Ebase Xi Community Edition User Reviews
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"The only tool you need for Web Application Development"
Version: Ebase Xi Community Edition 4.2
Out of the box AAA compliance
The Workflow module can do with some improvement
At Schnell Solutions (www.schnellsolutions.com) we specialise in developing web applications using Ebase Xi.
All our developers are in the Ebase fan club because it saves them a lot of time - on average 30% saving on development and maintenance when compared with .Net and Java. If you want to know more about Ebase Xi and how it can help you, we have countless examples of projects implemented in Ebase Xi and offer flexible consulting, training and development packages.
To find out more please visit www.schnellsolutions.com/ebase-xi.html
"Awesome free rapid web application development platform"
Version: Ebase Xi Community Edition 4.2
A single-technology super high productivity web app development platform. Genuinely speeds up WYSIWYG UI development, enterprise workflow processing, doesn't cramp your ability to build in real world sophistication when you need to.
Designer English only.
Version control could be slicker.
Worklfow not BPMN compliant.
We've been amazed by the scope of this platform. I mean, you start off thinking that it has to be some sort of Mickey Mouse toolkit with all sorts of limitations, then you get started and find out that there really just aren't any.
The creators seem to have gone to just about every length to do what it says on the tin - which is to deliver a single-technology super high productivity web app development platform that speeds up WYSIWYG UI development, enterprise workflow processing and back-office integration...and yet, and here's the smart part, doesn't cramp your ability to build in real world sophistication when you need to.
As I say, all sounds too good to be true. But enough applause already, how does it do all this?
Well, let's talk browser UI development. There's a true WYSIWYG designer canvas with a range of controls to quickly layout any design you like - think DreamWeaver on steroids. Normal CSS under the covers but hey, all that's masked with property sets and layout types that just snap everything into place without worrying about all the nasty CSS positioning stuff. In fact, once I stopped struggling and just went with the platform, designing my pages became fun...addictive even, started finding myself looking at web sites and scheming about how quickly I could lay them out in Xi. Crazy really.
Components, that is, re-usable chunks of functionality? Yep, core stuff and fully supported. Multiple languages, international settings for numbers and dates? Yes and yes. Business rules processing, sure, of course, has its own English-like processing language (called FPL) that gives you run-time control over everything you could think of around presentation control, business rules processing and data integration with other systems. Not only that if you need to you can create your own JAVA extensions (they ship an SDK for this) and call them from FPL at run-time.
And, since we're talking integration, how about that? Well, again, the creators have gone to enormous lengths to simplify the whole subject - there's out of the box support for databases, web services, flat files, messaging services, etc. all abstracted so that you move data in and out of your apps via simple FPL commands. Seriously, the integration piece it's so simple it's scary - Xi treats anything that you need to exchange data with as a Resource that you just issue FPL commands against it (like fetch, when you want some data). It doesn't give a hoot about what the Resource points to, you just execute your command and it does its thing. To start with you feel a little redundant (after all, you've probably spent years learning low level tech stuff about databases and XML) but after a while you just think, yeah sure, of course, this is the way all software should work.
Team working? Deployment options? Versioning? Sure, all catered for.
Web 2.0, AJAX, mobile app development? All yes again. We didn't do any mobile apps but there's some funky example on their web site.
Web accessibility? Out of the box AAA compliance for all Xi apps. Ebase the company seems to be a major supplier to public sector so this looks pretty important to them
But we've hardly got started. What about Workflow? There in abundance I'm afraid. A cool process designer, tight integration with the UI designer for interactive tasks and FPL and their Resource technology for process routing and run-time integration. There's parallel processing, sub-processes, escalations, wait events and system tasks (as opposed to human tasks), an API for external systems to join in. All built on top of a powerful security model that will plug in any sort of external security system for user access and authorisation.
Publishing web services? Yes, of course, and of course, so simple it was verging on ridiculous. From zero to published and available you're looking at minutes, literally. As you might expect Xi web services are implemented in FPL, so all of the normal processing and integration functionality is right there at your finger tips.
What about performance? That must be the big issue, right? Well, I don't think so...we didn't do too much but according to Ebase's web site the Xi server will scale to support a 100,000 plus concurrent users. Seems that the server is optimised to scale over a hardware cluster too so that would mean pretty well unlimited processing power if that's your thing.
Well, the designer is just in English...which could be a problem for some. Some may prefer to code their rules in something other than FPL (coming later, according to Ebase) and I guess some are going to be disappointed it's not from Microsoft or the Open Source crew.
Workflow isn't BPMN compliant (Ebase say that that'd be too many restrictions) and the version control stuff could be a little slicker (being addressed).
But hey, even with a couple of niggles, for the money (which is like $0 for up to 10 concurrent at run-time) this platform is just outrageously good value.
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