From a technical standpoint it is quite an impressive showing, matching rich model driven development with a robust and scalable application platform, and cross-platform rich thin client support.
The three key features that I think will make it a game changing experience for application development workshops are the:
- Rich modeling experience and customised data types: being able to define an 'email' data type with built in validation for example. This improves consistency between applications and provides a robust library of types that can be used for any application. This is also designed to flow through the business layer and UI, so an email field will always behave consistently throughout your applicaiton.
- Excellent designer and UI generation templates: the coding is left for the business rules, while the model and UI can be completed by the designers / analysts.
- Stable and scalable application server: the developer does not ned to worry about the plumbing of authentication, session management, etc. This is probably the largest differentiation factor between expanz and most application development frameworks. The design allows for load-balancing, sticky session management and multi-tier application hosting, locally or in the cloud, without the developer having to worry about how this all fits together.
Very impressive in all, and I am definitely looking forward to actually putting the theory into practice. I don't know how this will fit into our company due to client expectations, licensing, etc, but if we can get a foothold it could be a gamechanger for us. It would allow us to build up on successive projects to improve future productivity, and at some point allow for internal projects to be delivered quickly and easily enough to position ourselves as solution vendors, not just consultants.
This is the sort of 'dream' that I have been aiming for with the framework development I have been doing on the side for the last 9 months, so getting hold of this will exciting (as well as disappointing that I won't really be continuing with that).
For more info on Expanz, visit http://www.expanz.com/