Building Java Apps With Less Sweat

Q-Link's newly revamped app includes 20 prebuilt process action components that can be used to define a business process and design a sequence in Java.

Charles Babcock, Editor at Large, Cloud

March 4, 2003

2 Min Read

Q-Link Technologies Inc. is launching version 5 of its Java development environment, which builds workflow design into a Java application-assembly process. Q-Link is a visual development environment in which developers select and drop in Java components to translate a business-process workflow "into software flow and constructs," says Steve Rotter, VP of marketing.

A major user, Pennzoil-Quaker State Co., has built dozens of Java apps on top of its SAP enterprise resource planning applications so it may implement frequent product line changes, Rotter says. Any time you put a new product on the retail shelf, "a chain of events has to occur to make certain that product is saleable," he says. The business process would include finding sources of materials for the product, purchasing them, accounting for the purchases, and pricing the resulting product. These processes can be captured and tracked in a Java application built with Q-Link, Rotter says.

The heart of the system includes 20 prebuilt Q-Pacs, or process action components, that can be used to define a business process, extend the Q-Link workflow engine to include a business process, and design a sequence in Java that captures the user steps necessary to advance a process. Q-Link 5 is priced at $25,000 for a team of developers.

Q-Pacs can be used to discover an existing service on a server on the Web, such as a credit-scoring service, then build links to that service into a Java app, Rotter says. It's designed to eliminate much of the complexity Java developers encounter as they work in Java 2 Enterprise Edition, substituting a visual component-based environment for the line-by-line coding of skilled Java programmers. Q-Link can link to 200 other systems, such as databases or ERP apps, Rotter says, and are available commercially through a third-party supplier, iWay Software.

About the Author(s)

Charles Babcock

Editor at Large, Cloud

Charles Babcock is an editor-at-large for InformationWeek and author of Management Strategies for the Cloud Revolution, a McGraw-Hill book. He is the former editor-in-chief of Digital News, former software editor of Computerworld and former technology editor of Interactive Week. He is a graduate of Syracuse University where he obtained a bachelor's degree in journalism. He joined the publication in 2003.

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