Using JCodeBox 
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JCodeBox is intuitive and incredibly easy to use however it is deceptively powerful. For example, with a few clicks of your mouse you can define a complex enterprise business object (EJB), apply a design pattern to optimise the performance of this object, and attach a set of presentation tier views (JSP) that allow a client (using a standard web browser) to interact with this object.

However, for all this ease of use, flexibility is not compromised. As well as being able to visually create complex, composite objects such as EJBs, you can add Java code (business methods, classes, interfaces, etc) directly into your application.

Figure 1 JCodeBox overview

JCodeBox integrates seamlessly into your Java development environment. Figure 1 illustrates how JCodeBox co-exists with some of the other elements that may be in your environment.

JCodeBox generates standard Java code and J2EE elements allowing you to completely develop your application within JCodeBox or at any time, you can choose to import your application into your favourite Java IDE/Editor.

If your application is being developed against an existing database, JCodeBox can establish a real-time link to your database allowing you to define components in your application directly from existing database schema objects/tables.

JCodeBox also allows you to deploy your application directly into a Java application server so that you can get immediate feedback on your development.

The following steps illustrate how you use JCodeBox:

  • Define your application in JCodeBox (optionally directly from an existing database schema)
  • Add further business functionality (i.e. classes, interfaces, methods, etc) to your application
  • Build, assemble and deploy your application to your application server directly from JCodeBox
  • Run your deployed application immediately using a web browser. Optionally allow your users to use the application and give you valuable feedback.
  • Modify your application in JCodeBox - re-build, assemble and re-deploy to your application server
    Repeat this step as often as necessary as you iteratively create your application.

Figure 2 Building applications with JCodeBox

J2EE and Web applications are defined in JCodeBox (and in general) in terms of tiers. You define the components that are required for each tier and then you link components in one tier to components in the tier in front of it i.e. the customer entity is linked to the customer business object (i.e. EJB) and the customer business object is linked to the customer view.

When a user is running your application, they will use the view object (i.e. JSP) to interact with the business object (i.e. EJB) which in turn interrogates the entity for data which is physically represented in some kind of data store (i.e. a relational database).

One of the major features of JCodeBox is that you can visually define the components required for each tier. This allows you to define your application in a fraction of the time it would take if you had to hand code all of the required classes/interfaces/etc for each component


Figure 3 Deploying applications with JCodeBox

One of the challenging parts of Java J2EE/Web development is correctly assembling the component parts of an application (class files, descriptor files, etc) into a deployable unit that can be executed by your application server. The smallest mistake can lead to your application failing to run even though there may not be any errors in your code (i.e. it could be something as simple as a file being in the wrong directory!).

Deploying an application in JCodeBox is simply a case of selecting the deploy option on the create application window. JCodeBox will then take care of creating your application files in the right directories, creating the correct files to describe your application (deployment descriptors), assembling your application files into the correct format for the application server and deploying your completed application.

JCodeBox integrates seamless with the most popular Java application servers (enterprise and web) available on the market. The list of supported application servers is growing all the time. If your application server is not currently supported, you can still use JCodeBox to build the vast majority of your Java enterprise/web applications - you will just need to create the files (deployment descriptors) that are specific to your application server.


Figure 4 Running applications with JCodeBox

Once your application is deployed, you can connect to it and run it using a standard web browser. This makes it very easy to re-test your application after each re-deployment.

If you are only building business tier objects (i.e. EJBs), JCodeBox can optionally create web components that access your business objects. This will allow you to view and test your business objects while you are developing. When you are finished you can simply delete the web components and re-deploy your application.

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