Introducing the Development Platform
The Enactor product set is much more than just a set of applications. It is also a Platform, a Toolkit and pre-built Library of hundreds of components that allow retail IT departments and partners to tailor and customise any of the standard Enactor applications themselves.
The Enactor Toolkit provides the ability to modify and enhance the standard applications provided and to create new applications of your own that run alongside the Enactor standard applications.
The Toolkit and Libraries can be used to create new functions and applications for point-of-sale, web, mobile and tablet devices. This includes traditional ‘thick client’ devices and also ‘thin clients’. For example, the Enactor POS application supports thick and thin client operation on traditional hardware platforms as well as thin client operation on new platforms such as iOS and Android.
The diagram below gives a flavour of the different types of the hundreds of different Library components within Enactor:
Unpacking the Toolkit
The tools integrate business, application and enterprise processes into a single development environment, hosted within Eclipse as plugins. They utilise the power and flexibility of the Java language and Java technologies but allow developers and technical staff to operate within an application framework where much of what would be coding becomes a visual exercise. The tools and the process force the design and build of highly granular software components which are then available for re-use using the Toolkit. And because all this takes place in a completely standard Java J2EE environment everything produced is open and portable.
The constituent parts of processes are represented as state diagrams, flow charts, process flow and pre-packaged code. By presenting workflow visually, and making it interact directly with Enactor applications and resources, non-developer users can design both application and enterprise level business processes using the drag-and-drop user interface. IT teams can easily isolate the code that is being changed and manipulate pre-packaged function around the workspace and link them in a series of actions that produce self-describing processes. Where new function is required, developers can build discrete components using the Enactor wizards and designers or just write new functions in familiar Java code. Application development changes from being code focused (e.g. Java classes) to business or application-flow focused. Development becomes much more collaborative and to use the jargon, agile.
The Toolkit enables the development of both server-based business process flows and user-facing applications. Adding or changing application flow or server-based flows made with the tools does not make traditional code changes or generate new code, but only affects the flow of the process being changed or enhanced. Changes to applications and process behaviour implemented by the tools are effected in the applications immediately and discretely. The result is a genuinely new way of building cross platform customer and business-focused applications.