We are featured in two top-tier journals this week. First, Charles is the subject of the InformationWeek “High Five” interview written by Nick Hoover. We especially like Nick’s description of our goals here at Intentional Software, “… aims to commercialize a new form of software development that allows line-of-business employees to help write programs.”
We want to put the emphasis here on the word “help”. The Intentional Software approach gives line-of-business employees, or, as we like to call them, domain experts, an active role in software creation. But, there is still a vital role for programmers as they must provide the necessary software programming know-how to ultimately deliver the end-user software.
In the second piece, published in Business 2.0 magazine, and on-line by CNN Money, Michael Myser delves deeper into the specifics. The article says that we are making software that “will write its own code.” To be sure, there is a high level of automation as the Intentional Software approach features a heavy dose of code generation. There is still plenty of work for programmers to create these domain specific generators to generate correct code. But it’s higher level work, we believe, avoiding the drudgery of endless requirement changes.
The analogy to blog software is a good one. Before blog software, anyone who published on the web had to edit HTML code. With blog software, millions of users can now simply use a text editor to author and push a PUBLISH button to publish on the web, correctly and nicely formatted. The PUBLISH button essentially invokes a code generator that integrates the blog text into HTML code that makes up the blog website. Similarly the Intentional Domain Workbench includes an editor domain experts use to edit, in their domain language, and then “just” press a button to invoke the code generator.
Further down in the piece, “Intentional is making software so smart that you can simply tell it what you want to do. Lay down a few basic parameters, and it will write its own code. No programming skills are necessary” might be the view from the domain experts. With Intentional Software, domain experts play a vital role at the front-end of the process when they define their problem in a domain language. But, skilled programmers build a generator that becomes the “engine” to provide interpretations of the domain language. The result is a more flexible, efficient way of creating software. It’s an approach that, we believe, will accelerate innovation within the enterprise by focusing domain experts and programmers on the area of their interest and expertise.
Later, Mike makes this point himself, “Intentional users must still have a software engineer on hand…” And, our early pilot user, Henk Kolk of Capgemini gives an excellent description based on their work with the Intentional Domain Workbench.
Check out the articles! And thanks to both InformationWeek and CNN Money/Business2.0 for these inside looks at Charles and Intentional Software.