My question seems easy but is little more theoretical than it looks. There are Code Generation software or application building software that gets done without the use of a programming language. Application like VE Server and VE Designer from Intelliun should accomplish this task. My question is, in reality have someone out there track the amount of real savings of this kind of tool versus having a development team and a source code evolutionary process.
For the specific example of VE Designer the application gets done from the designer and you don't see code for it, you just run the app in VE Server. All code looks like XML Internal commands.
It depends on how we measure that time.
If you compare two control groups - one that types in all the code by hand, and another that uses the code generator - I have no doubt at all that the group that uses the code generator will require less time, hands down. It depends on how far you want to go with the generator, of course, but there's little doubt that as the percentage of generated code goes up that the manual input looks worse and worse.
The only concern I have has to do with where that code generator comes from and how much thought went into its design.
If you don't want to touch the code that the wizard/code generator produces because you don't understand it, it ought to be counted against the code generator.
If the code generator forces you into a bad design, it ought to be counted against the code generator.
If the code generator spits out so many classes that nobody can follow what's happening, it ought to be counted against the code generator.
If the code generator makes your maintenance life a hell on earth, it ought to be counted against the code generator.
I like the idea of understanding and creating my own tools if I can. Wizards that are given by others can cause problems. The accounting for or against them ought to reflect the problems.