Texan software shop UltiMeta has recently become vocal on the subject of its own meta-powered EASE (Enterprise Application Service Engine), a new offering for the development of enterprise applications. EASE provides around 80-90 percent of the programming needed for creating enterprise applications, with the remaining 10-20 percent custom-developed primarily through configuration.
UltiMeta argues that up until now, custom enterprise applications have been accessible only to large, financially fluid enterprises. Small and medium-size businesses (SMBs) and other smaller organizations have had to settle for packaged software, which, though affordable, requires the business or organization to adapt to the software, rather than vice versa. Attempts to accelerate enterprise application delivery, including middleware, frameworks, enterprise mashups, and composite applications, have fallen short, says the company.
"Our meta-powered enterprise application engine offers a whole new concept: application morphing. This newly emerging architecture delivers the affordability of packaged software along with the power and flexibility of custom enterprise applications. With this technology, a single, prebuilt application can be directed to morph into almost any kind of robust enterprise application — only configuration and system integration are required for final deployment," said Ramesh Balan CEO of UltiMeta Software.
The meta-powered apps engine can be morphed, for example, to become a field service application for a transportation company, and in another instance, the same engine can be morphed into an application for hospitals and physician practices. In other words, the application can be morphed into whatever use and scale the end-user needs. This means that enterprise applications can be created in less than a tenth of the time and at dramatically lower cost than normally required by conventional programming methods. But is this dumbed down drag-and-drop application development without the real meat?
"The meta-powered enterprise apps engine is a fundamentally different approach to enterprise application delivery. As this technology becomes common, if not standard practice, it will spur business transformation, including the adoption of cloud computing. It also will force dramatic changes in the business models of application development firms and the staffing structures of corporate IT departments," said Balan.
Although Balan's over-enthusiasm is arguably at risk of detracting from the true worth of his company's product; there could be something of interest here. The fundamental difference between a meta application and any traditional enterprise application is that a meta application has a single source code base and a single executable, but can be deployed in multiple industries to serve multiple functions using entirely different sets of user interface (UI), business logic, and data models.
"Unlike typical application software that is made up of application-specific UI, business logic, and data elements, meta application software is designed from the ground-up to be cross-industry software that is capable of both creating a new application through configuration, as well as providing a runtime environment to operate a configured application," said UltiMeta's Balan.