December 18, 2003

Keel Group Limited Launches Keel 2.0

Anonymous Reader writes
"Latest Version of Open Source Application Framework Provides Progressive Features and Seamless Installation
Reston, VA - (December 17, 2003) Founders of the open source Keel framework today released Keel 2.0 to the development community. This new version is an upgrade from version 1.0 and dramatically improves the development process for web-based applications. Keel 2.0 is a Java server side meta-framework or framework of frameworks that provides standard interfaces for a variety of other open source frameworks and components.

Keel is a significant advancement beyond open source frameworks, offering a service based component architecture. This allows developers to easily plug the best components from any standards based open source library into their system and then upgrade to future components without having to rewrite the code base. Keel 2.0 provides a comprehensive environment for integrating web applications, speeding development andperhaps most importantlyestablishing a consistent yet flexible base upon which to build systems.

Keel is differentiated by its component design that allows new implementations to be added and old implementations replaced without extensive code rewrites. Services see each other as "black boxes" with very clear boundaries that protect developers from being locked into a specific implementation environment. Keel evolved much more quickly than most open source products because it makes use of pre-existing components not specifically built for Keel.

"Release 2.0 brings greater ease of use, enhanced stability, full distributed processing with clustering and fail-over, unit and functional tests and an expanded array of services and implementations, said Michael Nash, lead developer and chief architect of Keel, as well as president and founder of Bahamian software development firm JGlobal Limited. Keel is the ideal tool to bring the power of component-based development without making a permanent commitment to any one implementation of a component or service. Keel brings dozens of different tools, projects and frameworks together in a coherent and immediately productive way. Enhanced support for J2EE/EJBand particularly JBoss deploymentsmakes integrating Keel's power into existing applications even easier. An extended and more flexibly-built system now supports hundreds of different deployment combinations, said Nash.

We use Keel as the foundation for our web-based projects. Its flexibility enables very small teams to quickly develop large, secure, data-intensive applications. We are excited to see Keels rapid growth and acceptance within the development community and proud to be part of the core team that developed this new version, said Adam Rossi, president of PlatinumSolutions, a Reston, VA software development firm.

Installation of Keel 2.0 is now vastly simplified. Version 2.0 also includes an automated build system that will compile the Java code and make deployment of completed Keel-based applications far easier.

Keel 2.0 also offers improved data persistence. In Keel 1.0 there was one type of persistence available. In version 2.0 the persistence service has been decoupled from the core of Keel to give developers more options for tasks such as organization and storage. This adds a range of options to Keels Default Persistence including relational databases, XML, and Hibernate. As a result, data storage is clearer and more flexible, and systems can be created much more quickly.

Rearranging business processes is also easy in Keel. Jeff Richley, a contractor at the Naval Safety Center in Norfolk, VA, said, In the past, Keel developers have relied on something called Sequences to handle basic workflow. A major area of improvement in Keel 2.0 is its new workflow editor, which offers far more flexibility than sequences did. My manager had me develop an application containing multiple user-interface screens, along with an associated Keel Model Set for each. She came to me and wanted to rearrange the entire flow. Using Keels plugin editor for Eclipse, I made the changes visually, rebuilt the app with a single click, and in less than a minute had completely rearranged the application, said Richley.

Keel is ideally suited for systems that require the highest security possible. Keel now utilizes Java Authentication and Authorization Service (JAAS) as its default security mechanism. However, Keel 2.0 can also make use of virtually any security architecture already in place, ensuring that systems can easily be customized and therefore are more difficult to successfully attack than COTS systems.

Keel is built on top of the Apache Avalon Project, and with it come three core concepts:
1. Each application is made of independent components that are accessible through standard interfaces. Component Oriented Programming (COP) provides the flexibility of plugging/unplugging frameworks into the application.
2. Each aspect of a component is separated into as many independent tasks as possible, while each task is represented separately by a standard interface. This Separation of Concerns (SOC) allows the user to perform/control/modify any function of the component without affecting others.
3. Each component is externally manageable throughout its lifecycle, with the help of configuration files. This Inversion of Control (IOC) makes controlling a component's behavior from the outside possible, easy, and efficient.

To learn more, visit To request more information on using Keel, contact the partners listed on



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