Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The war debate continues...

I managed to get my hands on a copy of an article put together by Chris Muir with contributions from some leading names in Oracle development tool circles. The article attempts to shed light on which development tool is the best: JDeveloper, Apex or Forms.

The article stands out as a nice centralised scoring system for basing a decision on which tool to use in different application environments, although there is no direct comparison outlining the disadvantages of using each of the tools.

Each of the tools contains a write-up of their capabilites with gradings given on a set of 9 explicit categories, and a score for each category is given out of 5.
I noticed that all of the advocates of the tools made a point that each of their respective products could provide a workable application in "just a few clicks", but that at some point a typical developer would have to get down and dirty with some real coding to apply some complex business rules.

So it seems to me that it all comes down to realising the actual capabilities of each tool, but the main driving factor would be the comfort the developer has in using the extension language associated with the tool - be that SQL, PL/SQL, Javascript or Java. Once you have enough experience with the tool and - more importantly - the extension language set, the capabilities of the tool open up more possibilities.

When this point is realised, you can then work out where to apply your development crew. Clearly, since you are going to be working with an Oracle database, you would expect your developers to already have SQL and PL/SQL skills. But, if you want them to produce amazing applications, you also want them to specialise in the extension language. Now, what do think is more likely - Javascript or Java?