Hi, Iím not actually a developer, Iím a systems analyst, and was looking into the possibility of using some prototyping/wireframing software at my company. I stumbled upon this site, and was thinking it might be a good place to ask a few questions.

First, in doing a few searches, and reading a few threads, Iím gathering that there is some sort of a prototype function in javascripting. I think that would have nothing to do with what Iím referring to. Am I correct?

Second, Iíve done a fair bit of reading, and there are million different pieces of software that can be used, depending on how extensive a prototype is wanted. Some are basic wireframes, some can get into some light functionality. Some can actually be exported and then used to develop from. I talked to one of the developers in the company who has used it extensively, he seemed to lean towards using Grails to develop a prototype, and have an analyst work with a develop to do so (as I tried looking at Grails, and someone without decent development knowledge would never be able to use it, unless Iím not looking at it correctly). Some of the other tools I found are basically cut and paste type tools, that you can add some functionality to (like take a page, put buttons on it, text boxes, drop downs, and have different buttons or selections link to different pages in your ďprojectĒ). The problem I had with Grails was that we simply wonít always have the developers available to be doing things at that advanced a level right away. So Iíd like something that can be used thatís a little simpler. More graphic representation with some functionality. Preferably something that can be reused, if thatís at all possible.

What are peopleís experience with this? Have you seen it successfully used prior to a development stage, in getting design pieces hammered out? If so, any tools that can be recommended? How would a prototype like that be reused? For example, I know with some data modeling tools, they can actually generate DDL, which can in turn be used as a basis for adding tables. Is there anything similar in prototyping software? i.e. once all of the fields are laid out, can anything be exported, so the fields on a screen are already specified?

Thanks in advance, would love to hear what peoples experience with these things are.

ps -mods, I couldn't see a more appropriate section to put this in, so I dropped it here. Let me know if there is a better place for it.