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lynkfs

visual processing

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A while ago I posted some ideas and a demo on the subject of 'nocode' or 'locode' development. The idea was to do a domain modelling exercise, and extract or generate an application from that with no or minimal coding required. The demo put a couple of the proposed models through its paces.

After that post I put the subject back in the incubator for a bit.

Sort of recently I realised that having an rtl with visual components and an ide with a form painter is a good thing to have, but only covers part of what is necessary if we need to cover process logic, or business rules, without having to resort to coding. 

Various computing packages (datamining, visual analytics etc) model business logic by providing specialised components, which can be strung together and parametrised.

I tried this approach out (using KNIME) with the following (nonsensical) example process :

"from the NorthWind database get all companies, and from the FishFacts database extract all species, collate only those entries from both datasources where the name starts with the letter 'L'  and list them. Also produce a pie-chart of all fish species showing their length in cm."

 

Capture.jpg
 

This (nonsense) process translates to the node structure above. Nodes typically can be selected from a list of available nodes and right-clicking gives parametrisation forms, f.i. the MYSQL connector asks for a host, database name, credentials etc.

Stringing these components together is a simple process in itself, and the output produces something like

Capture2.jpg

Not too bad.

 

I've coded a couple of these type of components in Smart, which works really well.

For the technical architecture I've based these on the principles of FBP (flow based programming) where every node is a webworker, and the connectors between these nodes/webworkers are defined by channel-objects. Data transfer between these nodes/channels is done by messaging. See post here.

It would be nice to extend the rtl with these types of components, including a process painter

 

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