September 24, 2008

Some positive drag-and-drop experience

Filed under: business intelligence,java,oracle — Raimonds Simanovskis @ 1:51 am

In the previous post I wrote that I didn’t quite like drag-and-drop development style in JDeveloper that I experienced during Oracle OpenWorld hands-on session.


Today I was in Oracle BI Answers & Dashboard hands-on session and during this session I was also drag-and-dropping to create reports, charts and business intelligence dashboards. But in this case I liked it as it seemed natural way how to create such reports.

The main difference why I liked it was that I got immediate feedback how the end report will look like – after each change I could immediately see and test real report with real data. And such immediate feedback is key prerequisite for interactive analytical reporting development.

In JDeveloper case I needed to compile and build everything and restart local application server after each change to see real results from any change – and it took at least 10 seconds for just sample “hello world” application. I assume that this lag will be even longer in larger real projects. Probably it is not so long time but when you compare it to 1 second feedback time then anything larger seems long.

I also visited Oracle demo grounds where I discussed my concerns regarding JDeveloper drag-and-drop development style. At the end we reached common understanding that JDeveloper and ADF framework is really good for former Oracle Forms developers who do not want to learn HTML, CSS and Javascript and auto-generated applications could be quite OK for internal enterprise applications. But if you want to build advanced web applications you still need to learn and be expert in these web technologies (HTML, CSS and Javascript).


September 22, 2008

Coding or drag-and-dropping?

Filed under: java,oracle,ruby — Raimonds Simanovskis @ 3:31 am

Today was my first day at Oracle OpenWorld and here are my first impressions from the sessions I attended.

The first one was Building Web 2.0 Social Applications in Ruby on Rails with BEA AquaLogic Interaction by Chris Bucchere where he explained how they built social application for BEA conference participants. And it was interesting to see also some code examples from this application that he presented.


And then after that I participated in three Oracle Develop hands-on sessions about Oracle SOA suite and WebCenter. I signed up for these sessions because I thought that they will be more technical and code-intensive compared to other sessions.

As a result I spent three hours in Oracle JDeveloper but all I was doing was dragging-and-dropping and filling some pop-up dialog boxes. I did not write single line of Java code during these workshops. And as a result I had just vague idea why all the dragged components worked together.

Having experience of coding in Ruby and trying to create small and beautiful code this drag-and-drop development did not feel quite natural for me. And I am afraid that this drag-and-drop development approach will create bunch of developers who will not be able to create real code anymore.

The other consequences of this drag-and-drop style coding is that it is hard to version control the resulting generated code and it is also much harder to unit test such generated code. Probably this is the reason why I could not find any OpenWorld session about unit testing and test-driven development.

Am I missing some hidden beauty of drag-and-drop development? Or am I spoiled with beauty of Ruby?

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