I had reason to pick up WaveMaker again recently for a customer project. I knew that a version 4 had been released and had been meaning to check it out for a while, but I had a lot of other things calling my attention all the time.
As you might remember WaveMaker is a web-based IDE which let you drag and drop a nice UI and connect tables, trees and other things to backend services, like databases, web services and even POJO Java classes. And this in itself is nice, but the big deal is that everything is done with very few clicks in the IDE, it's all running from your own local machine (if you want, you might have a separate development machine for this, but it's in your control, is what I mean) and it produces a stand-alone WAR file that you can drop into JBoss or Tomcat or whatever to get your stuff up and running.
I really like RAD, when it works. WaveMaker had some problems in the 3.x release in making connections between UI components and backend services easy to understand, and this has thankfully become much better in the 4.x release.
Still, WaveMaker has two major drabacks, for me;
1) It has no cloud. OK, this is wildly unfair, I know. But I'm comparing against GAE, and possible Jaxer all the time. What hapens if I manage to build something that has to support millions of request? Do I have to wrestle AWS again? Argh!
2) It requires Java to runt the backend. Custom logic can thankfully be done in any language, as long as it exposed as any (almost) kind of web service, WSDL, RESTish, et.c, but the server is done in Java, and require a container. What would be very nice is if you could separate the excellent front-end IDE from the services it depends on from the backend, and build alternate backends. Maybe a python backend? ?? ?? :)
What it has in spades is database rubberification and exposal through REST services. It can connect to a number of different databases, and present all actions (even schema modifications and table management) in the same kind of REST metaphor as you would present adding a new row or modfying a column.
Persevere has a lot of feature overlap with WaveMakers backend, but that's really very positive, since there's not so much more to add (I hope :). Unfortunately, Persevere also require a Java backend, running on Rhino itself, but it could still be a nice addition.
Possibly, WaveMaker could also add a SMD (Simple Method Descripton) web service generation to the list of existing services it can consume, which would make Persevere melt right in.
I think it's really sad that Jaxer does not provide a free entry-level poking-around alternative for their cloud. Google App Engine (OK, quite some more resources) and others can do it, and it really feels like a bad slice of an otherwise gorgeous apple pie.
I began with praising WaveMaker, then being unreasonable with them, then yammered at the state of SSJS in general. Coherent? Certainly not! :) Also, I really like Jaxer as well, but I think that they really should not push away customers like that. Everything else point in the other direction(I.e. really cool and very interesting), so not giving people the opportunity to check out the wares before ponying up (The amount is insignificant, actually, from this point of view) feels wrong.