Magic Software's eDeveloper Makes Its Move Into BPM, SOA

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Magic Software's eDeveloper V10 has gone from unique to extraordinary by transforming from a managed code development platform to a composite application and orchestration suite. EDeveloper now can compete in the service-oriented development space to some extent with business process tools offered by Tibco, Fuego and Oracle, and its new capabilities allow it to combine its output XML code with .Net and Java objects without linking to BPEL. Legacy languages such as COBOL and RPG also will be able to link to eDeveloper through a number of legacy protocols.

The new composite application process lets users orchestrate business logic directly from eDeveloper's table-driven code editor. The new architecture is more service-oriented than business-process-oriented because it allows developers to reuse existing components, code complex applications in its environment and perform integrated tests using WSDL. With BPM tools, developers are able to integrate existing components into processes that accept thinly sliced logic.

EDeveloper V10 is unique in that all of its composite programming of disparate technologies is done in one IDE, something that Visual Studio and major Java IDEs, including Eclipse, cannot do. While .Net can combine various languages into Visual Studio and its common language interface, developers cannot integrate competing languages into its code base. With eDeveloper, developers can generate one code base in XML.

Among its other controls, a new table control simplifies eDeveloper V10's look and feel. For instance, developers now can reorder columns in the editor, and add XP-style UIs and independent single document interfaces to applications, including state properties in which users can retain form states on local clients.

EDeveloper arrives with a Web services debugging tool to test SOAP-based messages. It also supports SSL client verification, encryption and roles-based authentication. In addition, eDeveloper integrates with Systinet Web services framework and various middleware messaging servers such as IBM WebSphere Messaging, JMS, JBOS and MSMQ. Legacy developers working on AS/400 or RS6000 midrange servers now are able to use eDeveloper. To communicate with external resources, eDeveloper also supports many new protocols, including SNMP, LDAP, POP3/MAPI/SMTP and HTTPS.

In V10, Magic Software also added automatic verification of variables within tasks, an event-driven engine, multiple project handling and an object repository. Developers can use their favorite source control tools with V10 to manage code as well as data structures. This version does not have compliance features or tools, so developers can access live data while working on systems. Data-generating tools are in the works, though.

Since its inception, eDeveloper has been used primarily by program analysts with little programming experience or heavy domain expertise in enterprise Java or .Net. In fact, the tool's object-based programming architecture allows users in small groups to be as productive as enterprise-scale development teams.

New channel partners can purchase eDeveloper V10 SDK for $5,995 and can add a standard maintenance and support agreement on top of that, which covers 24x7 eService Web accounts, free training and a toll-free support number. With Web architecture deployment, licenses are sold per server and are bundled by thread capacities of 5-thread, 15-thread and 35-thread.

Partners are eligible to participate in early beta version programs before general availability. Magic Software provides porting workshops, where its R&D and support team members are on-site assisting partners as they port their applications to the latest versions. According to the software vendor, approximately 70 percent of projects are subcontracted to business partners.

Now that eDeveloper V10 has new composite programming features, the CRN Test Center engineers foresee the platform being used as a powerful alternative to enterprise BPM products. While eDeveloper's niche market will always be there, solution providers servicing large enterprises should take a serious look at this product because it provides some key advantages not available in competing languages.

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