Orientation - building a simple application for BMC Helix Platform
BMC Helix Platform, as a platform for developing business applications, has many capabilities. The best way to learn about them is to develop a simple application yourself. This tutorial is exactly such a walk-through: we will build a simple application that allows someone to order lunch from a menu for a set of employees in a company. It will span the entire process of building the application, including:
- This Orientation - getting familiar with BMC Helix Innovation Studio, and then analyzing the full requirements and design
- Module 1 - building the full application without writing any code
- Module 3 - finalizing a release of the application and preparing updates
You can build the quick-start application in the Orientation, and the full application in Module 1, using only:
- A working instance of BMC Helix Platform
- A browser
Modules 2 and 3 can be used as information resources to learn about developing using custom code and the BMC Helix Platform SDK. If you want to compile the sample project and extend it yourself, you will need to install additional development tools that will be documented in that part of the tutorial.
Methodology for a solution
Normally, before beginning development, you would consider what kind of development methodology to use. BMC Helix Platform applications are very “definition driven”, so the temptation is to dive right in and start creating those definitions. Two recommendations here are:
- Make sure you understand enough about the problem space before you start.
- For analyzing the solution before you begin, its often best to work “outside-in”, starting from the users’ point of view, and getting to the details of the implementation toward the end of your analysis. For example, the data model should really define exactly what the Process and Views require.
- When actually implementing, the dependencies flow the other way. You must in fact have the data model defined in order to do much with Views. You may also need to have Views defined in order to build and test the business process.
The following diagram represents this rule of thumb conceptually, and also the basic order we will follow in this tutorial. This can be described as, "analyze from the outside-in, and build from the inside-out".
Ready for a quick start!
As we follow a journey through developing the application, we will walk through every step of this methodology. However, it will be great to get some hands-on experience with our primary tool, BMC Helix Innovation Studio. For that reason, we will post-pone the full analysis and design until we have quickly created a very simple "first pass" at a lunch ordering application.