1 What is Axional Studio

Axional Studio is a database-centric development framework specially designed to build 3T web applications for business. It was originally designed for use with Informix and to take advantage of all Informix database server features. The framework was later extended to be applied to DB2, Oracle and Postgres databases.

With Axional Studio, you can redesign classic 4GL or DB2 tty applications. It is more than just a beautifier; the framework is a way to create a complete 3T architecture. It can also run legacy applications and allows step-by-step migration to the new framework, making data transport possible. It will instantly deliver benefits such as code control, automatic web services, business reports, and the ability to mobilize data with Android™ based devices.

2 Main Features

Axional Studio framework consist of a unique combination of a Development Environment and a run-time middleware. This combination allows developers to build mission-critical applications while they concentrate only on user requirements.

2.1 Multitenancy

Multi-tenancy refers to the mode of software operation in which multiple independent instances of one or more applications operate in a shared environment. The instances (tenants) are logically isolated, but physically integrated. The degree of logical isolation must be complete, but the degree of physical integration will vary according to the underlying configuration of the server.

Multi-tenancy is mainly hidden from developers and should only be considered for database design.

2.2 Model-view-controller

Model–view–controller (MVC) is a software architectural pattern for implementing user interfaces on computers. It divides a given application into three interconnected parts in order to separate internal representations of information from the ways that information is presented to and accepted from the user.

Model–view–controller approach is open to programmers so they can interact with the MVC application framework.

2.3 Multitier Architecture

The applications are developed on a multitier architecture, which physically separates the functions of presentation, business logic processing and data management.

Depending on the security requirements, Axional Studio can operate 3 or 4 Tier environments.

2.4 Scalability

The system is designed for maximum scalability by adding nodes horizontally. The process to group multiple nodes acting as a cluster is simple, as each node has a minimum startup configuration and utilizes a centralized database for its specific configuration settings.

2.5 Reliability

Our system is designed for consistency and reliability, specifically aiming to handle large database applications:

  • High-Availability Data Replication: HDR is used to guarantee data replication across database servers. HDR consists of a pair of servers — primary and HDR secondary — and supports both synchronous and asynchronous replication modes.
  • Enterprise Replication: in some scenarios, it may be necessary to replicate data in multiple locations using a non-simple dual topology. ER works by users first defining the servers among which they would like data to be replicated, which creates a network topology. Each ER node may be a single server or a cluster of servers and the interconnected nodes are called ER domain, whichjust the paths or routes along which the data will flow.
  • Two-Phase Commit: Axional Studio is designed to automatically handle transaction and isolation modes for OLTP applications.

2.6 Security

Axional Studio provides a feature named security injection that allows isolating application logic from security. The security injection defines entities with selected table access restrictions. Then, these entities are applied to users.

During application runtime and when any query is materialized, each XSQL/DDL statement used will be injected with the appropriate security restrictions.

2.7 Internationalization and localization support

The architecture components will help developers to generate code adapted to different languages, regional differences and technical requirements of a target locale.

3 Development Tools

Axional Studio includes a framework with a number of tools to simplify and speed-up not only the application development, but its testing, deployment and operation.

  • Data modeling: In Axional Studio everything is built around metadata. Internal dictionaries are used to catalog the metadata. Axional Studio dictionary can be used to define the database physical model and extend it by adding further metadata eventually needed by the applications. The opposite process is also feasible: from an existing database, Axional Studio can generate automatically the metadata definition for all its contents. The Conceptual or Logical Data Model is also defined using metadata.
  • Form Designer: Simple forms can be automatically created using the metadata contained in the BD. For more complex screens and forms, a Graphical user interface will assist programmers in the development of multi-tab forms, with many fields and intricate validations. The Forms Designer includes a comprehensive set of widgets to provide a powerful graphical user interface. The Forms Designer manages the Form logic as well, that is, the processes that have to be activated when a user interacts with the form. It is also possible to manage Server side logic. Forms can include buttons the trigger actions in the application server.
  • Reporting: the report engine produces various categories of reports and includes electronic signature capabilities, mail integration and strong database integration. With a flexible Query by Example (QBE) form builder, developers can design forms that make it easy for users to select the range of data to be printed.
  • Dashboards: Axional Studio includes a Dashboard Builder. With this tool, developers can quickly enable their end users to access the data they need, when they need it. Components can be of any type: graphics, maps, tables or a combination of them. Axional library offers a comprehensive set of widgets that can be further customized by programmers.
  • Desktop Channels: a wide range of widgets can be used to build specific desktops for users when they log into the application.
  • Geospatial tools: Geospatial extension of Axional Studio allows organizations to easily implement spatial extensions and simplifies the process of building geospatial applications. The Geospatial module includes an XML based SQL grammar with geospatial extensions for a wide range of database spatial engines. Geospatial tools are used mainly for data analysis.
  • Programming language: Axional Studio provides a full featured scripting language called XSQL Script that generates Java code internally. XSQL combines the power of XML and SQL to provide a language and database independent means to store and retrieve SQL queries and their results.
  • Automated testing: it includes tools to massively verify all components of a development project (tables, source code, forms, ...).

4 History

Axional Studio is an evolution of an application server designed, at the end of the 1990s, on Tomcat HTTP servers whose codename was webstudio. This server was also a descendent of a mainframe-style VT100 terminal application developed in C, whose codename was ISDM. It was initially designed for Sun Microsystems computers and later ported to IBM AIX, HP UX, and Linux.

In 2000, the first beta releases of a full ISDM port to web began. The first commercial version was delivered starting in 2001.

During 2006, the XSQL script engine was added to the server. This opened up the possibility of writing both middle-tier business logic and database-independent code.