It seems surreal that the future of software programming could, well,…require no programming. Generations of developers may marvel at the concept of the ‘no code’ approach to development. But for WorkXpress, the proof is in the research.
University of Harrisburg released its findings of a research pilot comparing the new 5th generation programming language tool (5GL) with previous 3rd generation tools. In the study, Professors Luis Paris, Ph.D. and Joseph Cannon, Ph.D. at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology used 2nd year computer science students to conduct the analysis using WorkXpress, the first complete 5th generation programming language tool.
Students were well-versed in 3GL tools, such as C# and/or Java. With only 2.5 hours of training on WorkXpress, college students were asked to build and test a small CRM application in 2.5 hours. Students were asked to compare the new 5GL tool on the following criteria: ease of use, development time/effort, testing capabilities, web-based versus IDE, and finally, assignment of tasks.
Overall, the students were enthusiastic throughout the experiment and were impressed about the 5GL features that the tool had to offer.
Ease of Use
Students were captivated by how easy WorkXpress was to create a small CRM application from scratch just by performing a few clicks and filling out a few forms and tables. Most useful was the 5GL’s ability to handle the implementation details transparently.
The platform offers non-programmers the ability to create business applications using five building blocks in an intuitive, drag and drop, point-and-click, secure, web-based environment. All students who participated in the study felt development time was significantly reduced. Research subjects estimated that it would take anywhere from 6 hours to 3 days to create a similar CRM application using a 3GL tool. By comparison, WorkXpress did the same in 2.5 hours, representing a sizable time-savings of up to 90 percent.
During development of the CRM application, each student was given a specific module to work with. Since each of the modules was chosen to be independent, the 5GL tool not only allowed students to implement each of the module specifications independently, but also to test them separately using the unit test feature. Students overall agreed that this was a very convenient and necessary feature of the 5GL tool.
Web-based Versus Standard IDE
Students also realized the advantages of a cloud based-environment for both application development and deployment over the web. The tool allowed them to work remotely on the same project using different login credentials. This was not a problem since each student worked on a different module. The tool also provides version and revision control features, although this was not explored thoroughly for time reasons. In contrast, from the experience students already had using 3GLs, they quickly realized that project integration during development and eventual deployment was harder to coordinate and achieve using standard 3GL technologies. The cloud infrastructure obviously plays a major role in this coordination transparently on behalf of the tool.
Assignment of Tasks
Students seem to agree that a cloud driven 5GL tool like WorkXpress facilitates task assignments and “teamwork” among developers in a smoother and easier fashion than 3GLs would. However, it can also be argued that this is due in part to the modular nature inherent in business applications tackled by 5GL technologies: ERPs and CRMs among others. On the other hand, students also quickly realized that a cloud environment allows both the 5GL tool and the developer to focus more on building the actual application and worry less about software and hardware integration details.
WorkXpress proved a valuable 5GL tool on a number of levels:
See the full report findings
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