Magic Erects Apps Framework

Built on the company's eDeveloper platform, new environment provides an open, standards-based repository with foundations in .Net and Java.

Despite application and integration software developers claims of providing a composite application framework, few actually have a fully integrated offering. Some software developers, however, are making strides.

Magic Software Enterprises Ltd., long known for its iBolt integration platform, is extending that technology to create a composite application framework.

Code-named M10 and in beta now, the framework uses Magics eDeveloper platform and core rules engine. However, M10, scheduled for release by years end, will take eDeveloper one step further by providing an open, standards-based repository with foundations in Microsoft Corp.s .Net and the Java programming language.

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The Composite Resource Repository will include wizards that enable users to create components—Web services and stored procedures, for example—without knowing the intricacies of each technology.

"With this extension, Magic is taking [eDeveloper] to the next logical step with Web services and Enterprise JavaBeans," said Steven Blank, an analyst at Steven G. Blank Consulting and an M10 beta tester. "It really doesnt matter where [data sources] live; youre now able to pull them in to your application and make use of them directly. The neat thing is I dont have to be a SOAP [Simple Object Access Protocol] guru in order to utilize someones Web service. Magic takes care of the complexity, and I can plug in another data source."

When building applications, data sources typically come from a variety of databases, but M10 expands that to enable XML-based data sources, "and they can be from anywhere in the world," said Blank in Salt Lake City.

With M10, users will be able to define application objects as components. While exporting components, M10 lets users share resources among eDeveloper applications and facilitates the distribution of application revisions, officials said.

In addition, the M10 version adds a new user interface with added features such as radio buttons, check boxes and tabs. The upgraded tool kit supports project-based development, including an XML file folder that represents all objects in a project. At the same time, complex XML schemas will have the ability to be validated using new XML Validate and XML ValidationError functions.

Separately, Microsofts Patterns and Practices team is developing a Composite Application UI Block, a framework aimed at supporting activity flows, or information delivery composite applications—rich clients that provide information from a variety of sources.

The underlying technology for the Composite Application UI Block is Windows.

The UI Block, which requires Microsofts .Net Framework Beta 2 to run on, will enable developers to build applications based on the concept of modules or plug-ins for loose coupling, and it will help users develop applications using patterns.

Like Magics M10, the UI Block is geared toward concealing the complexity of user-interface development from business-logic development, reports the Microsoft Developer Network Web site. Microsoft does not yet have a release date.