BUSINESS INTEGRATION AND DATA TOOLS
FRONT: Alex Lee, Director, Development; Alexei Chadovich, Senior VP, Research and Development; Sally White, VP, Business Development BACK: Bruce Tow, Principal Architect; David Ozenne, Director, Development; Dmitry Azovtsev, Developer, TenFold Client; Bryce Engelbrecht, Speed Team Guru
South Jordan, Utah–based TenFold stands out because its product enables business managers to play developer with minimal bottleneck from IT. Business managers, those folks who actually analyze the enterprise's business needs, can now quickly and easily take control of the software development lifecycle, defining requirements, entering and tweaking business logic, creating complex reports, analyzing system performance, and documenting the applicationsall by themselves. And EnterpriseTenFold makes them instantly agilewith a little help from IT, the business manager can now build production applications in record time.
The manager starts with defining a database (as in building a spreadsheet with Excel, you describe and enter your spreadsheet requirements). User prompts, field descriptions, help text and other information can be added to each data field. That's the hard parteverything else is easy. Multiple and proprietary views for various users or groups become a snap. You can deploy your application via a Web-based client, or through Windows clients.
Although developers may think that some nonstandard conventions make Enterprise TenFold quirky, business managers won't know the differencethey're not programmers!
Productivity Award Winners
Migrating data from disparate sources is always a challenge. San Francisco–based Embarcadero's DT/Studio helps this migration, reading and writing to a range of data formats, including relational databases, flat files and XML files. It also imports data descriptions from ERWin and SQL DDL files.
DT/Studio breaks the migration process into the following steps: Define the data source; Read the data source; Transform the data; Define the data target; and Write to the data target. For each step, useful aids provide default behavior and help customize the step to a particular situation. The visual Data Modeling and Data Flow designers help you grok the data structure and the migration steps.
Together, these tools help developers understand and develop complex data structures and migration processes.
ILOG Rules for .NET
More and more companies understand the value of managing business rules as separate entities to achieve business agility, while developers realize the necessity of treating business rules as primary modeling artifacts and changing their designs as needed. Mountain View, Calif.–based ILOG satisfies both needs.
ILOG provides a rich toolset for building business rule-intensive applications with the .NET framework. Developers benefit from ILOG's integration with Visual Studio and its Business Rule Management System (BRMS) technology, while business folks benefit from its integration with Microsoft Office for rules authoring and management in smart documents.
If you're looking for productivity and agility, this combination of ILOG Rules and Microsoft .NET is the solution.
Toad for Oracle 8.0
Irvine, Calif.–based Quest Software's Toad is a powerful yet easy-to-use DBA tool for Oracle databases (also in MySQL and SQL Server versions). Toad is one of the best DBA tools I've ever tried, making it easy to build and execute queries against your databasesomething developers need to do on a regular basis when building business applications. It also supports PL/SQL coding, enabling the development of stored procedures and triggers. The Professional version includes CodeXpert, a tool that analyzes your stored procedures for correctness and then provides suggestions for improvement. Common DBA tasks such as updating statistics to improve performance and importing/exporting data are also made easy with Toad. If you're working with a relational database, give this prince in disguise a big kiss.