I’ve been reading the Object Oriented Analysis and Design book from Head First lately and its really starting to make me think about the way I develop applications. Aside from being a very well written book, it instantly makes you think back about some of the decisions you have made in the past when designing your applications.
One thing that I have been really struggling with over the last year or so is really nailing down a process and software for the requirements tracking and architecture design of my applications. Those of you who know me, know I have been around the Fusebox community long enough to remember when Fusebox 2 was released and the very cleverly masterminded emails of the most underrated internet icon of all time, the great Stan Cox. So I was big into using Adalon to fill those needs. It really helped to force you into the FLiP process and design great software. After several years though, Synthis stopped working on Adalon so the progress of this great tool came to a halt, along with its usefulness.Unfortunately, I havent been able to find any tools that I felt all that strongly about to help fill that void. I have tried quite a few UML tools which do a fairly decent job for modeling my CFC’s. But, without any stub generation or round tripping, their use becomes even more cumbersome to keep the UML models up-to-date with the code. Their are tons of applications that will do this with other languages such as Java and .NET, but none of them support ColdFusion out of the box. This combined with the fact that you cant architect the front end with these tools leaves me a bit cold.
There is so much effort being put into all the frameworks for ColdFusion to allow us to write more maintainable code. But no effort being put into tools for architecting better applications before we ever write that code. Am I wrong in thinking this way? Am I the only ColdFusion developer in the world that really wants a single tool for requirements management and complete architecture design?
It kind of makes me wonder why Synthis doesnt just opensource Adalon and allow the community to continue to advance the best tool ever developed for architecting ColdFusion applications. The only major feature its missing in the ability to model your CFC’s. We could even create more “skins” for designing applications in other frameworks. It ships with a Fusebox 4.1 specific skin so adding a Model-Glue or MachII skin would be the next order of business.
It makes me curious as to what other developers are doing to handle this. How are you guys modeling/architecting your apps? What tools are you using?