Software AG has introduced NaturalONE, a new Eclipse-based toolset for enterprise application development. NaturalONE is an IDE that lets developers code and test applications (using the Natural language), expose Natural objects as web services, and create rich web interfaces for their applications. In this way, NaturalONE lets the developer produce applications that not only support enterprise SOA and BPM, but also appeal to business users outside the IT group.
NaturalONE aims to deliver an easy-to-use set of application lifecycle capabilities to current users of Natural, as well as developers more familiar with Java or COBOL. According to Software AG, NaturalONE is equally well-suited for developing applications to run on the mainframe or major platforms such as Unix, Linux and Windows.
For experienced Natural developers, NaturalONE can help accelerate delivery of new web-based applications by an estimated 30%. NaturalONE includes automatic, interactive testing and debugging tools, and allows developers to write, test and execute programs locally (as well as to their current production server). In addition, NaturalONE lets developers easily leverage existing Natural business logic to create web services. Furthermore, any service available inside or outside your organization can be consumed as a NaturalONE object. NaturalONE also facilitates conversion of existing Natural "green screens" to rich web interfaces, with Ajax-based technology.
For developers accustomed to the Eclipse IDE, but not familiar with Natural, NaturalONE is intended to provide an easy on-ramp. From an IT business perspective, NaturalONE helps address skills challenges through cross-training of Java developers to maintain and enhance existing Natural applications. With as little as one week of training, the company states, NaturalONE lets skilled developers with no prior Natural experience create and enhance Natural applications.
Describing NaturalONE as "a paradigm shift" for a language that has been around for 35 years now, Bruce Beaman, senior director of product marketing for the ETS business line of Software AG, tells 5 Minute Briefing, "The purpose of it is to create an all-in-one Eclipse-based environment that Natural programmers can use - but so can Java programmers in their shop, if they were called up on to maintain a Natural environment." Additionally, NaturalONE enables both Natural and Java programmers to collaborate on joint projects because, Beaman explains, the Eclipse environment is familiar to Java programmers and "it is just a matter of picking up Natural syntax, which is not hard to do."
The NaturalONE development toolset (including a local runtime environment for application testing) is available as a free trial download.