With enhancements in the OpenEdge 10.1x release family, ABL (Advanced Business Language) is being extended with standard formal object-oriented (OO) functionality: objects, classes, methods, polymorphism, inheritance, delegation, statics, properties, strong typing, and more.
A big differentiator from other traditional object-oriented Languages is that ABL does not exclude other programming methodologies though: ABL is not “pure OO”, and at Progress we think that is a good thing for our customers!. With ABL, developers can combine and integrate classes with procedures and vice versa. As a matter of fact ABL is the only business application's development language with this capability!
In addition, ABL’s unique and powerful built-in data awareness further differentiate it from the rest of mainstream development languages. Again, ABL is the only business application’s development language that provides uniform and comprehensive built-in capabilities to access, manipulate and store data from different data sources and formats (including relational databases, XML, structured and unstructured files, user-defined formats, etc.) intertwining it with sophisticated business logic, making ABL particularly suited for world-class business applications.
The requirements of modern business applications for modularity, open access and reusability through disparate interfaces have never been higher. The object-oriented extensions ease the implementation of robust business applications that adhere to SOA principles, and integrate with other systems, platforms and applications --- including non-OpenEdge ones of course --- in today’s interconnected and heterogeneous business environment, thus furthering our commitment to openness.
Where encapsulated, modular, reusable functionality is required, developers can build on the inherent capabilities provided by ABL’s formal object-orientation. Where tasks, workflows or processes are needed they can take advantage of its continued support for procedural development methodologies.
We are very excited to hear from customers using ABL object-oriented extensions (OOABL for short) reporting that they are indeed helping them simplify their Service-Oriented Business Applications, and in some cases make their code up to 40% smaller --- your mileage may vary ---, with less integration points which makes the code more uniform and easier to reuse.
I encourage everyone to take a look at the OOABL extensions. Even if you are not familiar with object-orientation I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised with their ease of use and you’ll be able to quickly realize development productivity benefits, and will make your applications even more robust. And remember, you can adopt and use them at your own pace alongside or integrated with procedural methodologies. And stay tuned, there’s much, much more to come!
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