Fitting tools into the

he new generation of fourth-generation languages must fit nicely into the overall application development life cycle. No longer can these tools focus on just one aspect of the life cycle. As Sandra Taylor, an analyst with

Software Productivity Group's Analyst Services division, points out in this month's cover story, "4GLs gear up for full-cycle development," those I/S organizations still using tools that focus only on one aspect of the development life cycle are courting disaster.

Many suppliers of 4GLs are moving quickly to extend tools beyond simply the development piece of the life cycle either through internal upgrades or links to other point products. Taylor's story offers I/S organizations some new categories to add to selection check lists to ensure that tools offer enough life-cycle support.

The application life cycle depicted by Taylor is also the basis of the 1998 Editorial Calendar of stories slated to be published next year in Application Development Trends. Our goal through the year is to provide strategic and tactical information you will need on all stages of the application development life cycle -- from planning and design through development, deployment, management and maintenance. If you're interested in seeing what's coming up through the year, the calendar is available on our Web site,

Project management tools are also evolving to support multiple points in the application life cycle, notes freelance writer Colleen Frye ("When is project management like driving in New York City?"). The new breed of project management tools offer a single view into the various pieces and point solutions of the life cycle, allowing changes at various points in the process and better planning for the next project.

Meanwhile, middleware expert Max Dolgicer, director of International Systems Group, begins a two-part series on message queuing middleware. Part 1 describes the components and functionality of typical message queuing systems. Next month's installment will compare the market leading messaging queuing software, IBM's MQSeries, with upstart MSMQ from Microsoft Corp.

Our year-end issue features a special report on Data Warehousing, including a close examination of data mining technologies by guru Julie Hahnke, president of the IDTech consulting firm. Hahnke examines technologies underlying top data mining tools and tells which technology is best. West Coast Editor Elizabeth U. Harding probes how corporations are finding that the World Wide Web is an ideal vehicle for deploying query and analysis tools.

Best Regards,

About the Author

Mike Bucken is former Editor-in-Chief of Application Development Trends magazine.