VMware announced its acquisition of WaveMaker, a company that makes a graphical programming tool for non-developers. WaveMaker enables developers to build Java applications based on the open source framework Spring without writing code. VMware acquired SpringSource, the sponsor company of Spring.

“WaveMaker is based on the Spring framework but targets a different audience: non-expert developers looking for the easiest way to build web apps,” writes WaveMaker CEO Christopher Keene about the acquisition. He cites Gartner research finding that only 20% of IT staff have expert-level application development skills. WaveMaker is for the other 80%.

“Not all business applications are written by specialist developers,” writes SpringSource General Manager Rod Johnson. “For example, anyone who’s worked in the financial services industry knows how much functionality is implemented by business people using Excel spreadsheets.”

The problem, according to Johnson, with point-and-click app development tools don’t produce the sort of professional code that experienced developers want to work with. Oonce the non-technical staff hit a wall and need further modifications to the application, specialist developers can’t help without reimplementing the application from scratch,” he writes. But WaveMaker creates traditional Spring code, meaning any Spring developer should be able work with it.

Johnson writes that WaveMaker ties into SpringSource and VMware’s cloud computing strategy, including Code2Cloud. WaveMaker Studio Cloud Edition seems like a nice addition to Code2Cloud.

This sort of development platform is one of the ways that Java is mutating rather than dying. We’ve also covered how point-in-click app development is expanding in the enterprise.