Java IoT Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Zakia Bouachraoui, William Schmarzo, Yeshim Deniz

Related Topics: Java IoT

Java IoT: Article

eXtend Workbench by SilverStream

eXtend Workbench by SilverStream

As the Internet continues to grow as a viable medium for enterprise-class applications, the tools and technology for developing these applications continue to advance at a frenetic pace. The state of the technology now allows for a multitiered application that involves anything from simple scripting to complex objects. Such technological advances have created an environment in which multiple developers can work together on a single “logical” application.

The J2EE specification defines a development model and provides supporting standards and tools for developing multitiered Web-based applications. New standards are being defined in the Web services arena that extend applications across enterprise boundaries. Vendors are working feverishly to harness their integrated development environments (IDE) to include the necessary tools and features to address the needs of Java-centric Web services programmers. SilverStream eXtend Work-
bench 1.0 (XWB) is a new breed of software that has been designed to address this burgeoning market.

I like the name workbench, because it sums up what this product is all about. This application ties together all the tools you would need to create a J2EE/Web services application and puts them into one easy-to-use environment. It follows the J2EE development model and is capable of building standards-based applications for any J2EE-compliant server. It speeds the development cycle by providing wizards that can automatically generate much of the interface code necessary in a J2EE project. SilverStream XWB supports the full application life cycle, including coding, testing, debugging, deployment, and maintenance. There’s a lot of help provided in a set of HTML-based help files, as well as a set of tutorials and sample applications. The eXtend Workbench Web site (www.silverstream.com/workbench) also has downloads, discussion forums, news, tips, and techniques.

The eXtend Workbench comes with the SilverStream eXtend Application Server that’s fully J2EE 1.3–compliant and supports many of the latest Java technology and Web services standards including EJB 2.0, SOAP 1.1, and JMS 1.0.2. The application server was one of the first to pass all necessary certification tests and SilverStream is dedicated to supporting future versions of J2EE as they are approved. Still, the application server is a separate installation, and Workbench does integrate with most of the major third-party application servers on the market, including BEA’s WebLogic (6.0 and higher) and IBM’s WebSphere 4.0. (SilverStream includes ample documentation and samples that detail how to integrate XWB with other application servers.)

Working with the Product
Installing the XWB was quick and easy. However, the eXtend Application Server took a little longer to install, and it expects to have a database already running on the server. I happened to have Microsoft SQL Server already installed, so I configured the eXtend Server for that database, which turned out to be pretty simple. The XWB application has a rich graphical look to it. I’ve come to expect that most Java IDE tools today are built using Java Swing code , so I was not surprised to see a “Java” look to this application. I did find it interesting that this version of the eXtend software was targeted specifically toward Windows-based platforms.

XWB’s edit layout, shown in Figure 1, provides an environment that seemed familiar and well laid out for me. There are tree and list views on the left to navigate through project files and directories, an editor window on the right, and an output window on the bottom for informational messages. The window panes are resizable, and it has a toolbar, popup menus, and keyboard shortcuts like any good IDE. The code editor had most of the useful features I rely on in my favorite text editor, including autoindentation, autocompletion, and syntax highlighting.

For an even richer coding environment I would have liked bookmarks, the ability to split the code screen into two sections, and a tabbed view of all open files. (There didn’t seem to be any flexibility to rearrange the various screen elements.) The Javaâcode compiler gives the usual Java error messages on compilation, but the environment has an extremely useful feature Ð if you click on an error message, the cursor will jump to the offending line of code in the editor pane.

The wizards are very useful in providing enough options while not being overly complicated. Another useful feature is the flexibility in project starting points. From the XWB you can start a project from scratch or from an existing J2EE project. Once you create a XWB project, you can import existing files into the project. This way, you can start with a class that implements business logic functions, and build that class into a J2EE Web service with just a few clicks through the Web service wizard. Or, you can start from an interface definition and build your project up from there (see Figure 2). One powerful and convenient function is XWB’s ability to archive and deploy J2EE projects to any of the supported J2EE application servers.

Either way, the XWB Web service wizards and editors allow the developer to focus more on the business logic, since much of the Web service framework is generated for them. SilverStream also included a comprehensive Registry Manager tool that can help you browse or search for existing Web services, or publish your own using Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration (UDDI). This is a useful feature for developers trying to integrate with other Web services, since they can import WSDL definitions without leaving the XWB environment.

While I only tested this with the SilverStream eXtend Application Server, the configuration process was straightforward, and once configured, deployment was as easy as clicking a button. I believe that’s one of the great advantages of environments such as SilverStream’s eXtend. Once configured, tasks that would involve long and complex command-line program deployment calls can be simplified into one click of the mouse. This allows developers to focus on design and coding issues, and worry less about which parameters indicate deploying only changed files.

As for speed, the application seemed to respond well on my test platform, as long as I didn’t try to run too many other applications simultaneously. I’m the type of person who likes to have five to six programs running at a time, and I began to notice some lag in switching back and forth. I wouldn’t really be concerned, however, because with faster hardware and more memory, I’m sure that this level of multitasking would perform just fine. Compiling, archiving, and deploying projects from within the environment all seemed to run well.

SilverStream’s eXtend Workbench helps speed up the development of J2EE projects and Web services applications. I’d recommend that the developer have some basic knowledge of the various components in a J2EE project and Web services standards before using a comprehensive product such as eXtend. The tutorials do a wonderful job of walking you through the implementation process. However, a reasonable background in Java and Web services will make it much easier to harness the power in SilverStream’s eXtend product line.

SilverStream eXtend Workbench does an excellent job of providing all the tools you’ll need to develop complex J2EE/Web services projects using a single IDE. Integration with the leading application servers makes eXtend an ideal development environment if you already have an application server – or you can use the SilverStream eXtend Application Server. Java developers with little or no knowledge of J2EE design concepts may have trouble being efficient with this tool at first, but with a basic understanding of J2EE, I believe XWB will help any developer be more efficient in designing, developing, and deploying a J2EE/Web services application.

SilverStream Software
2 Federal St.
Billerica, MA 01821
Web: www.silverstream.com
Phone: 888 823-9700
E-mail: [email protected]

Test Environment
Computer: Gateway Solo 9300
Processor: Pentium III 333 MHz
Memory: 160MB RAM
Platform: Windows NT Workstation 4.0 (Service Pack 4)

Platforms: Windows NT Workstation 4.0, Windows NT Server 4.0, or Windows 2000
Pricing: Free for a limited time to J2EE and Web services developers. Application Server Developer Edition includes a single version of the application server and the eXtend Workbench development environment, priced at $495 per developer seat. Workgroup Edition (Windows and Unix) limited to 25 connected users, priced at $995 per CPU. Enterprise deployment pricing begins at $5,000 per CPU.

Product Snapshot
Target Audience: Java J2EE developers
Level: Entry-level J2EE (with some background knowledge) to advanced
Pros: Open and extensible IDE integrates with other tools and works with several industry-standard application servers; additional product offerings are available.

Cons: As with many Java-based applications, you’ll want a powerful machine to get good performance. Not for Java beginners. eXtend Workbench only supports Windows-based platforms.

More Stories By Jeff Ford

Jeff Ford is a Senior Consultant at Catavo, Inc. At Catavo, Jeff is responsible for the design and implementation of system architecture for custom software solutions rooted in OO Methodology. Jeff has designed a number of systems which take advantage of complex software components. Jeff utilizes his experience in C++, Java, Visual Basic and other Web based technologies to help solve complex business problems using technology.

Comments (1)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
Darktrace is the world's leading AI company for cyber security. Created by mathematicians from the University of Cambridge, Darktrace's Enterprise Immune System is the first non-consumer application of machine learning to work at scale, across all network types, from physical, virtualized, and cloud, through to IoT and industrial control systems. Installed as a self-configuring cyber defense platform, Darktrace continuously learns what is ‘normal' for all devices and users, updating its understa...
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...
Apptio fuels digital business transformation. Technology leaders use Apptio's machine learning to analyze and plan their technology spend so they can invest in products that increase the speed of business and deliver innovation. With Apptio, they translate raw costs, utilization, and billing data into business-centric views that help their organization optimize spending, plan strategically, and drive digital strategy that funds growth of the business. Technology leaders can gather instant recomm...
OpsRamp is an enterprise IT operation platform provided by US-based OpsRamp, Inc. It provides SaaS services through support for increasingly complex cloud and hybrid computing environments from system operation to service management. The OpsRamp platform is a SaaS-based, multi-tenant solution that enables enterprise IT organizations and cloud service providers like JBS the flexibility and control they need to manage and monitor today's hybrid, multi-cloud infrastructure, applications, and wor...
The Master of Science in Artificial Intelligence (MSAI) provides a comprehensive framework of theory and practice in the emerging field of AI. The program delivers the foundational knowledge needed to explore both key contextual areas and complex technical applications of AI systems. Curriculum incorporates elements of data science, robotics, and machine learning-enabling you to pursue a holistic and interdisciplinary course of study while preparing for a position in AI research, operations, ...
After years of investments and acquisitions, CloudBlue was created with the goal of building the world's only hyperscale digital platform with an increasingly infinite ecosystem and proven go-to-market services. The result? An unmatched platform that helps customers streamline cloud operations, save time and money, and revolutionize their businesses overnight. Today, the platform operates in more than 45 countries and powers more than 200 of the world's largest cloud marketplaces, managing mo...
Trend Micro Incorporated, a global leader in cybersecurity solutions, helps to make the world safe for exchanging digital information. Our innovative solutions for consumers, businesses, and governments provide layered security for data centers, cloud workloads, networks, and endpoints. All our products work together to seamlessly share threat intelligence and provide a connected threat defense with centralized visibility and investigation, enabling better, faster protection. With more than 6,00...
Tapping into blockchain revolution early enough translates into a substantial business competitiveness advantage. Codete comprehensively develops custom, blockchain-based business solutions, founded on the most advanced cryptographic innovations, and striking a balance point between complexity of the technologies used in quickly-changing stack building, business impact, and cost-effectiveness. Codete researches and provides business consultancy in the field of single most thrilling innovative te...
Codete accelerates their clients growth through technological expertise and experience. Codite team works with organizations to meet the challenges that digitalization presents. Their clients include digital start-ups as well as established enterprises in the IT industry. To stay competitive in a highly innovative IT industry, strong R&D departments and bold spin-off initiatives is a must. Codete Data Science and Software Architects teams help corporate clients to stay up to date with the mod...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, provided a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. He solved a machine learning problem and demonstrated an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intelligence and Bi...