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Basic data

developer Apple
Publishing year March 1996
Current  version 5.4.3
(September 15, 2008)
operating system Mac OS X
programming language Java
category Application server
License Proprietary
German speaking Yes
WebObjects Homepage

WebObjects [ ˈwɛbˌɒbd͡ʒɪkts ] is a development and server environment for web applications . It was originally developed by NeXT and taken over by Apple when it was bought out in 1996 .

The software brings together data from different sources - often relational databases  -, presents it to users via the web and, if necessary, changes it based on user actions. It is characterized among other things by a strict separation of data storage, processing processes and user interface - according to the Model-View-Controller - design patterns . The original implementation in Objective-C was replaced in version 5.0 by one in Java .

When the 1.0 version was presented in 1995, WebObjects was one of the very first application servers . It is characterized by a high level of integration of development tools. It is a classic tool of computer-aided software engineering (CASE) with which powerful and complex network-based applications can be created and operated.

Well-known examples for the use of WebObjects include the Apple Webshop and iTunes Music Store, the form management system openforms and nuLiga, the league administration of German and Austrian tennis, table tennis and badminton associations.

Right of use

Although WebObjects is not open source , it is basically free to use. Because the usage rights are linked to those of Xcode . Xcode is Apple's IDE and is also free in and of itself. In order to be able to use Xcode again, only a Mac OS X license is required. The tool Apple recommends for developing WebObjects software is WOLips . WOLips is being developed as part of an open source project. Another open source project called Project Wonder (see web links) creates reusable components for WebObjects development. The development of WebObjects was stopped with the last update in 2008, since 2009 WebObjects is no longer included in Xcode.

Open source alternatives

The ideas behind WebObjects were taken up by various open source projects. GNUstepWeb exists as a free implementation of WebObjects 4.5 in Objective-C (as well as WebObjects up to this version), as well as SOPE , a framework that extends the concept of WebObjects with various ideas from Zope . Wotonomy as well as Tapestry and Cayenne should be mentioned as Java implementations . The former sticks more closely to its role model, WebObjects 5.x, while the latter two are more inspired by the basic ideas behind WebObjects (similar software design patterns ) and each comprise only part of WebObjects: Tapestry is very similar to the display layer of WebObjects ( JavaWO * and JavaWeb * Frameworks) while Cayenne takes care of the object-relational part (JavaEO * Frameworks). Both frameworks can be used well in combination (and also combined with the respective WebObjects counterparts).

Web links