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DevForce 3.3

Development shops that are .NET-focused and moving into a distributed, Web services-centric environment face a lot of challenges. IdeaBlade Inc.'s Devforce 3.3 focuses on developing core logic.

Development shops that are .NET-focused and moving into a distributed, Web services-centric environment face a lot of challenges. Emeryville, Calif.-based IdeaBlade Inc.'s Devforce 3.3 promises to free them from the plumbing work and let them focus on developing core logic.

Applications developed under DevForce 3.3 can take third-party Web services and bring them into the .NET environment as business objects. Companies can then write business rules and logic against these objects using existing .NET tools and skill sets.

DevForce 3.3 caters to UI development needs by extending .NET's capability. It also adds support for on-the-fly definition and customization of business objects, using what IdeaBlade calls "Dynamic Entities."

"Within IdeaBlade the Dynamic Entities support provides the ability to build business objects whose shape is not known until runtime, allowing a user to modify these objects and later transactionally persist them back to their source," Rob Otto, IdeaBlade VP of Business Development and Sales, writes in an e-mail.

The company updates DevForce on a regular basis, about every six weeks. DevForce 3.4, set for release in February, will add full support for Windows Communication Foundation, which the company says will further streamline Web services operation.

The .NET 3.0 Framework offers opportunities for further improvements: "The most accessible from the standpoint of a real-use case is [Windows Communication Foundation]," says IdeaBlade CTO Jay Traband. "Windows Presentation Foundation is pretty cool, but nobody's really using it. [With Windows Workflow Foundation], it's pretty much the same thing."

A feature-limited but fully deployable Express Edition of DevForce 3.3 is available for free. The Professional product costs $2,500 per developer, and the Enterprise Suite, which can access Oracle databases and contains the new Web services functionality, costs $4,500 per developer.

About the Author

Chris Kanaracus is the news editor for Redmond Developer News.

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