BUSINESS INTEGRATION AND DATA TOOLS
“We set out to build and market products that would change the way software is developed and used in business. This award is a gratifying acknowledgment that we’ve succeeded.”
—Andrew Fox, Public Relations Manager; Kathleen Calderwood, Sr. Marketing Communications Manager
Can your company’s business rules, buried in the code of your applications, give you a competitive edge? They can if you’re able to update them quickly in response to market needs. JRules provides a quick response suite of tools to develop and manage business rules as a task separate from developing applications that might want to apply those rules. A rule, such as the complex pricing formula of something the enterprise offers for sale, can thus be specified and maintained separately from code that handles database, Web traffic, ordering screens formatting and so on.
Extracting the rules from the code offers only a theoretical advantage if
manipulating the extracted rules is itself difficult, however. Easy manipulation
is where JRules excels. Headquartered in Gentilly, France, Ilog understands
that the business side of a company must be able to talk to the IT side. Thus,
it has specialized the JRules interface to handle three roles: policy manager
or business owner, business analyst and developer. This allows the businesspeople
to manage the rules directly rather than having to translate them to the IT
side—with the inherent loss of precision that dialogue historically
produces. Another plus? Improved regulatory and international standards compliance.
Unify NXJ 10
Headquartered in Vienna, Austria, Altova is no stranger to the Jolt Awards. The company’s Xmlspy development suite has long been a trusted asset in many developers’ tool chests, and has received two Productivity Awards. But Altova never rests on its laurels, now producing Mapforce, its maiden voyage into the XML mapping tool market. In addition to performing visual XML-to-XML mapping, Mapforce also includes an innovative database-to-XML mapping feature that can generate Java, C++ or C# code (complete with a Visual Studio solutions file). The generated code executes a database query and transforms the data into an XML document that matches the specified output schema. This feature comes in handy because the majority of such information resides in relational databases.
When it comes to visual data modeling and handling integration chores, I was impressed with San Francisco–based Embarcadero’s DT/Studio. The studio comprises the Java-based DT/Engine, a Java-based DT/Console and a Windows-hosted DT/Designer. The engine handles the actual data transformations that you create visually using DT/ Designer. The designer deftly handles source and target mapping activities, and is also useful for reverse-engineering complex data warehouses. Support for a wide range of databases is included, as is an impressive array of extensible data transformations for handling type conversions, date and time math, and financial functions. DT/Studio’s considerable power is both accessible and customizable through a variety of wizards and a useful macro facility.
—Robert A. DelRossi