Java / Swing Application to manage ATM ring
Ascom Transmission as a subsidiary of Ascom Switzerland, plays a leading role in broadband networks for today's business needs. The world of telecommunication requires reliable and flexible solutions for carrier-access and regional networks. There is a large demand by telecommunication providers, traffic companies and big companies in general for broadband backbone networks.
One of their key products is the broadband network Ascom ALR. This is a fiber optical high-speed network transport medium based on an Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) ring topology.
Akadia worked in a small team to design and develop management software reducing administration complexity and simplifying monitoring of network nodes. The management software allows exploring the whole network in a graphical environment and offers additionally a command line shell for advanced users and script processing.
The software is implemented in Java and runs on different operating systems. Supported are Microsoft Windows (95, 98, NT, 2000) and some UNIX platforms. The typical customers use different systems and platforms along with several network technologies.
Swing has been used as a powerful class library to implement the graphical user interfaces. It's part of Sun's standard Java Foundation Classes (JFC) and widely known by Java developers. The Java Foundation Classes extends the original Abstract Windowing Toolkit (AWT) by adding a comprehensive set of graphical class libraries. It is very powerful and highly customizable and covers almost every aspect of user interfaces.
Borland JBuilder 3 was used as visual development tool that allows managing pure Java and platform independent application projects. Switching between different Java versions and libraries for different targets and platforms is supported along with easy code navigation and sophisticated debugging possibilities.
The software is based on a communication kernel that provides functionality for the management traffic between the administration workstations and network nodes. Every network node may consist of several racks with different communication boards in it. All these devices are well organized in a tree structure to allow an efficient navigation and access of management information. Thousands of different devices have to be monitored and displayed at the users convenience. To optimize and speed up the management traffic caches has been introduced. They navigate through the network tree and find changed information to update their own data structures. The tree provides information about modifications in different branches and leafs.
It seems that Java moved into the position to be a solution for software projects where speed and reliability are requirements for the daily business. The Swing class libraries are very consistent and well designed. Clear concepts help to avoid struggling days to implement product requirements. The Virtual Machines (VM) made progress during the last years and are now in a rather stable state. JBuilder is very convenient to use even if the possibility to graphically design windows and dialogs with code generation is still hard to use.
... if fast is not enough ... use ATM !