|By Alan Fisher||
|February 14, 2011 07:45 AM EST||
Increasingly, IT managers, CIOs and software developers are turning to a new approach for rapidly building robust database applications without programming - application generators. Today's business environment demands managers find ways to do more with less, and application generation allows both developers and non-developers to build applications quickly and efficiently.
What Types of Applications Can You Build?
Application generation tools build database-driven applications that can be deployed to the Web, the Cloud, or to Microsoft SharePoint environments. Like any hand-built application, these database applications are typically used for:
- Data entry and management: collecting and editing data from users.
- Reporting and tracking: reporting, summarizing and visualizing data.
- Workflow and scheduling: automating step-wise business processes.
- Business process automation: orchestrating data flow between multiple systems.
While individual applications may look quite different from one another, these applications usually contain a variety of rich, interactive page types, reports, data import and export features, and integrated application security. Because most business applications are built atop an underlying database, they lend themselves to automated and semi-automated solutions for creating and customizing their Web pages and data access code. Only custom business logic need be added by hand. Moving from the conceptual to a concrete example, let's take a look at one such tool, marketed as Iron Speed Designer.
The figure above shows a typical order management application that was generated by Iron Speed Designer. To develop this application, you begin with a simple application wizard to create a fully functioning Web application based on your underlying database. This application can be deployed "as ism" or further customized using an intuitive page layout spreadsheet and simple Microsoft Excel-like formulas to add custom logic. Data elements, and even entire panels and charts, can be dropped from the Iron Speed Designer toolbox onto the layout spreadsheet. Since Iron Speed Designer understands the relationships in the underlying database, no programming is required.
Since the tool includes a wide variety of professionally-designed page styles, you won't need a graphic designer to make your Web applications look good. You can customize these styles, or create your own to maintain your standard corporate look and feel. One significant advantage of these tools is they frequently add a bevy of sophisticated features to your application that would have taken weeks or months to build by hand. These features give your application a level of polish lacking in most custom applications. Reporting, data import and export and application security are commonly included features. For example, you can export formatted data directly to Microsoft Excel for further analysis and reporting, as shown in the figure below.
Application Generation Yields Huge Savings
How well does the application generation process work? An analysis of Iron Speed customer applications indicates they save an average of 19 person weeks and $37,000 of development costs per application. In short, these tools could pay for themselves in one application.
Even non-developers can build applications in just a few hours or days, rather than weeks and months, all without programming. Individuals, and small teams of just a few people, can out-produce entire development teams. Moreover, corporate managers don't have to pay steep internal transfer costs, which are frequently charged by their regular development organizations. Some key benefits of application-generation tools include:
- Reduced software development costs. Applications can be developed and deployed faster and more efficiently with less cost in human resources. Proof-of-concept systems can be rapidly built, feedback gathered, and quickly modified.
- Consistent look and feel. Generated applications have highly consistent and professionally designed user interfaces, giving applications a finished look and feel, even at the prototype stage. A consistent look and feel across applications reduces end-user learning curves when assimilating new applications.
- Simplified application maintenance. Generated applications follow a highly consistent architecture, allowing any developer to maintain any application. There is little or no ‘ramp up' time necessary for one developer to maintain another developer's application because the architectural knowledge transfers from one application to another.
While traditional software developers may believe that machine-generated applications can't possibly be as good as their own hand-written code, in most cases upper management will opt for quick standardized development at minimal cost rather than pay for time-consuming customized perfectionism. The time and cost savings of application generation tools are simply too significant to ignore, and most functional area managers prefer solutions that make their end-users productive and satisfied as quickly as possible.
Many of us hardened programming veterans remember the cumbersome fourth generation languages (4GLs) of the 70s and 80s, which were advertised as bringing in the new age of programmer free application development. We also remember the second phase of 4GLs, released in the 90s, that focused on end-user development and many times created more problems than they solved. Thus, we may be reluctant to even consider the "new and improved" application generation tools. But, like the modern tools found in home improvement stores, improved technology has brought many application development tools that simply make the job easier. If you would like information on one of the most current application generation tools, you may want to visit http://www.ironspeed.com, or other similar Web sites, that can further explain how these tools can help you increase your credibility and performance as a professional application developer.
So, you bought into the current machine learning craze and went on to collect millions/billions of records from this promising new data source. Now, what do you do with them? Too often, the abundance of data quickly turns into an abundance of problems. How do you extract that "magic essence" from your data without falling into the common pitfalls? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Natalia Ponomareva, Software Engineer at Google, will provide tips on how to be successful in large scale machine lear...
Apr. 30, 2016 10:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,045
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Klein, CEO and Co-founder of Rachio, will discuss next generation communities that are using IoT to create more sustainable, intelligent communities. One example is Sterling Ranch, a 10,000 home development that – with the help of Siemens – will integrate IoT technology into the community to provide residents with energy and water savings as well as intelligent security. Everything from stop lights to sprinkler systems to building infrastructures will run ef...
Apr. 30, 2016 05:30 PM EDT Reads: 698
Whether your IoT service is connecting cars, homes, appliances, wearable, cameras or other devices, one question hangs in the balance – how do you actually make money from this service? The ability to turn your IoT service into profit requires the ability to create a monetization strategy that is flexible, scalable and working for you in real-time. It must be a transparent, smoothly implemented strategy that all stakeholders – from customers to the board – will be able to understand and comprehe...
Apr. 30, 2016 04:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,049
SYS-CON Events announced today that Peak 10, Inc., a national IT infrastructure and cloud services provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Peak 10 provides reliable, tailored data center and network services, cloud and managed services. Its solutions are designed to scale and adapt to customers’ changing business needs, enabling them to lower costs, improve performance and focus inter...
Apr. 30, 2016 04:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,009
You think you know what’s in your data. But do you? Most organizations are now aware of the business intelligence represented by their data. Data science stands to take this to a level you never thought of – literally. The techniques of data science, when used with the capabilities of Big Data technologies, can make connections you had not yet imagined, helping you discover new insights and ask new questions of your data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sarbjit Sarkaria, data science team lead ...
Apr. 30, 2016 04:45 PM EDT Reads: 601
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, will discuss how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to im...
Apr. 30, 2016 04:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,664
There is an ever-growing explosion of new devices that are connected to the Internet using “cloud” solutions. This rapid growth is creating a massive new demand for efficient access to data. And it’s not just about connecting to that data anymore. This new demand is bringing new issues and challenges and it is important for companies to scale for the coming growth. And with that scaling comes the need for greater security, gathering and data analysis, storage, connectivity and, of course, the...
Apr. 30, 2016 03:15 PM EDT Reads: 741
This is not a small hotel event. It is also not a big vendor party where politicians and entertainers are more important than real content. This is Cloud Expo, the world's longest-running conference and exhibition focused on Cloud Computing and all that it entails. If you want serious presentations and valuable insight about Cloud Computing for three straight days, then register now for Cloud Expo.
Apr. 30, 2016 02:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,703
IoT device adoption is growing at staggering rates, and with it comes opportunity for developers to meet consumer demand for an ever more connected world. Wireless communication is the key part of the encompassing components of any IoT device. Wireless connectivity enhances the device utility at the expense of ease of use and deployment challenges. Since connectivity is fundamental for IoT device development, engineers must understand how to overcome the hurdles inherent in incorporating multipl...
Apr. 30, 2016 02:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,449
The increasing popularity of the Internet of Things necessitates that our physical and cognitive relationship with wearable technology will change rapidly in the near future. This advent means logging has become a thing of the past. Before, it was on us to track our own data, but now that data is automatically available. What does this mean for mHealth and the "connected" body? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Lisa Calkins, CEO and co-founder of Amadeus Consulting, will discuss the impact of wea...
Apr. 30, 2016 01:15 PM EDT Reads: 656
SYS-CON Events announced today that Stratoscale, the software company developing the next generation data center operating system, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Stratoscale is revolutionizing the data center with a zero-to-cloud-in-minutes solution. With Stratoscale’s hardware-agnostic, Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) solution to store everything, run anything and scale everywhere...
Apr. 30, 2016 01:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,527
Angular 2 is a complete re-write of the popular framework AngularJS. Programming in Angular 2 is greatly simplified – now it's a component-based well-performing framework. This immersive one-day workshop at 18th Cloud Expo, led by Yakov Fain, a Java Champion and a co-founder of the IT consultancy Farata Systems and the product company SuranceBay, will provide you with everything you wanted to know about Angular 2.
Apr. 30, 2016 12:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,696
SYS-CON Events announced today that Men & Mice, the leading global provider of DNS, DHCP and IP address management overlay solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The Men & Mice Suite overlay solution is already known for its powerful application in heterogeneous operating environments, enabling enterprises to scale without fuss. Building on a solid range of diverse platform support,...
Apr. 30, 2016 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,289
You deployed your app with the Bluemix PaaS and it's gaining some serious traction, so it's time to make some tweaks. Did you design your application in a way that it can scale in the cloud? Were you even thinking about the cloud when you built the app? If not, chances are your app is going to break. Check out this webcast to learn various techniques for designing applications that will scale successfully in Bluemix, for the confidence you need to take your apps to the next level and beyond.
Apr. 30, 2016 11:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,465
We’ve worked with dozens of early adopters across numerous industries and will debunk common misperceptions, which starts with understanding that many of the connected products we’ll use over the next 5 years are already products, they’re just not yet connected. With an IoT product, time-in-market provides much more essential feedback than ever before. Innovation comes from what you do with the data that the connected product provides in order to enhance the customer experience and optimize busi...
Apr. 30, 2016 11:15 AM EDT Reads: 883
Increasing IoT connectivity is forcing enterprises to find elegant solutions to organize and visualize all incoming data from these connected devices with re-configurable dashboard widgets to effectively allow rapid decision-making for everything from immediate actions in tactical situations to strategic analysis and reporting. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Shikhir Singh, Senior Developer Relations Manager at Sencha, will discuss how to create HTML5 dashboards that interact with IoT devic...
Apr. 30, 2016 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 913
Artificial Intelligence has the potential to massively disrupt IoT. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, AJ Abdallat, CEO of Beyond AI, will discuss what the five main drivers are in Artificial Intelligence that could shape the future of the Internet of Things. AJ Abdallat is CEO of Beyond AI. He has over 20 years of management experience in the fields of artificial intelligence, sensors, instruments, devices and software for telecommunications, life sciences, environmental monitoring, process...
Apr. 30, 2016 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 881
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ericsson has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Ericsson is a world leader in the rapidly changing environment of communications technology – providing equipment, software and services to enable transformation through mobility. Some 40 percent of global mobile traffic runs through networks we have supplied. More than 1 billion subscribers around the world re...
Apr. 30, 2016 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 865
Digital payments using wearable devices such as smart watches, fitness trackers, and payment wristbands are an increasing area of focus for industry participants, and consumer acceptance from early trials and deployments has encouraged some of the biggest names in technology and banking to continue their push to drive growth in this nascent market. Wearable payment systems may utilize near field communication (NFC), radio frequency identification (RFID), or quick response (QR) codes and barcodes...
Apr. 30, 2016 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 703
SYS-CON Events announced today that Fusion, a leading provider of cloud services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Fusion, a leading provider of integrated cloud solutions to small, medium and large businesses, is the industry's single source for the cloud. Fusion's advanced, proprietary cloud service platform enables the integration of leading edge solutions in the cloud, including cloud...
Apr. 30, 2016 09:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,553