How is creating an ACUITy application different from the way I created applications in the past?

ACUITy uses semantic technology to implement user interfaces. Rather than coding user interface elements (such as tables, graphs, forms, etc.), the ACUITy application developer creates domain-specific extensions of our upper level models of human-computer interaction. The display and interaction components of the user interface are declared in a semantic model and inherit presentation and behavioral properties from the upper level constructs. In other words, if we declare that a vantage (a view in the user interface) contains a table then that table automatically inherits a number of properties, like rows and columns and titles and sorting capabilities and so on. We can then additionally declare that that table will encode some information accessed by executing a script (for example, an SQL or SPARQL query). No code is required to create the display of the table in the UI. Thus, using ACUITy, there is a much bigger emphasis on modeling than coding.

Will ACUITy work in a browser other than IE?

At the moment, no. We make heavy use of dhtml that relies on attributes and properties in Internet Explorer.

So I've created a new ACUITy application... what now?

If you have followed our instructions for Downloading ACUITy and Creating a New ACUITy Application, you will probably find it helpful to move on to our tutorial, which will walk you through some simple introductory steps for adding functionality to your ACUITy application. You can also download one or more of our sample applications and examine, in the Application Editor vantage (probably easiest for viewing) or another ontology viewer, the way various UI elements are modeled. We are working to expand our collection of design templates so that application development is even easier.

What's the difference between an ACUITy Application Developer and an ACUITy Developer?

An ACUITy Application Developer will use the ACUITy framework and architecture to create new applications; an ACUITy Developer will exend the core capabilities of the ACUITy framework and architecture.

What are the benefits of using ACUITY?

We have used ACUITy to prototype a number of applications of interest to General Electric, Lockheed-Martin and the US Air Force Research Lab. We have found that it significantly reduces (on the order of 25-75%) development time by eliminating work associated with developing and supporting decision support applications and by supporting code re-use. It also increases the probability of user acceptance and reduces re-work because the user interface is adaptable and customizable (even if the users don't want to do much application customization on their own, it is much easier to revise the design based on their feedback, reducing the need for a large up-front design process).