Bowstreet cranks out new Factory

Bowstreet Software Inc. on Monday pried the lid off of a new version of its flagship software, Bowstreet Factory 5. Company officials are calling the upgraded edition an automated assembly environment for Web services.

More specifically, Factory 5 can be used to assemble Web services, as well as more traditional applications.

“We’re trying to eliminate the impediments of getting business processes and services on the Web,” said Dave Rosenlund, vice-president of business development and marketing, at Bowstreet, in Portsmouth, N.H.

The most significant new feature to Factory 5 are Builders, which can be used to customize applications and business processes because they handle assembly and construction tasks at runtime, according to Nicole Carrier, product marketing manager at Bowstreet.

“You can actually change the app at runtime,” Carrier said.

Factory 5 ships with approximately 100 Builders ranging in complexity from a simple Web site button, to a full shopping cart application, Carrier added. In the product, there are builders for: presentation, logic and workflow, exposing Web services, consuming Web services, databases, generating HTML forms, among others.

“The Builders are designed to eliminate the tasks that developers otherwise have to over and over,” Rosenlund said.

Carrier said that with Builders, non-programming people could construct application and Web services. “We can create profiles, and you don’t need a developer to create a profile,” she said.

Frank Gillett, an analyst at Forrester Research, a consultancy based in Cambridge, Mass., said that Bowstreet and others hold the potential to bring hardcore programmers and business analysts closer together in the application development lifecycle process.

In addition to Bowstreet, companies such as Cape Clear, and even Microsoft, IBM, BEA, iPlanet, Hewlett-Packard and Oracle, are looking to make Web services creation easier.

“These tools are increasing the number of people who can use the technology to create apps,” Gillett said. “What Bowstreet and others are working on will make it easier – but it will still require programmers.”