June 29, 2008

RADE – Build custom web applications, without writing custom code

Filed under: RADE — Tags: — Darrin Maidlow @ 7:21 am

In response to numerous queries, I put together this post to help answer the question – what is RADE (formerly known as WebRADE). RADE is a development framework that delivers custom web applications using existing data without having to write a single line of code.  RADE provides a rich set of functions including security, prompting queries, configurable reports and charting using existing database and mapping data, without the need for expensive consultants and programmers.

RADE includes a configurable web mapping interface that incorporates queries, reports, charts and basic editing tools. These “components” work with the data you have stored in one or more databases (Oracle, SQL Server, Access) and can be used by any application made with RADE. Right now RADE supports MapGuide 6.x, we are in the process however of extending the mapping interface to allow RADE applications to use multiple web mapping engines including MapGuide 6.x, MapGuide Enterprise 2009 / Mapguide Open Source 2.0 and Google Maps. Other mapping engines may be implemented in the future.  

An application made with RADE is a collection of queries, reports, charts, and of course users/groups managed by the integrated RADE security model. They are your custom solutions founded upon the bedrock that RADE provides.

A user with basic knowledge of their underlying database structure can design customized queries, reports, and charts in a matter of hours. Solutions can be as broad or as narrow as needed depending on the requirements of the organization. All of this work is done using RADE’s web-based administration tools.  

Before RADE, I worked for a provider of customizable desktop GIS, automated map standardization, and facilities management solutions for both government and industry. GIS/Geospatial implementations involved a lot of customized work, specific to particular clients, and could seldom be easily reused. This is when and where I came to realize that there had to be a better way to develop solutions.  

As RADE developed, we put it to the test and have been developing a series of standalone applications build on its framework. With RADE, we are saving time on projects which results in significant cost savings and rapid delivery for our clients.  

Out of curiosity one day, I connected RADE to my accounting and bug-tracking databases just to see what would happen. With a little research into the underlying databases — I was able to create both queries and reports on both data sources. No map required.  

As a developer I have projects that require me to extend RADE with more proprietary code. Take for example. FloorView is a complete vertical application built on top of RADE. It uses the RADE security/authentication system in addition to the RADE queries and reports — but is in itself a full application. This allowed us to leverage the existing functionality saving time, and money. In addition to this, FloorView appears as a RADE application when authorized users login to the site keeping all of the RADE based applications in one convenient location.  

In addition to FloorView a number of other vertical applications have been developed on top of, or using RADE. They include solutions for address management, disaster planning and recovery, sexual predator and offender tracking, crime mapping and analysis, oil and gas lease management and service request tracking and management.  

The best analogy I have for RADE is “Developer in a Box”.  Much of the work is already done for you…


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  2. [...] finally moved Mapguide Enterprise support back up the list of priorities for RADE =)  The ability to add Google, Yahoo, and Bing data into the map with OpenLayers is very [...]

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