Butler Group Publishes COOL:Plex Review

COOL:Plex from Sterling Software, part of the COOL Portfolio, is the subject of an independent review by European IT analyst, the Butler Group. COOL:Plex provides the ability to produce easily maintainable and adaptable business applications, enabling organizations to utilize the economic value in applications. It deploys model-based development to enable RAD. Data and logic business requirements are represented in diagram format. Business rules are centralized for consistency and quality through the repository-based model. It combines pattern-based development with code generation.

A pattern is an abstract software solution that enables the reusability of business processes. It can be described as a collection of rules and structures that are often found in business systems. It includes all the required code for a particular process, for example, updating a record. Once a pattern has been created, it can be reused as required. COOL:Plex is supplied with a number of standard patterns, and additional patterns can also be purchased from Sterling Software or through partners such as Soft Design, whose Websydian product comprises a number of e-business patterns. Users can also create their own patterns.

On completion of the modeling process, COOL:Plex generates 100 percent native code. Support is provided for national languages, dialects, multi-byte character sets, cross-platform code page translation and regional presentation formats.

COOL:Plex is modular in design, resulting from its object-oriented (OO) approach, which makes it possible to scale applications in line with transaction volumes and large numbers of end-users. Data can be repartitioned to run within client or server environments, to achieve optimum application performance, without the necessity for any redesign work to be undertaken.

The combination of COOL:Plex and Websydian allows a single skill-set to be used for Web, front-end, back-end and application integration. This means that business processes are formalized and understood by the development team. This approach promotes improved flexibility, less time to market and lower costs, enabling organizations to use the Web to gain competitive advantage.

Using COOL:Plex and patterns from Soft Design, developers can build highly sophisticated and tightly integrated Web-based e-business applications. COOL:Plex and Websydian require a single set of development skills on the AS/400, Windows and Java platforms.

At present there is no support for eXtensible Markup Language (XML) processing patterns, which Butler Group regards as a weakness.

Butler Group believes that the partnership between the small David pattern provider and the Goliath of the application world, is of great benefit to both organizations. Websydian complements COOL:Plex, adding additional functionality for Web-based applications. Although it requires the purchase of two products, Butler Group would recommend that any organization include these products on its shortlist.

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