The vendors begin to ship tooling for the vision of re-usable “use-case components”! At Cadec 2007 and Cadec 2008 we talked about the value and challenges associated with modularization of web applications. A lot of projects we’ve been into, would have saved a considerable amount of time for developer- tester- and business resources if we could build modular web dialogs (“functions”) with ease.
As frameworks mature, they get support for the required underspinnings. Open source stacks may now be combined to acheive the values of packaged, reusable, componentized user functions (“use-case components”). The “Web Framework Dream Team” described at Cadec 2008 is one such example. But what are the vendors doing in this space?
IBM? Nothing. SAP? Netweaver Web Dynpro framework and tooling is close. Red Hat? Jboss Seam leverages the jBPM engine to create a full-featured framework named Seam Page Flow. The IDE-support is still lagging, though. So, who is in the front? It seems to be Oracle with their upcoming Oracle JDeveloper 11g. The preview reveals a full graphical editor and a framework for re-use of use-case components. Oracle labels them “Task Flow”. As usual, jumping into a vendor suite locks you in, but with an architecture like Task Flow fully integrated into the bigger picture (SOA BPM with workflow engines and portal frameworks), the business case may be there.