Case Study: WebAppWriter helps thousand generate custom applications

by Pete Carapetyan


When Expresso 4.02 came out in 2000, it was a powerful framework for creating secured web applications for J2EE application servers. But how to write the applications?

A web application to generate web applications!

After spending a couple years a s core contributor to the Expresso framework, we knew we had a great product. But what better way to prove it than provide a web application that writes web applications?

Written by me in 2000, WebAppWriter was put on the web and worked as advertised, creating thousands of lines of consistent, compliant, Expresso 4.02 code from an easy to input database schema format. Users input their tables and columns, and received a large zip file by email in a few minutes after hitting the submit button.

Used by thousands.

It worked well enough to gather a few thousand users without marketing, and many users came back time and again to generate applications for themselves or their clients.

Well documented, thorough.

With dozens of pages of very clear documentation furnished with each download, and the clear architecture of Expresso 4.02, users found it possible to implement their code with almost no requests for support over the 5 years it was in operation.

Retired in 2005.

The box running WebAppWriter for 5 years straight was retired at the end of the year. With Expresso moving beyond 4.02 and dataFundamentals no longer working with the Expresso team, we bid it a fond goodbye. No one missed it.