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Java brings JOI to Revelation developers

Revelation Software, a Westwood, N.J.-based database development tool company, has added Java capabilities for developers working with its OpenInsight product. The software vendor -- which even its president refers to as "quite a little company" -- may not be as famous as its often over-hyped brethren, but it boasts 3 million users at 85,000 sites and a core of loyal developers.

"We used to joke that OpenInsight was written by geeks for geeks," said Mike Ruane, the firm's president and CEO, and a Revelation developer since 1989.

Developers are attracted to the multi-value technology Revelation originally inherited from Pick Systems when the company was founded in 1982 with the mission to port Pick software to the then-emerging PC platform. Multi-value, also known as post-relational, allows for developing databases with minimal tables, Ruane said.

Flexible and easy to maintain, Ruane said the growth of OpenInsight came because VARs and developers found that "it's good at complicated things. It was historically used in places where you had complicated rules that changed often," he noted. "It's very big in human resources and payroll, government, finance and health-care."

Running on Microsoft Windows and Linux platforms, most of the 3 million end users don't even know they're using OpenInsight, Ruane said; it's just the airline reservations program or real-estate sales software they rely on to do their jobs.

But developers have remained loyal, which is why a product originally released in 1992 is being adapted to the world of Java and XML.

Revelation's Java for OpenInsight (JOI, pronounced "joy") makes use of XML technology developed by a group of former Revelation programmers who moved to Java but still wanted to work with OpenInsight, Ruane said.

"We use a technology called XTT XML Tunneling Technology from InsiTech Group Inc.," he explained. "They're former Revelation developers. When they were going into Java, they liked what they could do with Java and the components, but what they ended up doing was switching back to the database that they knew and loved, and the power of multi-value."

JOI consists of Java controls that use the XTT technology to access OpenInsight data through XML, according to Revelation documentation. It is a Java 1.3-level product that integrates with standard GUI Java development tools, including Sun, Forte and JBuilder.


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About the Author

Rich Seeley is Web Editor for Campus Technology.

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