Site Map
 Contact Us
      AppComposer General FAQ  
  Fact Sheet
  Technical Support

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, below.

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 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 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 at 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 deployment licenses 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 Java IDE.

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 others.

 White Papers  
      Software Components
          & Services