Development Platform Broadens J2EE Reach
- By Linda L. Briggs
Software tools to simplify and accelerate Web application development continue to evolve. Along those lines, ClearNova is shipping a revised version of its rapid application development software platform, ThinkCAP 6.0, that helps non-J2EE developers build and maintain Web applications.
The ThinkCAP 6.0 application environment targets corporate business application developers with a wide variety of skill sets, including PowerBuilder, COBOL, RPG, Visual Basic, and ColdFusion. Since ThinkCAP hides the low-level plumbing, J2EE programmers can concentrate on business logic and services, while business developers with Visual Basic or PowerBuilder experience can work on building pages, page flows, and visual components.
According to Gartner analyst Mark Driver, ThinkCAP is an early entrant in a new generation of tools that are gradually moving some kinds of software development out of the hands of developers and into the hands of non-technical users like business analysts. "What you see [with ThinkCAP] is the beginning of the next generation," Driver says.
ThinkCAP isn't unique, Driver says, but ClearNova is in a relatively good position because of its experience in the business process management space. "They're not a small startup," he says. "They're able to expand a natural growth of their existing customer base."
ClearNova, based in Alpharetta, Georgia, provides rapid application development software and expertise for Web-based business applications. ThinkCAP, its flagship product, was originally released in 2001 as a high productivity environment for building Web applications for application service providers, and it has evolved since then.
The company says ThinkCAP can cut typical development time by up to 50 percent compared with traditional approaches. That means developers can spend more time on core business logic and value-added functionality, using ThinkCAP's tools to prototype and build presentation, application flow, and data binding. Customers also can save time by using ThinkCAP to implement a repeatable process for delivering business applications.