Friday, 10 October 2008

September's all doom and gloom

I had a great time at Wembley Arena on the 21 Sept. The concert exceeded my expectations, I was amazed at the age range of people there and I was very glad I wasn't the the eldest.

I'm determined to keep a positive attitude through these very worrying times. Although I am not sure it's going to be easy. Still on the really positive side I have a holiday in Australia to look forward to. I also keep reminding myself that it is times like this when some of the best opportunities arise.

I still seem to be racking up the air miles, Washington in September and off to Boston again next week. I'll need my holiday in Australia after this year.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Why does AltioLive have its own IDE?

An IDE is one of the richest forms of user interface.

Back in 1999 the original reason for having an Altio IDE was that there was no dominant IDE in the market place, and show casing your products capabilities in an IDE was a good way of demonstrating what can be achieved.

Being a Java based product it could now be argued that AltioLive applications should be editable using common IDE's, such as Eclipse and NetBeans.  This still does not remove the fact that if a tool is so good then why isn't the IDE written using its own base language. AltioLive is a tool for creating Rich Web Applications so its IDE should be a rich web application. 

The Altio team is now striving to deliver a framework that can be used by a broad spectrum of people with varying software skills. At present we lie somewhere between a development tool and a power user tool. AltioLive will appeal to:

  • software developers with little experience of creating user interfaces and do not want to understand the complexities of the Java Swing API's. But, the solution they may want to deliver requires a highly scaleable and rich user interface within the web browser.
  • experienced Java developers that want to build their own user interface controls but do not want to build a whole integration framework to the server. They want 80% of the work done for them so that they can get on with the specific needs of the project.
  • consultants who want the ability to deliver a rich web application that has security, server push data delivery, reusability and most of all the ability to deliver a user interface solution as quickly as possible.
  • designers, and business analysts who want to be able to define a user interface and possibly implement early prototypes without the need to rely upon a development team early in the project.

The above points are not an extensive list, AltioLive is used as an OEM tool within larger products to allow the development of highly customisable, maintainable user interfaces. It is also used within financial institutes to deliver very rich and interactive user interfaces where data is pushed from the server to multiple users.

AltioLive applications can be edited within Eclipse or a simple text editor if you really want to, after all the underlying logic and screen definition are written to XML files in a declarative language. Many of our competitors take this approach now, the strength of Altio is WYSIWYG, you build the user interface interactively.

The bottom line is that I want to see Altio deliver a simple to use application development tool that can be used by someone with the most basic programming knowledge. This in turn should mean the performance of project teams in increased, thus increasing the chances of delivering IT projects at cost and on time.

originally posted to