[NPL] Strategic Focus Evaluates Major Web App Dev Tools
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[NPL] Strategic Focus Evaluates Major Web App Dev Tools


For additional information contact:
Jay Prakash
Ph: 408-942-1500
Fax: 408-262-1786
e-mail: jay@strategicfocus.com


DEVELOPMENT TOOLS: NetDynamics 4.0, VisualAge for Java 1.0, Developer/2000
2.0 & WebObjects 3.5

June 29, 1998 Milpitas, CA.. Strategic Focus, a Software Evaluation and
Market Research firm based in Milpitas, California announced today the
completion of the hands on laboratory evaluations of four major Web
application development tools - NetDynamics 4.0, IBM's VisualAge for Java
1.0, Oracle's Developer/2000 2.0 and Apple Computer's WebObjects 3.5. The
evaluations were conducted by professional software developers who built
the same Web based Order Entry application with each of the tools. The
tools were tested on a detailed set of criteria which included Developer
Productivity, Performance, Ease of Use, Server Side Features, Client Side
Features, Web GUI Features, Security, Web Server Access and Application
Maintainability. On the average 30 man-days were spent on evaluating each
tool and documenting the experience.

"All of the tools that we evaluated are excellent tools in their own way"
said Mr. Jay Prakash, President and Principal Consultant of Strategic
Focus. "Some are just a better fit for certain applications and
environments than others with each of the tools having their own set of
strengths and limitations" he added.

Tables 1 & 2 show some the results of the evaluations. Table 1 shows the
overall weighted scores that the various tools received in our evaluation
on the critical issue of Developer Productivity. The scores are based on a
scale of 0-10

Table 1: Ratings of Web Application Development Tools
on Developer Productivity

Developer/2000, 2.0 7.7
NetDynamics 4.0 7.27
WebObjects 3.5 5.32
VisualAge (Java), 1.0 6.14

Source: Strategic Focus, Milpitas, CA


Table 2 shows how Oracle Developer/2000, 2.0 which received the
highest score on this issue, performed on the various components
that impact Developer Productivity. Again, the scores are based on a
scale of 0-10.

Table 2: Ratings of Oracle
Developer/2000, 2.0 on Developer Productivity

Creation of Screens 8.5
Creation of Reports 9.5
Navigation Functionality 7.5
Team Programming 6
Reusablity of Code 8
Security Programming 5
Stability 7.5
Database Interface Features 8.5
Documentation Facilities 7.5
Ease of Installation 8
Self Configuration 8
Programming Language 7.5
Debugger 7

Source: Strategic Focus, Milpitas, CA

Strategic Focus evaluated both the Developer/2000, 2.0 as well as the
Oracle Web Application Server 4.0. The evaluators found the strengths of
the Developer/2000, 2.0 to be in a number of areas. The tool received
particularly high marks in the facilities that it provides to convert
traditional Client/Server applications to Web applications, Performance,
Application Maintainability , WebServer Access, and Cross Platform Support.
However, at the time of evaluation, the Oracle Web Application Server had
not yet been integrated with Developer/2000 and the company has indicated
that the integration with full inter-cartridge communication services will
take place by September 1998.

Considering where Java technology is today, the Strategic Focus evaluators
found IBM's VisualAge for Java to be a good tool with a lot of potential in
future releases of the product. "We expect that with the next major release
of this product from IBM, developers will be able to easily build and
deploy robust Java based enterprise applications" said Mr. Prakash.
Strengths of the product were found to be primarily in the areas of Object
orientation, WebServer Access, Cross Platform Support and Application

NetDynamics 4.0 is an enterprise network application platform that provides
a powerful set of features and tools to build corporate wide web enabled
applications. The product is built around an open CORBA infrastructure.
Coupled with Java Object framework, ND 4.0 offers a robust and scalable
Java application server that supports both server side and client side
Java. It offers seamless integration and native connectivity to all the
major databases, state and session management for HTML and Java
applications with a relatively easy to use development studio. The tool
received excellent marks in a number of areas but evaluators found
shortcomings in the areas of Performance, Web GUI features and Security.

Apple Computer's WebObjects 3.5 is a web application development tool that
offers features which could be used by medium to large organizations for
building and deploying server based web applications. The product supports
server-side Java integration allowing developers to write WebObjects
applications entirely in Java in addition to other proprietary languages
such as WebScript and Objective-C. The tool has strong server side, client
side, and Web GUI features. But there are shortcomings in the areas of
Developer Productivity, TP Monitor support, Security and Third party tool

"In conclusion, we must say that the choice of a Web application
development tool clearly depends on the weight that the developer assigns
to the key purchase criteria that we have identified" said Mr. Jay Prakash,
President and Principal Consultant of Strategic Focus. " The 'one size fits
all' approach will not work. It is also critical for CIO's, MIS managers
and application developers to keep an open mind when deciding to invest in
key application development tool technologies and not just focus on
products that may have received the most press coverage" he added.

For additional information, call Strategic Focus at 408-942-1500 or visit
our web site at http://www.strategicfocus.com and download a free sample
tool evaluation report.

Corporate Address

Strategic Focus, Inc.
500E. Calaveras Blvd., #321
Milpitas, CA 95035

Ph: 408-942-1500
Fax: 408-262-1786


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