Apple Lowers the Bar for Web Services Developers

Apple says its Web services development platform lets developers create prototypes in minutes without writing any code.

Apple Computer Inc. enhanced its support for Web services with the announcement this week of WebObjects 5.2, the companys Web services development platform.

Bob Fraser, Apples product manager for WebObjects, said WebObjects 5.2 enables developers to create prototypes in minutes without writing any code—by using a drag-and-drop scheme. Fraser said WebObjects is a suite of tools and frameworks for building Web services and Java server applications.

In fact, Fraser said, WebObjects 5.2 enables developers to build, test and deploy Web services from existing data assets without writing any low-level Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP), XML or Web Servcies Description Language (WSDL) code.

"Weve lowered the bar for developers," Fraser said.

Web services created with WebObjects 5.2 are interoperable with applications written in Java, AppleScript, Perl and .Net, Fraser said.

The new technology enables developers to build Web services backed by databases and business logic. Fraser said developers could use the products Enterprise Object Modeler to reverse-engineer existing assets "and build a server application that exposes that asset as a standards-based Web service. Were retooling the Apple environment to work with standards."

Then using the WebObjects Project Builder, developers can create reusable code for their business logic, the company said.

And the WebObjects Builder features an integrated development environment for creating data-driven Web pages, the company said.

Meanwhile, WebObjects 5.2 enables developers to deploy their Web services on standards-based Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) application servers such as those from IBM Corp. and BEA Systems Inc., Fraser said. Or developers can deploy to the WebObjects Java 2 Standard Edition application server that is included with the product, he said.

"The major bonus with 5.2 is Web services," he said. Key features include the ability to integrate disparate applications via Web services and interoperability with scores of different platforms.