Bright tool cuts time to generate .Net code

At the recent CeBIT trade show in Sydney one development house showed off a tool which it says can quickly generate code in a variety of languages, including Microsoft’s .Net framework.

BrightSword Designer has been in development by Indian software firm BrightSword for the past two years. Bhaktha Reddy, the company’s COO, described the product as an “ultra-Rapid Application Development” tool for developing distributed data-driven applications.

Data-driven applications are, by definition, primarily defined by the structure of the database they are built around. This database structure, or metadata, can be obtained by actively inspecting a given database instance, he said.

It is then possible to translate this metadata into the structure of a data-driven application revolving around the database.

“The application metadata reflects various components that would normally comprise a high-quality, hand-written application, such as Business Components, Data Input Components (Forms) and Data Retrieval Components (Grids). The Designer tool allows for extensive customisation of these components using simple point-click-type gestures.” Business Rules such as Field-level Validation, Field-level and View-level Security can all be specified within the Designer itself, he said.

Once the application structure has been satisfactorily customized, it is expressed as code in any one of several supported languages. In this instance, Code is simply an executable representation of metadata. The generated code can be further customized to include idiosyncratic business logic.

Reddy said the product is useful for .Net developers as it rapidly generates large quantities of well-formatted, easy-to-read code. A small change in the application structure could conceivably reflect in changes in many places across the application code. “For example, a change in a Field Validation rule would cause changes in both Server-Side (Business Component) and Client-Side (JavaScript) layers.” BrightSword Designer routinely automates and synchronizes such changes.

He said the code generated on any supported platform conforms to the highest quality code that could be written in that language. None of the natural paradigms of a language are sacrificed during the code-generation process.

For example, ASP.Net grids are generated using and composite server-side controls, while the ASP and PHP versions use simple mode-switching to variously emit HTML and computed values.

BrightSword Designer is available in Australia in a variety of packages. Theme and Language Packs are dynamically installable so they can be purchased at any time and installed to enable code generation in different languages. The Designer + ASP.Net Language Pack is priced at $1600 per seat licence.

The product is distributed by Pacific Sales Solutions.

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Howard Dahdah

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