Compuware hails model-driven Java development

Compuware Corp. on Monday shipped its OptimalJ 3.0 model-driven development environment for J2EE featuring integration with both mainframe-based IMS databases and integrated development environments from other vendors.

OptimalJ accelerates development, maintenance, and integration of enterprise Java applications, enabling organizations to rapidly respond to business changes, according to Compuware, of Detroit. The product implements the Object Management Group Inc.'s MDA (Model-Driven Architecture), so IT departments can design software quicker while improving quality and reusability of code, Compuware said.

Using MDA enables faster delivery of applications, the company said. In a study released Monday by Compuware, one application development team was able to deliver an error-free application in 330 hours while a team using a traditional IDE needed 507 hours to develop the same application, the company said .

Plug-ins in Version 3.0 support integration with IDEs such as IBM WebSphere Studio Application Developer and Sun ONE Studio. This enables users to leverage existing investments in IDEs while also utilizing OptimalJ. Additionally, OptimalJ includes its own IDE and supports leading application servers, databases, and modeling tools, the company said.

Version 3.0 adds support for IMS/TM data to the product's current CICS/Cobol integration, enabling OptimalJ applications to access IMS data, according to the company.

Also featured in Version 3.0 is OptimalJ Developer Edition, which enables developers to focus on code customization, debugging, tuning, and testing while protecting code generated from business models. Developer Edition complements the Architecture and Professional editions of the product. Professional Edition is for architects and designers to map business requirements to application models while Architecture Edition enables architects enables enforcement of standards and best practices.

"[Developer Edition] allows a code-centric developer to edit an OptimalJ artifact," or Java file or program, said Michael Sawicki, OptimalJ product manager at Compuware.

Analyst John Meyer, senior industry analyst at Forrester Research, in Olney, Md., said Compuware's OptimalJ 3.0 allows companies to utilize model-driven development while still using existing tools. Compuware should provide the same functionality for Microsoft .Net-based development, Meyer said.

"The question is, being that the technology is proving to be very efficient, is Compuware willing to step up to the plate and make that same kind of technology available for the .Net environment," Meyer said.

Compuware's Sawicki said a .Net version is "in the initial planning phases."

"That's something that we're planning, but we're not prepared to release a roadmap on that," Sawicki said.

Developer Edition licenses start at US$800 per named developer while Professional Edition licenses start at $5,000 per named developer. Architecture Edition license pricing begins at US$10,000 per named architect. OptimalJ pattern-source licenses start at $5,000 per site. Pattern source licenses give users the ability to purchase technology patterns responsible for transforming a platform-independent model into a platform-specific implementation.

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