What is JBoss DNA?
JBoss DNA is attempting to do for information what the genetics has done for science and medicine: discover the fundamental building blocks, understand the relationships and interdependencies, and then maximize the benefits by putting that information to good use and in the hands of those that need it.
The JBoss DNA repository manages many kinds of artifacts and resources, including models, web service definitions, business process definitions, schemas, source code, libraries, and documents. As these artifacts are added, JBoss DNA automatically "sequences" their content, identifies their structure and relationships, and extracts this valuable information into the repository. Once there, the information can be versioned while the entire repository can be searched and analyzed to identify dependencies and relationships.
JBoss DNA supports the Java Content Repository (JCR) standard for its repository. However, JBoss DNA doesn't stop there. JBoss DNA can federate and integrate multiple JCR repositories and external databases, services, and applications. The result is a single integrated repository filled with valuable and highly usable information.
Making the most of it
Having that treasure trove of information is great, but to really benefit from it, the information needs to be accessible and understandable to those users that need it. Today, "ease of access" means "web browser", so JBoss DNA has a web application to make it easy for end users to get to the information they so desperately need. But making it easy for them to understand what information is there means presenting it in the terminology and structure they're so used to. And that's what the JBoss DNA web application strives to do: give them their information in ways they expect. The challenge is that this is different for different kinds of information and different users.
The JBoss DNA Web Application accomplishes this by using the notion of views that define how specific kinds of information are to be presented. For example, a data modeler familiar with relational databases want to see on a single page everything about a single table on a single table: the name, description, columns, indexes, primary keys, foreign keys, lifecycle status, etc. However, a developer looking to use a web service might be interested in everything about a web service, including its interfaces, methods, the schemas of the messages, where it is deployed, the lifecycle status, etc. The point is that domains users expect to see information in the ways they are already used to, and the DNA web application makes this possible.
Building the solution
Often the best solution is one that is tailored for the problem domain. With JBoss DNA, you don't need to write a ton of code or even build new applications. (Of course, you can if you want, and we can help there, too.) Instead, JBoss DNA is designed to make custom solutions by specializing a DNA installation involves customizing the way information is presented and the way information is processed.
Well, you may be thinking to yourself, "Okay, I'm starting to get it. Where can I learn more?" We recommend starting with the documentation, downloading the software, and running the examples. Check out Getting Started page the more details.