Last summer top-tier consultant KPMG began working with Vision Jade on a project for Philips Semiconductor. What was needed as an application that manages the transfer price changes associated with semiconductor manufacturing. We spoke with Stan Hendryx, manager of KPMG’s Palo Alto, Calif.-based System Integration practice. Hendryx’s experiences with Oakland, Calif.-based Vision Software Tools’ software which uses a unique declarative statement approach to Java application design, were largely favorable.

Hendryx noted that the steps in semiconductor manufacturing take place in different places often on different continents. Stages include fabrication, assembly and test. "There are a lot of internal price transfer issues to deal with," he said. This is a goal of a new Intranet system he constructed for Philips. It is an Intranet application used by Philips personnel. At the moment the application consists of 26,000 lines of Java code, 95% of which was generated by Vision Jade (the rest, custom) and about 23,000 lines of SQL code (with a similar Jade generated to custom ratio).

Said Hendryx: "The Vision Jade software allows us to work with declarative business rules. The software generates code in Java or SQL." Rules include rules for database integrity. In the case of the Philips implementation, the declarative business rules would cover, for example, maintaining the integrity of the date on the pricing of parts.

What were challenges? "The most difficult challenge we faced was just getting ‘plumbing’ right so that all the middleware worked correctly. The wide-area network connecting to European Philips’ operations needed optimization, for example."

Hendryx and crew (like counterpart developers at Vision and elsewhere) were pleased to receive JDK 1.1 (late last year). "Not having JDK 1.1 earlier complicated our life," he said. They went to 1.1 for at least one major benefit -- local-caching features. With this in place, users do not have to download applications at the beginning of each session. This speeds net access considerably.