It does what it says on the tin

This will be a short post, why? Wavemaker does exactly what it says it does. I was able to create a basic app, then add a more complex interface, test locally then deploy locally to a micro cloudfoundry instance, then finally into the public one.

The URL is tpa1.cloudfoundry.com, and it just works. Use the tutorials to get up to speed then the screencasts / YouTube material. The db many to many screencast 3 is the basis of the skills matrix page you see. I’ve started working more streamlined pages based on the invoice app and crm app available from the tutorials.

Gotchas? Just don’t make the foreign keys and indexes too complicated, with more than one item making up an index it appeared to confuse the widgets for the database. Also if you alter your schema and reimport you don’t have to throw away those dojo grids and related editors dragged in from the database widgets palette – simply go to the live views that underpin and you can tick the added fields and they then appear.

Loads of questions from here though, like backup and recovery of hosted databases in cloudfoundry and building audit trails into the app, then scalability. Also how to create good test harnesses?

More to follow.

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First Steps

So that’s it. Over 25 years into a career in technology and I’ve started my first tech blog. Wish me luck, be gentle with me but do let me know where I stray over the borders of accepted blog etiquette so this can end up a useful resource.

The about page explains the background to this project, so here go – first steps. There’s been many advances in app development and hosting technologies I looked at when they were first emerging. SaaS is the future, imho, so for me it’s time to get back up to speed on the business end of IT, i.e. automating and assisting business logic through an application. Infrastructure’s been fun but my attention keeps getting drawn back to my technology roots.

Wavemaker

On first glance through the marketing blurb, Wavemaker ticks all the right boxes, point and click application creation, with the ability to drop down to code when you push the edges of it’s capability. Going here first, the idea of clip together applications, with comprehensive IDE, and automated deployment options is appealing. Can it deliver usable applications, rapidly? I’m hoping the slowest part is me getting the grey matter tuned in to the approach.

First the environment, running on a Macbook Pro, downloaded Wavemaker 6.4.5GA and a MySQL appliance to run under Vmware Fusion, figuring best to start out with an external database just in case it’s possible to write wm apps that won’t port between databases easily – nothing in the blurb to suggest that’s the case, so call me cautious.

Registered on the vmware solutions exchange site https://solutionexchange.vmware.com/store and found the Turnkey MySQL Appliance, running MySQL 5.1. There’s another from Jumpbox there as well but the only thing it claimed to have free is a trial, implying cost, although I gave up after 30 seconds of trying to figure out if there actually is a cost for it.

Turnkey installed OK, looks like there’s paying options for backup and DNS integration if needed. Ignoring for now as this is dev/playpen time.

Wavemaker was a regular Mac OS X dmg file, and the usual drag and drop to a link to the Applications folder. It downloaded some open source dependencies, fairly rapidly on first run. Time to run through the tutorials.

CloudFoundry

So just to see if I can really complicate things, let’s throw a little CloundFoundry into the mix. Erm, no problem it seems – created an account, had to wait for an email approving it. Followed the links in it, watched the getting started video, changed my password. Downloaded the micro cloud foundry, set up my domain there, whiteware.cloudfoundry.me, which I think at this point gives a deployment target for the app – let’s see if that assumption works as we go through this learning experience.