The specialist software company is tackling component re-usability by defining a framework that could change the way that programs are developed.
The basic principle of the Metadyne Metanix ComponentDNA (CDNA) model is the ability to update software on the fly without the need to recode or even stop the application running. Equally important, a single host application can be written and platform-specific components can be dynamically discovered from a repository and downloaded according to the device.
So, for example, a host program written to run in Java on a PC can automatically configure itself for the memory and screen requirements of a PDA or cell phone. This is what differentiates CDNA from the coarser development environments like Java Reflection, Java Bean or Corba.
Ovum research director for e-infrastructure Neil Ward-Dutton said, "It has a great potential to improve the building of component-based applications. Metadyne's main challenge will be to get CDNA into the hands of influential developers. CDNA codifies best practices using loosely-coupled components and provides a suitable framework for 'design by contract' methodologies."
Traditional applications are shaped to the device they run on by a series of conditions ("if - then" loops). This makes the program bigger and necessitates rewriting to add new platforms or to alter details. CDNA downloads only the conditions applying to the host device when it next connects to the network to use that protocol.