News and New Product Briefs (September 8, 2000)

INDEXHEAD: VisualCafé gets news wizards and compilers

WebGain is shipping VisualCafé 4 Enterprise Edition, an updated version of its Java-based enterprise application developer. The new release of VisualCafé features productivity wizards for the development and deployment of EJBs and new Java and just-in-time compilers. In addition, WebGain has added a debugger that supports custom-class loaders. The product is integrated with BEA WebLogic servers, with support for the iPlanet application server expected soon.

VisualCafé includes a plug-in J2EE architecture that simplifies deployment to J2EE application servers. It supports Solaris, Windows NT/2000, and HP-UX. The product is available immediately from WebGain or from authorized resellers. It is also embedded in the WebGain Studio development suite.

INDEXHEAD: Imperial offers free graphical builder

Imperial Software Technology has recently made available Visaj Personal Edition, a free version of its application builder for Java. Visaj features a point-and-click interface and generates pure Java source code. It runs on any Java-enabled platform and supports Java 2 and JFC/Swing components. In addition, Visaj works with most IDEs, including Sun's Forte for Java. Other features include:

  • Tools for class editing, resource bundles, and properties
  • A layout editor that allows visual construction of glue and strut components
  • An advanced image editor
  • An "always live" GUI window that avoids compiling by showing what is being designed onscreen

Visaj PE can be downloaded free of charge. Supported platforms include Solaris, Linux, Windows, IRIX, and Macintosh. Visaj Professional, featuring an unrestricted license, starts at 95.

INDEXHEAD: Versant releases suite for database developers

Versant has announced the beta release of the Versant Developer Suite (VDS) 6.0, a data-management system that also serves as the underlying software for Versant enJin. VDS 6.0 now supports multi-attribute queries, thereby improving overall database query capabilities. It also allows the storage and manipulation of international character data as well as collation-based indexing.

Other new features in the VDS suite are:

  • Java development tools, including synchronization and object mapping
  • Compliance with Sun's Java data objects
  • An XML toolkit that allows the import and export of XML objects
  • Bundling of the object database with Versant's C++ language interface

Beta releases of both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of VDS are available for download. Versant expects to release final product versions in fourth quarter of 2000.

INDEXHEAD: BEA ships e-commerce tool for wireless devices

BEA Systems' new WebLogic M-Commerce Solution is a package of software and support designed for mobile e-commerce applications. As part of an agreement between BEA and Nokia, the M-Commerce Solution integrates the BEA WebLogic Server with Nokia's WAP server. It enables data and services to be delivered to desktop PCs as well as wireless devices, pagers, and mobile phones. The package allows extensive customization and has been designed for confidentiality and security.

The M-Commerce Solution is based on several industry standards, including J2EE, Enterprise JavaBeans, JavaServer Pages, XML, and WAP. It supports Solaris, HP-UX, and Windows NT. It is available immediately.

INDEXHEAD: Gen-it revs up app development

The latest version of Codagen's Java code generator, Gen-it 2.0, features several enhancements targeted toward the development of enterprise applications. To reduce application build time, Gen-it now generates structural code for application systems. Its generation capabilities include XML, HTML, text, batch, and script files. The updated Gen-it also includes a set of new templates and an XMI import facility that reads XMI files exported by modeling tools or custom software. For easier design manipulation, Codagen redesigned the product's Rational Rose tool.

Gen-it 2.0 for Java supports Windows 95/98/NT. An evaluation copy is available for download from Codagen.

INDEXHEAD: HobLink puts on a new face

Hob has released version 2.3 of HobLink J-Term, a Java-based product for Web-to-host connectivity. The new version implements the OHIO (Open Host Interface Objects) interface, which enables developers to integrate HobLink J-Term using a common API. In addition, companies can utilize a new GUI feature that converts mainframe and AS/400 screens to a graphical interface without manual preprogramming. The product includes security features such as SSL encryption.

HobLink J-Term is platform independent and offers access through any Web browser or network client. Currently Hob is offering a free evaluation copy of version 2.3; the price is based on the number of users.

INDEXHEAD: iPix imaging tools go on tour

Internet Pictures (iPix) has launched upgrades of the iPix Wizard and iPix Java Viewer. The Wizard tool, which creates 360-degree online images, is designed for virtual tours. Wizard 2.3 matches image resolutions for higher-quality output and offers an automated key retrieval. In addition, the product enables dynamic images to be sent through email using an embedded viewer, and it includes support for several leading digital cameras.

With the new Java Viewer 3.1 (bundled with the iPix Wizard), virtual tours can be shown without a plug-in. Navigation, zooming, and user options have been enhanced.

Wizard 2.3 is available immediately as a CD-ROM for Windows or Macintosh. Current iPix customers can obtain the product for free; pricing for new customers is set at 9.95 for a single copy.

INDEXHEAD: Rational simplifies Web-based load testing

Rational SiteLoad, a new Web-based load-testing tool from Rational Software, features a point-and-click interface that was designed as an alternative to more complex testing tools. Written entirely in Java, the product runs on a Web server, can be accessed through any browser, and allows simultaneous test runs. Features include realtime graphs of testing results and a resource monitor that keeps track of disk space and memory to eliminate bottlenecks.

SiteLoad is platform independent and supports Windows, Solaris, and Linux. It will be available October 9, 2000. Pricing depends on the number of users, beginning at 5,000 for 250 virtual users. An evaluation copy will also be available for download.

INDEXHEAD: katmango platform speeds e-business registrations

E-business software company katmango has come out with the katmango platform, a system that offers a framework for B2B process automation and data exchange. The Java- and XML-based product supports instant registration and login. It requires minimal integration, so deployment time is reduced. katmango platform also includes a library of prebuilt business models that can be quickly modified or expanded. The platform is designed for scalability, handling up to 200 transactions per second per server, according to katmango.

Pricing for the product is based on an ASP model and includes a monthly usage fee based on customer size.

INDEXHEAD: SilverStream server sparkles with SOAP

SilverStream Software has recently certified xCommerce, its B2B integration server, for the Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) 1.1 specification. SOAP's open standard enables direct data exchange between enterprise systems, so xCommerce can now receive SOAP-formatted requests and deliver SOAP responses. In testing, it integrated SOAP business transactions with relational databases, CICS transactions, and AS/400-based business applications.

SilverStream anticipates that SOAP will become a leading interoperability standard in the near future. According to company officials, xCommerce will increasingly deploy SOAP-based interactions into J2EE application servers, thereby utilizing SOAP as a foundation for B2B transactions.

Arden Yingling is an editor and freelance writer based in Oakland, Calif.