Forté/UDS is an end-of-life technology that used to be in Sun’s product portfolio. When talking to people who have been doing a lot with Forté in the past, it seems that Forté can be considered an ancestor of Java:
- It has an object-oriented (4GL) development language.
- Like Java’s JMX, Forte also has instrumentation (the agent is even called iconsole - like jconsole for Java’s built-in JMX agent these days!).
- It has distributed transactions.
- It has a strong notion of events as first-class citizens in the language.
The only thing that Forté does not have is Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB), nor XML configuration issues for the application server. This means that Forté developers who migrate to Java (because they are left little choice) get confronted with complexities that they did not have to bother with in their 4GL environment.
Thanks to Atomikos and the J2EE without application server methodology, teams who used to work in Forté can easily do Java/J2EE without having to bother about the clutter of EJB nor about the application server’s XML hell. What’s more, in combination with Spring, Hibernate and JMS there is an equivalent, light-weight Java stack that (thanks to Atomikos) can still do all the connection pooling, event-driven and transactional processing that is needed.
What makes it even better is that this methodology seems to achieve equal productivity as with the 4GL environment in Forté, which is pretty good given that Java is a 3GL and is not widely known as a productivity miracle.