IBM last week announced a set of new enterprise patterns to help make developers more productive and to promote the reuse of code and other assets.
The new patterns are integrated with tools to automate the development of enterprise applications, said Angel Diaz, director for On Demand Operating Environment Technology Strategy & Marketing for the IBM Software Group.
The initial patterns are generic patterns, but IBM, in Armonk, N.Y., also plans to deliver patterns that simplify development in specific vertical segments, said Grant Larsen, a model-driven development strategist for IBM Rational. The new patterns are similar to Microsoft Corp.s Software Factories plan.
Larsen said the new IBM enterprise patterns are represented in software code and integrated with the companys IBM Rational Software Architecture.
The patterns are: Business Delegate, which allows developers to easily connect to business services in the system; Session Facade, which improves the systems ability to respond to business changes by hiding system details; Data Access Object, which allows systems to integrate with many sources of data and information; and 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."
Larsen said the IBM strategy is similar to the Microsoft .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."
Microsoft Architect for Enterprise Frameworks and Tools Jack Greenfield described a Software Factory as a product line that configures extensible development tools such as Visual Studio Enterprise with "packaged content like domain-specific languages, patterns, frameworks and guidance, based on recipes" for building specific kinds of applications.
Larsen said the IBM enterprise patterns are targeted only at the Java space, but he noted that developers would be able to use them in .Net environments, too.
Diaz said IBMs goal is to provide a consistent framework for development while also simplifying the development process.
"The key thing is we want to do this on a consistent framework and [with] a consistent set of tools," Diaz said. "We want to be able to deliver an entire solution," he added.