We provide some specialized WebObjects development and migration services for clients who adopted the ground-breaking internet technology, perhaps even before Java took the internet by storm. If your company was among the first to recognize the value of object oriented development for internet applications, you may have built custom applications in the pre-Java days using pre-Java versions of WebObjects, or client/server applications with Objective C on OPENSTEP. The technology was so successful that many of these early applications are still running mission critical services in companies large and small. Your company got the benefits of time to market and a powerful and flexible object model well ahead of the competition. You also got five or even ten years of life out of the applications you built.
However, the support lifetime of these early frameworks is nearing an end or, in some cases, has already ended. The good news is that the modern versions of these object oriented technologies, including WebObjects 5, are cross-platform, field-tested, standards-based, mature, robust, and feature-rich. The bad news is that your applications were written in Objective C in an age of client/server interfaces. To migrate to the contemporary supported frameworks, you are probably looking at a non-trivial re-implementation effort.
illumineX can help you migrate your application to the modern WebObjects 5 frameworks. We can also help you sort through the options you have with web interfaces, Web Services, workflow, and object re-use or re-factoring into Java.
Here are a few of the things we consider in the process of migration an application from NeXTSTEP, OPENSTEP Enterprise or WebObjects 3/4.
If your applications were written in OPENSTEP Enterprise or early versions of WebObjects, they're built using Objective C, or a variant called WebScript. If you're looking for a partner to help you migrate your applications to Java, a partner that speaks the language is essential.
We speak Objective C as well as Java. In fact, we continue to produce applications for Mac OS X written largely in Objective C. Fluency with Objective C allows us to consider options that might not be on the table with other consulting partners. Perhaps your application has some complicated but well-abstracted and thoroughly debugged business objects written in Objective C. Rather than re-implement the entire application in Java, these core objects could be ported to Mac OS X Server and equipped with Web Services interfaces. We'll need to work with you to figure out what options you have available for any particular application, but you may have more options than you realize right now.
Of course, when moving to the modern era of N-Tier Java based application frameworks there are more issues to consider than just the language change -- and you're almost certainly aware of that if you've found your way to this page.
Web browsers, and the standards-based interface technologies on which they are built (HTML, HTTP, etc.), have opened up a whole new universe of possibilities for developing and deploying the next generation of your applications. However, typical web interfaces lack the power of the full client/server windowing interfaces that your application was built on.
Building web interfaces for dynamic client/server applications is as much art as science. The agile development techniques that we use help us work with you to migrate applications to modern foundations, and optimize the interfaces and workflow.
If the full features of a client-native interface is essential to the application, you can still migrate your application to WebObjects 5, using WebServices.
The Internet changed everything. Today there are possibilities for your application that simply weren't available or feasible even a few years ago, let alone a decade ago when many OPENSTEP applications were born.
There is good news here too. The modern WebObjects 5 framework supports a variety of open standards technologies including XML, SOAP, Web Services, and Java Client. Your application can offer browser interfaces as well as more advanced user interfaces using Swing, Java Client, or a full-on client side application communicating to the server via Web Services.
You don't need to sacrifice functionality when you migrate your application from client/server OPENSTEP Enterprise to n-tier WebObjects.
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illumineX can help you build iPhone applications for internal enterprise use, or for consumer use.