WebObjects allows you to quickly develop web applications by providing a set of frameworks. At the bottom is Enterprise Objects Framework, or EOF. EOF is an object-relational database mapping framework which creates Java objects from rows in database tables and vice-versa.
Incredibly well-designed, EOF abstracts the data source from you. Your application doesn't care if the data source is Oracle, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Sybase, OpenBase, FrontBase or SQL Server -- or a combination of any of these. EOF writes the necessary SQL for you lets you focus on your application.
At the application layer, WebObjects frees you from many niggling details. For example, object variables are easily "bound" to web form input fields. You get automatic session-management, a host of pre-built components plus a GUI query builder and page builder. Your Java code is kept separate from the presentation, which is separate from the database code. Copying and pasting code, along with the maintenance headache that goes along with it, is greatly reduced.
The capstone is a technology called DirectToWeb, which is a rules-based runtime application generator. Give it a database, and it will give you a fully functional web application instantly. Don't confuse this with a wizard, however. DirectToWeb isn't a code-generator, it actually dynamically inspects the data model at runtime and builds customizable pages on demand.
Together we'll paddle across this ocean of information, stopping to compare WebObjects to the likes of Perl, ASP, JSP, PHP, ColdFusion, Lasso, WebLogic and WebSphere. Finally, to make all of this less abstract, we'll build a simple WebLog program together.
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