New Java Framework “Clickframes” 0.9 beta released!

What is Clickframes

Clickframes is a new open source Java based revolutionary framework. Here’s how it works:

  1. You model your web application behaviour in the “appspec.xml” file in the Clickframes XML language. The “appspec.xml” is the single source of truth – code, documentation and tests are all generated from this XML file.
  2. Next, you run one of the built-in plugins to generate a fully working web application in the language and framework of your choice. Currently, there are 3 working plugins:
    • Spring Webflow/MVC plugin – generates Spring MVC code that you can edit, and launches the application in Jetty that you can immediately access on port 8080. You can also run the code in tomcat.
    • Seam JSF plugin – generates Seam code that you can edit, and launches a web server that you can immediately access on port 8080. You can also run the code in JBoss.
    • PHP Code Igniter plugin – generates PHP code which runs under good old apache
  3. You can also run an HTML plugin which generates an HTML only interactive previews, which can serve as a visual requirement/spec.
  4. Some other interesting plugins are a graphing plugin which generates a interactive flowchart representing your application, and one which generates Software requirements as Excel Spreadsheet.

Requirements and download

No downloads are required. All you need is Java and Maven installed on your computer.

Write and run a Clickframes application in 2 minutes

Follow this tutorial to get a working application in 2 minutes. You will have a working sample application, which you can then edit and customize.

Advantages

  • No more word documents for requirement, the XML is the requirement!!
  • Your application directly runs on JSF or Spring or PHP or whatever language/framework you choose. There is no extra runtime layer introduced by Clickframes – this means that beyond code generation there is nothing extra that you need to learn! In fact, once you have generated the code you don’t even need clickframes again, unless you need to regenerate code.
  • You don’t have to commit to a technology in the prototype phase. You can use clickframes to develop the prototype, show it to the clients/managers. Then once you decide which technology you want to use, just regenerate code using the approriate plugin.
  • You can flush out your application’s user interaction design with literally no coding. The generated application is fully functional with AJAX validation for inputs etc. Once the interaction design is fairly locked, you can then start impementing the generated stubs.
  • If you change the Clickframes XML in the middle of the project, its ok, you can simply regenerate the entire application. Your existing code is intelligently merged as much as possible.
  • Clickframes is self-testing. Clickframes will generate hundreds of selenium tests to verify your code against the “appspec.xml”.

Caveats

  • Clickframes is still in beta.

Online Demo

Online demo and screencasts are available here.

Reference

Related posts:

  1. Code Generation for Web Applications with Clickframes
  2. Implementing context senstive permissions and authorization in JSF Seam

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