NextAxiom HyperService Studio 7
Outstanding Customer Service – I have never experienced Customer Service at the level NextAxiom provides. Generally you expect an email sent to ‘support’ to get lost in the shuffle and perhaps – if the stars align – you’ll get an email back from a CSR – only to be run through a gamut of questions before being sent to someone who may actually have development experience to ask several more questions regarding your specific issue. NextAxiom plays by a different set of rules. Response is generally within hours. The initial response is usually handled by one of their actual developers who have the knowledge and expertise to answer your questions. If something is writing isn’t sufficient; a GoToMeeting will be launched in moments to work with you hand-in-hand to resolve your issue. Their support is above Outstanding.
Rapid development – Once you grasp the concept of the platform, development occurs very fast. Although this is a Web Service platform; many ETL functions are available as ‘Built-In_Functions’ or BIF’s. Padding, trimming, sub-stringing, changing data types, most mathematical functions, etc are all BIF’s. Data massaging and manipulation is handled with the BIF’s as well and easily changed to get the desired outcome. Many times during user testing some tweaking may be necessary; but again this occurs quickly. For an experienced NextAxiom developer a change of code might take an hour or two and something can be ready for end users to test. This quick turn-around leads to a quick developer response and high customer/end user satisfaction!
Great Debugging – Debugging through NextAxiom assists greatly in the rapid development that can take place. The feature to place specific stops and view the incoming and outgoing data as it flows in and out of the various web services, data manipulations, and Built-In- Functions; and follow the path your data is taking and have the ability to view this data at any point is extremely useful. If viewing the service execution at a high level doesn’t provide the granularity needed, simply step into a child service as it is executing and drill down to an atomic level (NextAxiom’s most basic service type) to get a microscopic view of the data. In addition to this, the ability to generate Test cases for reuse and case specific testing proves to be invaluable.
Cluttered look – With all the flexibility that NextAxiom offers in its HyperService Studio, the rapid, drag & drop construction with data flows shown as connective lines from one service to another (or 1 to many); there can literally be lines all over the place on the canvas. The developer does have the option to hide some input lines, cleaning the workspace up a bit – but there are some cases where the end product looks like a spider-web. On a complex web service; the initial look can be overwhelming and incredibly intimidating, especially for the lucky developer that has inherited such developments.
Along with the spider web look another con is the learning curve. It takes quite a while to get a handle on how to use all of the different options available to the user; when to use what function; and figuring out the intricacies of HyperService Studio.