WOt's going on?

May 26, 2000:

Last Saturday I said I'd talk about how the WebObjects pricing change has affected me personally. Since then, I've been having so much fun developing wicked shit in WO that I just haven't had time to write here! :)

Here's the scoop. For the last few months I've mostly been doing pure-Java projects for my client. They use WO for their BIG cornerstone apps, but these were lesser apps that they wanted to distribute to their clients, who didn't have their own WO app server licenses. To save the money on WO deployments, they avoided WO for these types of projects.

Remember, unlimited WO app server licenses used to cost up to $50K US! That's all changed. The highest end deployment license, with a developer tool seat now costs a mere $699 US. Which, in my client's case, means it's essentially free.

How? The app I was working on when WWDC started last week was going to take me 3 weeks to get from the drawing board to an alpha state, where we could actually "boot up" the app and start playing with it.

A lot of that time was going to be spent writing reams of boring Java code that handled saving and loading object models to/from disk, and making it possible to sync live business objects with their saved version, in either direction.

Mid-WWDC-week, we decided to screw the pure-java route, and implement this thing with WO! Here's why...

1. Enterprise Objects Framework (EOF) would take care of all the persistence problems for me for free. All I have to write is the business logic. The data can be saved out to any RDBMS (or flat file or whatever) without a single line of code changing in my code.

Hell, I could put each table on a different vendor's server on a different continent if I wanted to, and it wouldn't change my code. :) But I digress...

2. Pure Java or otherwise, I was going to have to create some kind of UI to let people manage this live object model. Doing the UI in WO is a lot easier and faster than any other way... I won't go into why, now. This is getting long enough as is!

3. As a result of the above points, it was going to cut the amount of time needed for an alpha down to 1/2 of the previous estimate! A week and a half of my engineering time (saved in the pre-alpha phase alone) will pay for double the the WO licenses they'll need for their initial handful of clients, and get the working product out to clients quicker than ever expected. Time is money, and in this business, there's no time to waste.

Basically, WO is paying for itself in saved engineering time and opportunity cost, many many times over. WO is now free. The cost of WO is so insignificant it doesn't even compare to a man day of effort.

My world has changed.

Update: Here's a QuickTime movie, "WebObjects Overview" from my WO instructor in Apple iServices' Training department. Eventually this will be available on Apple's site, along with three other good (and longer, more detailed) movies. 2.4 MB

The link is now pointing to Apple's Training Theater web site which links to all the movies. They're well worth reading!

Written on May 26, 2000