently is garnering increasing attention and adoption." Meanwhile, Larsen said the IBM strategy is similar to Microsoft Corp.s .Net-based vision of Software Factories in that with the IBM enterprise patterns, "we find a way to knit many patterns together to form a pattern solution using something we call recipes… The patterns can participate and do participate in larger solutions." This language is very familiar to what Microsoft architect Jack Greenfield told Greenfield described a Software Factory as a product line that configures extensible development tools like Visual Studio Enterprise with "packaged content like domain-specific languages [DSLs], patterns, frameworks and guidance, based on recipes" for building specific kinds of applications. Next Page: Expanding on a vertical push.

Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

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