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Java Beans

Java Beans is Java's model for reusable components that can be used in "cut-and-paste programming", i.e. can be configured and used in a visual development environment. Unlike other component architectures, Java Beans doesn't rely on description files for the component's interface. Instead it relies on code introspection. Since Java retains important information, such as method and variable names, in the compiled code, it is possible to extract the interface of a component. By using a few naming conventions for method names etc., it is possible to dynamically inspect and configure an unknown bean 'on the fly', by the development environment, or even by an executing application.

Any Java class, or collection of classes, can constitute a bean, there is e.g. no "bean superclass" that needs to be subclassed. Additional info, e.g. how the component should behave interact with the development environment, can be supplied in a special BeanInfo class - but this is not required. 

A crucial factor for the cost effectiveness of any component architecture is the time and labor needed for mastering it, and especially the art of creating new kinds of reusable components with it. Here, Java Beans simplicity is a key strength. Learning how to create new Beans is a matter of days, whereas it can take months to get even a modest grip of the art of developing ActiveX/OLE components. 
You will simply have your programmers productive very quickly with Java Beans. The fact that Java is a nice language to program in, is of course also a productivity booster. 

The JavaBeans Development Kit (BDK) is a little kit to get you started creating and configuring Beans. It has even a small graphical environment, a "Bean Box", where you can test and configure your beans, if you lack a graphical development environment. And if you need some help, you have the newsgroup.

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