REVIEW: WaveMaker’s development platform combines rapid application development with rapid application deployment using a Platform-as-a-Service model.
Enterprise application developers are finding that there is a lot more to RAD (Rapid Application Development) than just development; there are also the concepts of rapid coding, provisioning and deployment.
Those added requirements have created a conundrum for enterprise developers, especially those that focus only on creating applications and leave the provisioning and delivery of those applications to IT managers.
Thanks to multiplatform requirements, mobility initiatives and BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy adoption, the way applications are created and delivered to users must undergo a significant workflow change.
After all, developers do not have the bandwidth to create separate applications for the various platforms (Windows, iOS, Android, etc.) that they must now support and IT no longer has the resources to manually deliver those diverse applications to the various platforms that have spread through the enterprise.
RAD Platform-as-a-Service company WaveMaker may very well have the solution to those nagging problems that haunt developers, such as deployment, complicated DevOps, and multiple target environments.
WaveMaker has built that solution in the form of WaveMaker Enterprise, an enterprise level Web application development platform that incorporates design, RAD, deployment, and integrates version control into a slick package that can be installed on site as a virtual appliance or used via the PaaS model, which requires no on-premise installation or configuration.
Simply put, WaveMaker Enterprise puts the "rapid" into both development and deployment.
While there are dozens, if not hundreds of RAD tools out on the market, WaveMaker Enterprise is truly able to distinguish itself from the competition by employing some very unique concepts, technologies and techniques that promise to change how enterprise developers think about building and deploying applications.
Perhaps the most impressive part of WaveMaker Studio
comes down to how applications are deployed. The company has created a one-click deployment methodology that delivers applications via Docker Containers, a Linux based operating abstraction technology that offers many of the benefits of virtualized application delivery, without the overhead of operating systems and hypervisors.
While tomes could be written about Docker Containers and the benefits they offer it best here to just say that WaveMaker has adopted a forward-looking strategy by leveraging Docker Containers.
Nonetheless, rapid deployment is only one part of the triad that makes WaveMaker Enterprise a likely candidate for those developing Web applications. The other two pieces of the WaveMaker Enterprise puzzle come in the form of development and integration.
The development portion of WaveMaker Enterprise falls under the auspices of WaveMaker Studio, an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) that incorporates RAD processes. However, WaveMaker Studio does not operate in a vacuum. It is surrounded by what is known as the Enterprise Developer Network (EDN) which is a Web-based GUI that integrates management of the development process with a project centric approach that incorporates a measure of social collaboration.
From the EDN, developers can define and create multi-developer projects, manage access to projects and keep participants informed on the progress of all concurrent projects. Clicking on the Studio tab launches the WaveMaker Studio application to enable users to start working on an application project.
The IDE/RAD tool set offered by WaveMaker Studio is impressive. From within the IDE, developers can quickly design pages, tables, forms and so on using drag and drop tools. While those capabilities are expected in most any RAD tool, WaveMaker goes one step further by incorporating database controls as well.
Using WaveMaker Studio, developers can quickly layout the UI and then populate it with data variables available from the database. WaveMaker provides widgets, which are snippets of predefined controls/functions to create a page design.
Widgets can be used to define Boolean logic controls (such as check boxes) that can drive form entry. Other widgets encompass capabilities such as dialogs, fields and so forth. However, WaveMaker also includes an impressive array of charting widgets, which can be used to quickly create graphs, charts or other visual representations of data.
So with just a few mouse clicks, developers can build input forms, screen based reports, charts, graphs and pretty much any other UI driven element that offers responsive capabilities.