On what platforms will AppComposer run?
AppComposer will run on Windows NT, 2000, XP, RedHat Linux 7.2 or later,
Mandrake Linux, Sun Solaris and Mac OS X. We regularly use (and even
do development on) many of these platforms. AppComposer is written entirely
in Java, and so will likely run on platforms other than the ones listed
above, however, we have not tested on any platform other than the ones
listed and cannot guarantee that they will work. We do know that Windows
95, 98 and ME have issues with running out of resources after extensive
use and do not recommend or support those platforms for running AppComposer.
AppComposer requires a SDK/JDK (developer kit) to properly run, not
just a JVM or JRE. The JDK that is required is 1.3 or higher, but we
recommend 1.4.1 or higher. If in doubt, many platforms have a download
that includes the recommended JDK; this makes installing AppComposer
particularly easy on these platforms.
For applications generated using AppComposer, see the FAQ on deployment,
How do I install AppComposer?
Download the appropriate file for your OS. If you already have a JDK
installed on your machine and it meets our required minimum specs, simply
execute the downloaded file. On Windows, simply run the .exe file and
follow the instructions. On Mac OS X, unzip the .zip file and run the
Installer. On *nix based systems, execute the .bin file by placing a
sh command in front, ie.
$ sh AppComposerInstallLinux.bin and
follow the instructions. If you are asked to provide the location to
your JDK, please make sure you are pointing to the JDK and not a JRE
or JVM as this will not allow AppComposer to run.
NOTE: Please make sure that the location you specify does NOT contain
a space in the path as this will break the installation.
How do I get a license key?
Please visit our website at http://appcomposer.org/registration and
fill out the form, a registration key will be emailed to you immediately.
There are two different kinds of keys. The normal key permanently unlocks
AppComposer, and is free. If you have downloaded the enterprise version
of AppComposer, you need a special key for this. The enterprise version
of AppComposer includes both AppComposer and the Enterprise Suite (which
includes advanced support for EJBs and Web Services). You can get a demo
key for the enterprise version that is valid for 60 days, or you can
purchase a permanent key from DigiSlice Corporation.
How do I report a bug?
Please visit our forums first to see if your issue has already been
addressed. To visit the forums, visit http://support.digislice.com/cgi-bin/ikonboard.cgi.
If you cannot find an answer to your question, please post a new question
or file a bug. To file a bug, visit the DigiSlice bug tracking system
If you already have a login, please log in and file the bug, if you do
not have a login, you can create one and then file the bug.
How can I get support for AppComposer?
AppComposer is a free product and is only supported via the user forums
and bug tracking system. You can purchase a support contract from DigiSlice
Corporation. Please contact DigiSlice Sales for
more details or visit our support site.
How can I get help developing an application in AppComposer or integrate
it with existing applications in my environment?
DigiSlice offers consulting and training services to help you create
and deploy your application. Please contact DigiSlice Sales for
more details or visit our support site.
How is AppComposer licensed?
AppComposer is licensed as a free product, and is free both for developers
and for deployment. See the license agreement for details.
Note that because you are assembling applications out of components,
you may need to license any components that you use that are not free.
In particular, included with AppComposer is a set of SQL components (the
SQL beans) for accessing relational databases. You are free to use these
components for development purposes but if you deploy any applications
that use these components you must license them. The Enterprise Suite
includes an unlimited deployment license for the SQL beans. Individual
can also be purchased as needed from DigiSlice.
Where can I find components?
AppComposer comes with many components that you are free to use (with
the exception of the SQL components that require a license). There are
other vendors that supply components that can be used in AppComposer.
In addition, AppComposer has the ability to import any arbitrary Java
class and use it as a component.
Currently the market for Java based components is small, but we hope
to change that. Components can be found from a variety of vendors and
we at DigiSlice will compile a list of components on our website. We
hope to have this list soon. If you find a component that you think is
interesting, please tell us about it.
In addition you can create your own components. If you create a component
that you think others will find useful, again, please tell us about it.
You can create components (typically JavaBeans) in any Java IDE, and
you can also create components in AppComposer itself.
Why use components?
By using components, you can create your applications faster as you
do not have to start from scratch. You can use the best component for
the job and combine these different components using AppComposer. Components
that are proven have fewer bugs and can be deployed faster. The best
part is that once a component is written it can be used in other applications
over and over again.
Can I use AppComposer with EJBs?
Yes. The Enterprise Suite has features that make it much easier to
use and create EJBs, but you can still use them in AppComposer without
the Enterprise Suite. You will need to install an EJB container (such
as JBoss) and deploy your EJBs manually to this server. You will then
need to access the EJBs from AppComposer. The two most common ways to
do this are to import the home and remote interface classes for your
EJBs into AppComposer, or (preferably) create a JavaBean that includes
the home and remote interface (the Enterprise Suite does this for you,
and also deploys the EJB).
The Enterprise Suite also includes features to allow you to build
new EJBs in AppComposer itself. Without the Enterprise Suite, you should
use a normal Java IDE to create your EJBs.
Can I use AppComposer with Web services?
Of course. Again, the Enterprise Suite has features that make it easier
to use Web services, but you can still use them in AppComposer without
the Enterprise Suite. You will need to either create a Java class or
a JavaBean to access the Web service (the Enterprise Suite does this
automatically from a WSDL file for the Web service).
Can I use AppComposer with relational databases without licensing
the DigiSlice SQL components?
Yes. If you know SQL and JDBC, it is as easy to access a relational
database from AppComposer as you would from any Java program. The main
benefit of the SQL beans is that they build SQL statements for you automatically,
using a visual interface. This is functionality will be familiar to people
who have used commercial products like Sybase's PowerBuilder. The SQL
components also present a component interface that makes it much easier
to access data from an SQL query.
The whole point of components is that they make it faster and easier
to build your application, rather than writing that functionality yourself.
The power of AppComposer is that you can create any Java program in AppComposer,
whether you have components or not. Of course, components will make your
life easier, but if you don't have the needed components, or don't want
to pay for them, you can always write them yourself. AppComposer has
a unique feature that allows you to write scripts directly in Java, so
you can always create any functionality you want, or access any Java
library, component, or service you want, without programming using a
The choice is yours. You can use the DigiSlice SQL components and license
them (or purchase the Enterprise Suite, which includes an unlimited
deployment license). Or you can purchase SQL components from someone
else. Or you can write some yourself. Or you can not use a component
at all, and just access JDBC from a script inside your AppComposer application.
To what platforms can AppComposer applications be deployed?
AppComposer generates standard .war files which can be deployed to any
J2EE compliant AppServer such as BEA Weblogic, IBM WebSphere or JBoss
among many others.
If you are not using enterprise features like EJB, then you can deploy
servlets generated by AppComposer onto any standard Java servlet engine,
such as Tomcat (and many others).
AppComposer can also generate client-side applications, which can run
on any platform that supports Java. We would love to hear from people
who run AppComposer generated applications on unusual platforms, including
PDAs, mobile phones, or even just unusual operating systems.
Finally, AppComposer can even generate Java applets, that can run in
any Java-enabled Web browser. Note that if you want to build applets,
you will need to take various browser incompatibilities and security
issues into account.
What Databases can AppComposer connect to?
AppComposer can connect to any database that has a JDBC connector available
for it. Currently these include virtually all databases, including Oracle
DB, IBM DB2, Informix, MS SQL Server, MySQL, Hypersonic (HSQL), and many