Wakanda Studio comprises of:
- Solution Manager
- Datastore Model Designer
- GUI Designer
- Code Editor
The Solution Manager displays a hierarchical view of all projects.
The Datastore Model Designer is a visual data modeller where classes and their relationships are drawn, showing a visual representation of the business logic of a project. It attempts to insulate the developer from the datastore by providing access via classes rather than relying upon an Object-Relational Mapper.
The GUI Designer is a drag-and-drop WYSIWYG screen designer and the Code Editor is a syntax-aware editor with auto-completion.
Wakanda Client Framework
The Wakanda Client Framework contains:
- a data provider communicating with Wakanda Server
- browser-based front end widgets
- a datasource layer communicating between the data provider and the interface widgets
Getting started with Wakanda is very straightforward. There are two packages: Wakanda Server and Wakanda Studio, if these are placed in the same directory then Studio can start the Server on demand.
The 56-page Quick Start documentation is generally excellent and walks through a simple example demonstrating the salient features of Wakanda. Creating classes and relationships between those classes is very straightforward: create a new attribute and select the related class, Wakanda Studio then displays a line between the classes to indicate the link and creates new attribute on the related classes.
Wakanda Studio is almost UML-like in look and feel, and by handling most of the plumbing Wakanda allows the developer to concentrate on business logic, giving a almost model-driven development feel to the product. There was a slight glitch with the an example not displaying its grid content correctly but clicking the ‘Reload Model’ button immediately cured this.
Whilst there is no support for authentication at the moment, this is documented in the roadmap. Unit testing is similarly outlined on the roadmap.
External interoperability is an issue, at the time of writing external processes can only be accessed via Wakanda’s SystemWorker API or XMLHttpRequest although Wakanda appears committed to revealing their network APIs at some point in the future. Load balancing and replication are also promised.
Wakanda is not deemed to be production-ready yet, but then Node.js isn’t yet at a full release version and is being used in production.