FlowBuilder 3.0 Enables Domino Developers to Build J2EE Applications with Existing Skills

Brings “Domino-like” Development Framework to J2EE; Java Developers Benefit from Graphical Tools for Collaborative Application Development

WOBURN, Mass., Jan. 20, 2004 – Trilog Group Inc., a pioneer in advanced tools for building sophisticated collaborative workflow applications for standards-based platforms, today announced the newest version of its flagship product, FlowBuilder, with the introduction of Version 3.0. FlowBuilder 3.0 benefits developers in two ways. First, Domino developers benefit from a platform-agnostic solution that enables them to build J2EE applications for any standards-based Web application server or portal server without first having to learn Java and without any loss in productivity. Second, J2EE developers benefit from a higher-level, graphical framework for more rapid development of collaborative applications for any standards-based Web platform. Both groups benefit from FlowBuilder’s integrated service environment and powerful component-assembly architecture that fully supports XML and Web Services.

“While hundreds of thousands of developers have found Domino to be an exceptional platform for rapidly building collaborative applications, there hasn’t been an equivalent for the Java platform,” said Alex El Homsi, CEO, Trilog Group. “At least not until now. FlowBuilder 3.0 opens the door to J2EE for Domino developers, and unifies the Domino and WebSphere worlds with a common J2EE development framework. With this framework, Domino and Java developers can work together to build collaborative applications and portlets that include workflow and integrate with next-generation, J2EE-based messaging and collaboration middleware.”

As more Lotus Notes and Domino organizations look to incorporate the benefits of Java into their collaborative IT environments, FlowBuilder 3.0 enables them to use their existing Domino developers to build standards-based applications in Java and XML without the complexity of Java programming. This approach saves time and money by minimizing staff retraining and lost productivity, while also enabling integration with new J2EE messaging platforms, such as Lotus Workplace and Oracle Collaboration Suite.

“FlowBuilder allows us to build applications in J2EE with a high-level framework, just like Domino does,” said John Tripp, systems development director for J. Walter Thompson in Detroit. “Now we can still be productive with the same development staff. It’s a win-win for our Domino developers and our business customers.”

For organizations that have already invested in the J2EE platform, FlowBuilder 3.0 provides their Java developers with a higher-level development framework with rich, “Domino-like” capabilities for handling the complexity of core business process applications. These capabilities increase productivity in both the development and maintenance of business solutions and portlets.

FlowBuilder 3.0 Features Advanced Portlet Development and Automated Notes Migration Tools, Helping Notes Customers and Developers Embrace New Platforms

FlowBuilder 3.0 employs an innovative, dual Portlet/Servlet controller architecture that loads dynamic pages as generated Java classes. These pages can be designed through simple visual component assembly, which makes the development process faster, more intuitive, more flexible, and more reusable than Java Server Pages (JSPs) or Active Server Pages (ASPs). This higher level development model, referred to as XML Server Pages (XSP) enables developers to rapidly create J2EE and XML solutions that can be deployed on any standards-based Web application server or portal server, and to migrate existing Notes applications to new IBM platforms, such as Lotus Workplace.

Advanced Portlet Development

Any FlowBuilder 3.0 application can be published as portlets through IBM WebSphere Portal or IBM Lotus Workplace with just simple configuration and no further development. Business solutions created with FlowBuilder can leverage all the advanced capabilities of WebSphere Portal, such as session sharing, portlet messaging, and click-to-action. Integration with IBM Lotus Workplace isn’t just limited to the portal user interface. As Workplace offers componentized collaborative services, these services can be incorporated into the FlowBuilder framework as beans and dropped-on tags to create core business process applications with rich collaborative capabilities. FlowBuilder’s technology complies with Java Specification Request (JSR) 168, which is designed to enable interoperability between portlets and portals.

Automated Migration Tools

FlowBuilder 3.0 also includes a simple four-step migration wizard that converts Notes design elements into the FlowBuilder framework, and then expresses them in Java. FlowBuilder automatically converts Notes design elements including forms, subforms, views, and view categories, as well as Notes formulas, rich text, the security model, and all of the application’s data, documents and attachments. The Form Converter, for example, converts a Notes form to an equivalent HTML page, including embedded images and tables. While minimal LotusScript may need to be rewritten, FlowBuilder’s graphical tools eliminate the need for scripting to implement complex workflows, and out-of-the-box beans automatically implement LotusScript-intensive functionality such as dynamic tables. Once any remaining LotusScript is replaced with JavaScript, the new application, now entirely in pure Java, will run as a .WAR file on any standard Web application server or JSR 168 compliant portal server, using scalable relational database engines such as DB2, Oracle, and SQL Server.

Other key features in FlowBuilder 3.0 include:

  • New “Eclipse” Interface: features a state-of-the-art look and feel, including the use of docking windows and improved file navigation.

  • Four-Step Application Wizard: generates and deploys a basic J2EE application with sophisticated workflow in minutes.

  • Improved Web Application Server Deployment: enables developers to automatically update a remote directory with local content, providing synchronization with any Web application server including TOMCAT, IBM WebSphere, WebSphere Portal Server, Oracle Application Server, and others.

  • Automatic Server/Portal Authentication: enables developers to automatically leverage the authentication capability of the underlying Web application server or portal, avoiding the need to create this capability separately.

  • Improved Clustering Support: enhanced options and entry points allow the FlowBuilder XSP server to run in a cluster of servers.

  • New XSP Beans: includes over 20 new beans for charting, application navigation, and many other purposes.

FlowBuilder 3.0 includes many other new features and capabilities; for a complete listing, please visit http://www.flowbuilder.com. FlowBuilder 3.0 will be showcased at Booth 321/322 at the Lotusphere Conference, January 25-29, 2004, in Orlando, Florida. About Trilog Group Inc. Trilog Group Inc. is a pioneer in integrated services environments, workflow, and enterprise integration for rapid development of standards-based, document-centric business process applications. The company’s flagship product, FlowBuilder, is designed to overcome the challenges of Web application development, process management, platform migration, and enterprise integration while leveraging existing IT investments, and taking full advantage of open standards such as J2EE, HTML, and XML. FlowBuilder is powered by the company’s innovative XML Server Pages technology that enables fast development of components for scalable, compatible, secure, and extensible development and deployment of Web applications.

Founded in 1997, privately held Trilog Group is headquartered in Woburn, Massachusetts, with sales and development offices in Europe and the Middle East. With FlowBuilder, leading global organizations such as J. Walter Thompson, Dana Corporation, and IBS America experience faster development and deployment times for their most strategic business applications. Trilog Group is available on the Web at http://www.flowbuilder.com