How Does CDS Differ from Other Technologies?
The technologies that most easily compare with CDS are ASP, JSP, CGI, and servlets. They all are used to build dynamic Web applications, and architecture similar to CDS also can be built with these technologies. In fact, CDS could be used directly inside all of these technologies. Because CDS is transport-independent, it does not require a Web server to function. Although integration into a Web server is the primary technique for using CDS today, it isn't a requirement of the technology.
Other technologies have features or architectures in common with CDS. Microsoft's BizTalk has XLANG, a schema for orchestrating workflows, which is similar in function to the CDS schema. However, BizTalk is designed as a server-messaging product to be hosted in a server environment. CDS is designed independent of scale. It can operate from text files on a workstation's local drive all the way up to a high-performance server attached to a high-performance XML data repository. Also, BizTalk is dependent on ASP for Web integration and other Microsoft technologies for wireless connections or extended functionality. CDS utilizes external technologies but doesn't depend on them for its core functionality.
webMethods is another product that has similar functionality. However, it has many of the same drawbacks as BizTalk. Both products are designed strictly as integration tools. CDS goes beyond integration to enable a platform that can incorporate unlimited interfaces. These interfaces can be uniquely configured for each connection based upon persisted information. CDS provides only a framework to accomplish customized presentation development. It is the implementer's option to specify this type of behavior.
Past, Present, and Future of CDS
CDS currently is a technology and not yet a solution. Its versatility combined with a lack of terminology to describe its future uses make defining CDS difficult. However, if one thinks of it as a building block or fundamental element that can be assembled into larger parts or applications, seeing its potential becomes easier.
Digimax currently uses the technology to build generic solutions that it configures to meets its individual clients' development needs. These generic applications can be custom configured very rapidly to fill the needs of ASP-type hosted applications. Ultimately, Digimax would like to market the CDS technology to other developers, independent software developers, or companies who can use the technology to build custom solutions in-house.
Over the coming months, Digimax will release a series of applications built on the CDS Development Platform. The CDS Processor currently resides on top of Microsoft's .NET platform. Digimax plans to release a Java-enabled version in mid 2004.