The long and short is: we will shortly have Open Source tools that enable you to build a UML model and from it create:
- a complete set of Perl, java, or C++ API classes that represent the classes in your model
- a markup language, defined in either a DTD or W3C XML Schema
- import/export routines from the markup language to the API class objects and vica versa
- a relational data model for persistently storage of data from the model
- code that stores and retrieves API objects to/from the DB
This to me is pretty astounding!! You spend a bit of time modelling your work in UML, and then you 99% of the code you need for a complete informatics solution by running some perl scripts.