Michel Schudel has been a Java developer since 2000. Employed at Ordina, he works for a major Dutch bank. Michel is currently working on an application with lots of interfaces to other systems. He says MetaFactory is the perfect tool for maintaining these interfaces. ‘I know all code generators, and I must say I was a bit sceptical when I first started using MetaFactory. But MetaFactory really yields a much better application. I am now able to develop faster and deliver greater quality. Other tools and code generators don’t have these benefits. MetaFactory doesn’t make assumptions about your software architecture, it’s a tool made for and by developers. Generators are black boxes, they just don’t deliver. MetaFactory on the other hand is a white-box tool. The developer decides what happens. MetaFactory doesn’t add a lot to the core of our application, to the business logic. We develop it once and then maintain it. MetaFactory is a great solution for interfaces to external systems. These are all constructed in the same way, only the model changes depending on the interface. With MetaFactory it becomes a lot easier to build these parts of your application.’
How does MetaFactory benefit your work?
‘Our application has various SOAP clients. It would take about 3 days to manually build a SOAP client. Creating a SOAP client pattern in MetaFactory takes about 10 days, but from then on you are able to generate a new SOAP client within as little as 4 hours, testing included. We have used MetaFactory to generate 10 new SOAP clients. That’s 10 days plus 10 half days, so 15 days in all. That’s a 50-percent reduction. We then wanted to replace the test framework in our 10 SOAP clients. Doing so for the first client and setting it down in MetaFactory took about 2 days. We could then generate the necessary changes for all 10 clients within half a day. To manually change the test framework in all SOAP clients would have taken a day per client, so in this case the saving was even greater. MetaFactory helps us save a lot of time, while the clients are identical in terms of structure and quality.’
How could MetaFactory be improved?
‘MetaFactory now comes as a stand-alone application. It would be great to have it as a plugin within our own development environment. Furthermore, the addition of domain-specific languages would be very nice. That would result in shorter syntax than the current description in XML.’
Michel’s opinion: ‘MetaFactory lets me develop faster and deliver greater quality.’