News and New Product Briefs (4/20/99)

Update: GraphOn enhances its products

GraphOn announced several enhancements to its thin, server-based connectivity products Go-Global 1.6, Go-Joe 2.3, and Go-Between 1.1. The enhancements include support for Red Hat Linux 5.1, better data compression, international keyboard compatibility, improved password security, and shared TrueType font capability.

GraphOn also unified its GlobalHost server component so that a single Universal X Server can operate with the latest versions of the Windows-based Go-Global, the Java-based Go-Joe, and the WTS/multi-user NT-based Go-Between clients.

With the GraphOn products, hosts can deploy X Window, Linux, and Unix applications to users via LAN, WAN, the Internet, or dial-up connections, and users don't need to have Unix or Linux running on their desktops.

Update: Intel buys share of Persistence

Intel has made an investment in the privately held Persistence Software for an undisclosed amount. Persistence announced that it will optimize its Persistence PowerTier application server for Intel's Pentium III Xeon-based servers.

Persistence also announced that it is developing a version of Persistence PowerTier that is optimized for Intel's upcoming IA-64 Merced processor.

Persistence PowerTier products include PowerTier for Enterprise JavaBeans and PowerTier for C++.

Microsoft employee takes shot at Java

Recently, Microsoft Product Manager for Visual C Jeff Ressler appeared on Enterprise Assistance, a live Internet chat show and confirmed that the company was not going to drop support for Java.

Ressler also said, "Sun and the lawsuit it has brought against Microsoft has really threatened the industry's ability to innovate in Java." Ressler added, "This has most directly affected our Visual J development tool. We continue to sell it, and apps built with it will not be subject to any limitations, but its future is not definitive."

Ressler called Microsoft's C development environment a better alternative to letting VARs craft enterprise-level e-commerce systems. He said, "VARs writing solutions need to be concerned about licensing issues and the deployment and security of the systems they develop for profit." He then noted that the Microsoft Developers Group is attempting to address VAR requirements by developing a set of COM e-commerce components, expected within the next two months.

Enterprise Assistance:

Orbix lets NQB make realtime market quotes

National Quotation Bureau intends to launch its Iona Orbix-based Electronic Quotation System (EQS) -- a realtime Financial Information eXchange-based (FIX) feed for securities quoted on the over-the-counter market -- sometime this spring. FIX is the messaging standard adopted for realtime exchange of securities.

The EQS was designed and is being implemented by Random Walk Computing, a development and integration company that specializes in designing and deploying customized distributed-object solutions for financial services companies.

With EQS, NQB's over-the-counter trading quotes can be delivered as a realtime feed, instead of on paper. Brokers and dealers with a direct EQS feed can use the information to nail down the best price.

The EQS is an n-tiered Java end-to-end system that runs OrbixWeb 3.1 Professional, the Iona CORBA Naming Service OrbixNames, and the OrbixWeb Server Manager, all on a Solaris platform.

NQB President R. Cromwell Coulson said, "We chose to use Iona's OrbixWeb as the infrastructure for EQS because it is the leading Java-based CORBA ORB for the financial industry. Using OrbixWeb makes it easy to integrate with the many other financial users of Iona's leading products, including Javelin Technologies's Coppelia FIX-engine."

The company is also developing an Internet-deployed, GUI-based client and server that can be used to contribute to and access the EQS.

National Quotation Bureau:

Random Walk Computing:

Iona Technologies:

Nine schools join the Campus Pipeline

Campus Pipeline Inc., an enterprise information portal designed for higher education, announced that nine colleges and universities have joined in the pilot program, which is scheduled to start in May 1999 for more than 200,000 students, faculty, and administrators. It was originally announced in December 1998.

Campus Pipeline offers a system comprised of SCT's Banner2000 and Plus2000 software products, and Sun Enterprise servers and Java technology to deliver 24/7 access to campus and Internet resources.

The institutions enrolled in the Pipeline include:

  • Appalachian State University (NC)
  • Saint Joseph's University (PA)
  • Saint Louis University (MO)
  • Salt Lake Community College (UT)
  • Southern Alberta Institute of Technology
  • University of Idaho
  • University of Memphis
  • University of Oregon
  • Villanova University (PA)

Campus Pipeline's CEO William Borghetti said, "Because these colleges and universities will now have a host of services made available to them through a secure, Web-based interface, the concept of waiting in line for campus services will soon go the way of the typewriter for term papers."

Campus Pipeline will offer:

  • Administrative applications (so students can check grades, register for or add/drop classes, apply for financial aid, pay tuition and fees, and order transcripts)
  • Student services (research and career centers)
  • Course support (for distance learning, online faculty office hours, research, study groups, homework submission, labs, and course-specific chat)
  • E-mail accounts
  • Personalized content (called "My Pipeline")
  • Campus information (news, event information, and school organizations)
  • A search engine

Qualifying schools can license Campus Pipeline at no cost. A general release of the system is planned for summer 1999.

A whitepaper on Java, XML, and portability

Sun's Java Developer Connection offers a look into Java and XML portability in "Portable Data/Portable Code: XML and Java Technologies," a whitepaper by JP Morgenthal, director of research at NC.Focus.

The author notes in the executive summary that HTML "offered the enterprise a standard format for exchange with a focus on interactive visual content." He added, "However, HTML is rigidly defined and cannot support all enterprise data types, and those shortcomings provided the impetus to create the Extensible Markup Language [XML]. The XML standard allows the enterprise to define its own markup languages with emphasis on specific tasks, such as electronic commerce, supply-chain integration, data management, and publishing." He notes that these are the reasons that XML is quickly becoming the method for standardizing disparate corporate data formats.

The author comments on XML properties that make it suitable to represent data, contexts, and concepts -- regardless of the platform, vendor, or language format the data starts in.

Besides an exhaustive executive summary, the paper covers:

  • Origins of the XML Standard
  • Using XML
  • Synergy of XML and Java Technologies
  • Portable Data and Code for the Enterprise
  • Electronic Data Exchange and E-commerce
  • Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)
  • Enterprise Application Integration (EAI)
  • Publishing
  • Software Development
  • Sun, XML Technology, and the Java Platform
  • Java Platform Standard Extension for XML Technology
  • XML Technology Makes Sense for the Java Platform

You will have to register to access this page.

Update: Swing 1.1.1 beta 2 available

Sun's Java Developer Connection announced the release of the Java Foundation Classes (Swing 1.1.1 beta 2), complete with a long list of bug fixes.

This release can be downloaded with a new installer or in the standard TAR and ZIP file formats.

You will have to register to access this page.

Update: JDK 1.2.1 for Windows available

Sun announced the production release of the Java Development Kit (JDK) 1.2.1 for Microsoft Windows.

This JDK version provides a host of new features and functions not found in the JDK 1.1 version, including Japanese localization of the kit. The download bundle includes the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) with Java Plug-in software. For the Windows-platform version, the download bundle includes an optional, installable JRE plug-in.

Special note: Developers can no longer distribute the JDK software with any product they build, but they may redistribute the Java Runtime Environment with products.

JDK documentation is available online.

Insignia releases Jeode for Windows CE

Insignia Solutions announced version 1.0 of the Jeode platform, its implementation of Java that is compatible with Sun's Java specification for embedded systems and can be used by Windows CE-based embedded-device systems developers. Available immediately, it can also be used to develop Java applications for NT and Linux embedded systems.

Jeode includes:

  • The Java-compatible Embedded Virtual Machine (EVM), a small, fast, and predictable Java runtime environment that uses such technologies as adaptive dynamic optimizing compilation for fast execution and precise concurrent garbage-collection for predictable behavior
  • Embedded class libraries
  • Build-time and runtime tools that let developers configure a size- and speed-balanced EVM, as well as programming tools to write and debug Java programs

According to Insignia President Richard Noling, Jeode gives Java developers and users a "highly suitable Java-compatible virtual machine for the Windows CE platform and other embedded operating system environments."

It works with such processors as Intel x86, ARM, MIPS, and Hitachi SH; support for more processors is planned.

Debug version of MRJ 2.1.1 available

Apple has posted the MacOS Runtime for Java (MRJ) Debug 2.1.1, a debugging version of MRJ 2.1.1 with MacsBug symbols and source code line numbers compiled in, intended for use by Java developers who are having problems with version 2.1.1 and need a little help isolating the problems.

MRJ 2.1.1 Debug runs slower than the regular version and should be run without the JITC, considering that its job is to search out problems.

The regular MRJ 2.1.1 is Apple's implementation of the JVM and runtime environment, based on the JDK 1.1.7 specification. It supports Swing and Symantec's JIT compiler.

MRJ 2.1.1 lets Apple-based Java developers link Java's abilities to such Apple technologies as AppleScript and Quicktime.

You must have MacsBug installed to use this package.

MOS gets funding from JMI Equity Fund

Managed Object Solutions (MOS), the developer of the Formula Java-compliant network/systems-integration technology, disclosed that it had received funding in September 1998 from private equity-investment partnership JMI Equity Fund LP.

Formula 1.2 integrates a corporation's existing networks -- offering a single browser-based and browser-manipulated view of all systems -- by encapsulating the existing systems in "object wrappers." It also helps the existing data elements in systems evolve into business objects.

Formula 1.2 includes adapters for such management platforms as Cabletron Spectrum, BMC Software MAX/Enterprise, Tivoli Systems TME/10 NetView, and Advanced Signal SIGNALpro.

MOS has used the funding to enhance Formula's capabilities and launch an aggressive marketing campaign. Terms of the funding were not disclosed.

Sun makes the picoJava core available via CSL

Sun announced that its picoJava processor core is now available through its Community Source License (CSL) program.

Sun announced this move originally on March 2, 1999, and since then has received more than 200 CSL registrations for the picoJava and SPARC processor cores from third-party vendors, processor developers, EDA software vendors, OEMs, and research groups.

Third-party vendors interested in the picoJava technology include Aromasoft, Cadence Design Systems, Chiplogic, Cygnus Solutions, Gaio Technology, Infinite Technology Corp., jCan Corp., Lavalogic, LogicVision, MetaWare, Personal Media Corp., Phoenix Technologies, Silicon Access Technology, SureFire Verification, and VAutomation.

Research groups interested in picoJava include Carnegie Mellon University, Harvard, Northeastern University, Pennsylvania State University, and Rice University.

The CSL allows access to picoJava microprocessor source files without fees during the initial evaluation and development phases. Sun provides the key source files (microarchitecture specifications, a programmer's reference manual, an RTL verification model, and a timing-accurate simulator) over the Web.

New channel program from Sun

Sun announced a new channel program called the Sun Software Alliance, designed to act as a single-entry channel for resellers to Sun's cross-platform, enterprise software, including the new technologies from Netscape.

The program is divided into three levels. Level 1 is for resellers that sell minimal-support products, such as desktop software and developers. These resellers could get training on the products, but they don't need authorization to resell them.

Level 2 is for resellers authorized to resell software that requires a moderate amount of training and support, such as Solaris Desktop and Server, Solstice Site Manager, and Solstice Network Client.

Level 3 is for authorized software enterprise partners that must be technically advanced and receive authorization to resell such enterprise products as Java Testing Tools, NetDynamics, Sun Internet Mail Server, and Solstice Enterprise Manager.

Sun Software Alliance:

California State Democratic Caucus kick-starts Java-driven site

The California State Assembly Democratic Caucus launched a new Web site that offers daily news and event updates, features, issues, and opinions -- all driven by Java database technology.

The new site was designed and developed by Studio Arno. Visitors can get up-to-date information on the Assembly calendar, search for active bills, register for e-mail updates on current bills, and send e-mail to members of the caucus.

Studio Arno developed a Java-based, browser-accessible management system for the site that accesses a database containing the entire site contents, so additions and changes take no HTML changes and can appear in minutes.

A Spanish-language version of the site is presently in development.

UCSC offers EJB architecture classes

The University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC) Extension Software and Technologies Department now offers a two-session course entitled "Enterprise Java Beans (EJB) Architecture," designed for Java software developers who are building distributed computing systems and applications for the Internet.

The course offers an in-depth look at EJBs starting with the EJB specification, then moving on to various Java Enterprise Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), EJB objects, components, and containers. There is a lecture on the role of the component provider. The software implementation of several business components for the EJB platform will be discussed in detail. The classes will also cover an overview of client-server and multitier distributed computing; underlying Java enterprise APIs; and the goals, roles, and contracts in the EJB specification.

The first class date was in UCSC's Santa Clara location on April 17; the second part of the class took place on April 24. Both sessions lasted from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

(We apologize that this information didn't reach us for publication until after the date of the first class. If enough people are interested, the extension may offer the two-class session again. The number to call for information is 408-566-4530.)

ObjectShare sells Parts for Java to SEAGULL

ObjectShare announced that it had almost reached an agreement to sell its Parts for Java products and development group to Netherlands-based SEAGULL, in a deal valued at 50,000 in cash and other considerations. Why? The company wants to focus on its Smalltalk line and plans to expand into the Linux market.

Under the agreement, ObjectShare transfers all intellectual property rights to Parts for Java (and products that preceded it, as well as product versions currently in development and products designed to support EJBs and legacy-system integration).

ObjectShare retains the rights to sell and provide maintenance and support for Parts for Java and the predecessor products.

Eugene L. Goda, ObjectShare president and CEO, said the deal should close shortly, and "This transaction enables us to focus our resources on ObjectShare's core Smalltalk product line, VisualWorks, which has received renewed interest with the recent 5i release, and our expansion of this technology into the emerging Linux market." He added that ObjectShare plans "to expand our focus on the development and marketing of our Java training products and services to increase our partnerships with leading Java Integrated Development Environments."

SEAGULL Chairman and CEO Frank van Pelt underscored the importance of the acquisition: "Number one, we acquired a top-notch Java development lab. Number two, we acquired technology that accelerates our ability to deliver new products for rapid e-business enablement." Van Pelt continued, "We believe that Java and component-object technology, in combination with the back-end workhorse applications that contain most of the world's data and core business processes, are going to be the IT industry lynchpins supporting revolutionary new ways of conducting business over the next decade."

Look here for new Parts for Java products:

KL Group offers JProbe Suite 2.0

KL Group announced the JProbe Suite 2.0, an integrated set of tools designed to aid developers to debug memory, thread, and performance problems in Java applications.

The JProbe Suite 2.0 comes with the JProbe Memory Debugger (a visually intuitive tool for finding and plugging memory leaks); the JProbe Performance Profiler (for pinpointing and eliminating performance bottlenecks); the JProbe Coverage (to rapidly locate lines of untested code and precisely quantify the amount of code tested); and the JProbe Threadalyzer (to predict data race conditions and detect thread deadlocks that can jeopardize business applications).

JProbe Suite 2.0 tools run on Solaris and Windows 95/98/NT. The tools analyze applications written in the Java Development Kit 1.1 and Java 2.

JProbe Suite 2.0 should be available by April 19 in two editions -- the JProbe Suite Developer Edition (for 99) and the JProbe Suite Professional Edition (for ,899).

Three new technologies from alphaWorks

IBM's alphaWorks introduced three new technologies: VisualTestCoverage, Werdz, and SockPerf.

VisualTestCoverage, used for determining testing adequacy for programs written in VisualAge for Smalltalk, Generator, and Java, lets developers run unit tests (instead of functional tests) on software. This means that as soon as the last code stroke is finished on a section, it can be tested before the programmer goes on the writing the next section.

The VisualTestCoverage tool counts how many of the program's connections, events, and methods were executed, then displays the information in a view that resembles the VisualAge composition editor. It offers the developer feedback on whether enough testing has been done on each class. It tests all the elements within those classes, not just the methods. VisualTestCoverage runs on Windows 95.

The Werdz technology is designed to help convert the spoken word to the written word correctly; it takes spoken words, accepting a multitude of pronunciation variations, then spells the word correctly. IBM offers this technology for evaluation and input, not just specifically on the application, but also input on ways and places to implement it. For all Java platforms.

SockPerf is a peer-to-peer socket benchmark written in Java and used to compare and measure Java socket performance, comparing the performance to native socket performance when it is appropriate. It is multithreaded and can be run on both uni- and multiprocessor systems. Concurrent sessions can run over the same network interface or over multiple network interfaces. Both can be run on the same system (in loopback mode) or on distinct network-connected systems running heterogeneous operating systems.

It consists of a client and a server component. The client reads an option file that describes the characteristics of a session established between client and server components.

Users can specify the following characteristics to describe:

  • The use of a connection-oriented (TCP) or connectionless (UDP) protocol
  • The type of traffic to be measured (such as Request/Response, Connect/Request/Response/Disconnect, or a streaming throughput test)
  • Message size
  • Garbage collection settings
  • Test duration and statistical

The results indicate converged throughput and delay measurements for the desired configuration.

SockPerf comes with a copy of the IBM win32 Developer Environment, Java Edition, 1.1.7. For all Java platforms.

Oracle showcases new Application Server versions

Oracle debuted two new Oracle Application Server (OAS) versions, the 4.0.8 in beta and the "Lite" version, at the recent Internet World show.

OAS 4.0.8, the next upgrade, is now in beta and should be available via downloading in May from the Oracle Technology Network. It features enhanced component-hosting support for Enterprise JavaBeans, C++, and Java/CORBA interoperability. It will be up to date on Java standards, because, according to Oracle Server Marketing Vice President Jeremy Burton, "Java really represents a great language to program on the application server."

OAS 4.0.8 also provides integration with Oracle Enterprise Manager so administrators can control the database, other databases, applications, and applications server from one console. It is also integrated with Oracle Internet Directory, a security-integration system that offers a single sign on for the entire network.

Oracle also announced a "Lite" version of the OAS that will sport a streamlined configuration designed for Internet developers and middle-market customers. It will include an HTTP listener, JVM, and a CORBA 2.0-compliant ORB. Burton calls this version, due to ship by the end of 1999, "a cooked down version of the application server."

OAS Lite pricing hasn't been determined, but version 4.0.8 should sell for 95 per concurrent user, and should be available by summer.

HP adds plug-and-play to Chai

Hewlett-Packard announced ChaiAppliance Plug and Play (CAPP), a Java-based software component that extends its Chai embedded software products by providing plug-and-play compatibility to Java appliances.

CAPP is based on open Web standards, so Java-based appliance developers can easily integrate universal plug-and-play compatibility to their devices. It supports device and application discovery through HTTP and XML, so each device and application service has its own Web page. That, in turn, allows users to access embedded devices through a browser interface.

Other products in the Chai line include the ChaiVM, ChaiAppliance Services, and TurboChai. ChaiAppliance Plug and Play is available and runs on most operating systems and all Java-enabled devices. Check with HP for pricing.

Sun and AOL/Netscape unveil software plans

Officials from Sun and AOL/Netscape offered the broad strategy for leveraging the companies' strengths (Internet infrastructure, e-commerce applications, browsers, and audience access to customers) to deliver a unified set of products. They expect the first merged product to appear early in 2000. Until the combined products start rolling out the door, Sun and AOL/Netscape will develop overlapping products.

The efforts will be headed by alliance President and GM Mark Tolliver, who offered a timeline for new offerings.

In the messaging and collaboration arena:

  • Netscape Messaging Server 4.1 should be out for enterprise users in early Q299
  • Sun Internet Mail Server 4.0 should be ready for service providers and telephone companies in Summer 1999
  • Alliance Messaging Server 5.0 should be ready in Q100
  • Netscape Calendar Manager 4.0 for enterprise users is predicted for Q299
  • Alliance Calendar Server 5.0 for service providers of hosted calendar services should be ready in Q100

For Web servers:

  • Netscape Enterprise Server 4.0 should be ready in Q399 and include servlets, Java Server Pages, and Java DataBase Connectivity
  • NNetscape FastTrack Server 4.0 should be ready in early Q399 and is designed for small-scale users
  • Alliance Enterprise Server 5.0 should be ready in Q100 and will be a high-end Web server
  • Alliance FastTrack Server 5.0 should also be ready in Q100 as a more basic Web server

In the directory and security arena:

  • Alliance 5.0 directory/security server should be ready in the second half of 1999, based on Netscape technology and Network Information Service integration from Sun Directory
  • Alliance Meta Directory, also ready in the second half of 1999, will be built on Netscape Directory 4.0 with connectors for enterprise resource management systems, NOSes, e-mail, and databases
  • Certificate Management Suite 4.0, same time frame, will be integrated with Directory 4.0 and Kerberos and SecureID security system, and is expected to scales to serve a million users per system

For application servers:

  • Netscape Application Server (NAS) 4.0, to be ready in May 1999, will offer high-availability features for enterprises and service providers
  • Alliance Application Server 6.0, planned for Q100, will combine NetDynamics and NAS features

Tolliver said existing users of Sun and Netscape products will be able to pay upgrade fees instead of new product fees, for the unified products.

The Sun-Netscape Alliance will stamp a new brand on the products, and will split revenues based on a complex formula. The source code will be owned by both companies.

Moscone and CORBA 3 timed for a June release

Richard Soley, chairman and CEO of the Object Management Group (OMG), says that Enterprise JavaBeans and CORBA are the two basic required components for application servers -- all major application servers (with the exception of the Windows NT-based Microsoft Transaction Server) use EJB (for portability) and CORBA (for interoperability).

So even though it's not a marriage, it seems appropriate that the Moscone release of EJBs and the CORBA 3 specifications should both happen about the same time, in June according to Soley.

Vendors agree to form SAN standards alliance

Several companies announced an alliance to develop standards for interoperable storage area networks (SAN) and devices. The companies include EMC, Compaq, Dell, StorageTek, IBM, HP, Sequent Computer Systems, Brocade Communications, Legato Systems, and Veritas Software.

The alliance will work through the already established Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA). As a part of the SNIA, technologies such as Sun's StoreX Java-based SAN initiative and EMC's Fiber Alliance for storage management will be considered by other SNIA members.

The alliance's early plans include building:

  • A common interface module for network storage
  • A Simple Network Management Protocol Management Information Base for fiber channel storage devices
  • A disk resource-management architecture

The alliance expects to deliver its first constructions later in 1999.

Sun posts version 1.2.1 to fix Java 2 security problem

Karsten Sohr, at the German University of Marburg, discovered a security problem in Java 2 that prompted Sun to release Java 1.2.1 as a fix.

Sun says the security hole is a mistake in the creation of the code and not in the Java security architecture. According to Gary McGraw and Edward Felten, both authors of books on Java security and co-notifiers of the flaw, it affects the following platforms/applications:

  • JDK 1.1.5 (Solaris)
  • JDK 1.2beta4 (Solaris)
  • JDK 1.1.6 (Solaris)
  • JDK 1.1.7 (FreeBSD)
  • JDK 1.2 (NT)
  • JDK 1.1.6 (NT)
  • Symantec Visual Cafe Version 3
  • Netscape 4.5 (FreeBSD)
  • Netscape 4.5 (NT)
  • Netscape 4.05 (NT)
  • Netscape 4.02 (Solaris)
  • Netscape 4.07 (Linux)

Microsoft's latest JVM is not vulnerable.

The problem could allow attackers to build a booby-trapped Web page that lets the attackers wrest control of a victim's machine when they view the page. McGraw said that the flaw is in a security component of the JVM, and, "Under some circumstances, the component fails to check all of the code that is loaded into the JVM. Exploiting the flaw allows the attacker to run code that breaks Java's type safety mechanisms."

See "Java 2's Verifier becomes confused by German student's security attack," by Gary McGraw in JavaWorld (April 1999) for more details.

To download Sun's Java 2 fix, go to

KL Group offers page layout component

The KL Group announced JClass PageLayout, a new addition to the JClass component line that delivers printing format abilities to developers.

JClass PageLayout gives developers a set of 100 percent Java libraries that contain methods and procedures for adding paginated, formatted, and flowed text and image output to Java applications. It can be used with other Java 2 libraries.

JClass PageLayout lets users build applications with complex print layouts that can include such elements as running columns and frames, multiple fonts and layout styles, and generated headers and footers. Users define a page template for output and PageLayout generates it.

It imports GIF, JPEG, BMP, and EPS images into documents and supports PostScript, Adobe Acrobat PDF files, and HP-PCL 5 output.

JClass PageLayout supports JDK 1.1 and Java 2. Pricing starts at 99. It should be available in Q299.

AppBuilder for Java

Developer's Daily announced AppBuilder for Java 0.02, free alpha-version HTML forms-based software designed to help developers easily create a simple model of a new software system using a subset of the Universal Modeling Language (UML).

AppBuilder for Java supports a subset of the UML syntax. With it, developers can specify project-related properties, design multiple classes for use in an application, specify class attributes and class operations, and generate Java source code files for provided class information. Work can then be saved.

Support for additional languages may be upcoming. Since this is an alpha release, it may need improvements.

Upgrade to LotusXSL from alphaWorks

IBM alphaWorks is offering LotusXSL 0.16.5 upgrade, an experimental implementation of the Construction Rules section of the XSL World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Working Draft.

LotusXSL 0.16.5 features streaming SAX output (as well as DOM tree output), runs a smaller and improved JavaScript engine, and posts bug fixes. It implements an XSL processor in Java, and can interface to APIs that conform to the October 1 Document Object Model (DOM) Level 1 Specification. The processor can be used from the command line or from an wrapper applet, or it can be used as a submodule of other programs and accessed through the API.

It runs on all Java platforms.

Paper highlights internationalization features in Java 2

IBM has posted "The Java International API: Beyond JDK 1.1," a paper by Mark Davis and Helena Shih that highlights internationalization features in Java 2.

Among other things, the paper discusses why it is important that Java designers chose to store all text in Unicode. With Unicode, developers don't have to control multiple, limited character encodings, the result of which allows all languages an equal start.

The paper notes that:

  • In JDK 1.0, most low-level internationalization services were taken care of
  • In JDK 1.1, the low-level services were enhanced, and mid-level (server-level) services were addressed, and some high-level services such as input and output were linked to host platform services
  • In JDK 1.2, the high-level services were enhanced and no longer dependent on host platform services

IBM releases new CICS Transaction Server for OS/390

IBM announced the release of the CICS Transaction Server for OS/390, version 1.3, which offers a range of major enhancements to facilitate corporate-level e-commerce.

Version 1.3 is an easy-to-use, S/390 application server package that lets users execute server Java code alongside existing CICS applications. It uses the S/390 Parallel Sysplex clustering technology. The bundle contains utilities to let developers reuse existing CICS applications as Web-enabled products.

The included CICS Transaction Gateway Version 3.0 allows users to access business-critical applications running on CICS servers from a Web browser or NC. Additional products provided as part of the new CICS Transaction Server include:

  • CICSPlex
  • CICS Transaction Affinities Utility
  • REXX Development System for CICS/ESA
  • REXX Runtime Facility for CICS/ESA
  • CICS Application Migration Aid
  • CICS Distributed Data Management
  • CICS Universal Clients 3.0

To enable applications, version 1.3 supplies plenty of tools, such as visual AD tools and JavaBeans; new object-oriented interfaces for C++ and Java; extensive Java support; and CICS BTA, a new set of services for constructing IT processes that match business processes.

To make business processes available on the Web, version 1.3 offers increased HTTP support and new facilities for creating and manipulating HTML data; a new CICS transaction gateway that offers related facilities for attaching Web browsers via outboard gateways; and support for CORBA objects.

For enterprise-level scalability, it provides dynamic routing for transactions started by DPL, ECI, a Web browser, and CORBAclient; high-performance CICS coupling facility data tables; and support for concurrent updates in multiple CICS transaction instances.

To manage the enterprise, version 1.3 offers a new CICS autoinstall for MVS consoles; two new RDO modules to manage temporary storage tables; such programming models as object-oriented techniques using either C++ or Java, OMG's CORBA IIOP, and the JavaBeans component model; and the ability to build applications using the procedural model.

Available now, check with the company for pricing.

Cygnus debuts GNU compiler/libraries for Java

Cygnus Solutions announced the Cygnus GNU Compiler Java Edition (GCJ) and accompanying open source Java libraries.

GCJ is a Java compiler built with GNU compiler technology that lets Java source code and Java bytecode compile to native instructions. GCJ and the java.lang, java.util,, java.text, and libraries are available in source form.

GCJ lets developers write applications in Java for Linux and Solaris. It compiles to machine code rather than bytecode, so the compiler gives application performance a boost over those applications that use the interpreted method.

GCJ was developed using Cygnus' GNUPro tools. GCJ is a clean room implementation and can easily link C/C++ functions to Java.

InnovaCom TransPEG 500 video transmission system

InnovaCom announced TransPEG 500, an MPEG video transmission system for native ATM/LANE-based networks.

The TransPEG system, a standards-based ATM network interface card for PCI systems consisting of a scalable transmitter and receiver, can deliver 24/7 transmission of MPEG-2 (4:2:2 and 4:2:0) video over native ATM (AAL5). Video data rates range from 1 to 15 MB per second. It can revert back to LANE (LAN Emulation) protocols when performing a Classical IP (CLIP)-based transmission.

TransPEG 500 uses an ATM interface to deliver full-duplex transmission for two-way simultaneous data movement. It integrates with traditional LANs and WANs because they are interoperable with third-party ATM switches, routers, concentrators, and edge devices.

TransPEG's standard Java-based interface sports an embedded control system used to remotely control TransPEG devices and the Sony AF-CCD (EVI D30) camera. Users can also manage up to 31 RS-232 and RS-422 devices, such as VTRs, laser disks, routers, and switches.

TransPEG has a Web-based client that interfaces with any Microsoft Direct Show-compatible decoder, which allows users to playback video at the desktop. A Java SDK comes with TransPEG to let users customize the interface.

It can handle up to 1,024 virtual circuits supported with either SVCs or PVCs; it can be managed through SNMP and ATM Forum ILMI; and it contains network operating system drivers for Windows NT, NetWare, and OS/2.

Other InnovaCom video transmission systems are TransPEG 100 (T1/E1), TransPEG 200 (bonded T1/E1), and TransPEG 400 (Ethernet, 10/100baseT, and gigabit).

TransPEG 500 is covered by a standard two-year parts and labor hardware warranty and training resources. Check with the company for pricing.

Freedom brokerage installs Java real time broker system

Freedom Direct, a division of the Canada-based Freedom International Brokerage, announced the release of Freedom TraderDirect, the beta version of a Java-based real time electronic brokering system for Canadian fixed income securities in the interdealer broker market.

Traditional interdealer brokerage services offer clients access to prices through dedicated feeds, but trade execution and price posting can only occur via telephone contact with a broker. Freedom TraderDirect lets users post live prices and execute trades from existing workstations and networks.

Freedom TraderDirect offers such features as immediate trader confirmation, online calculators, and trade history.

It has been deployed to four fixed-income trading desks in Toronto. Beta-phase testing will consist of client desks that cover Canadian government Treasury Bills and Benchmark Bonds. The company expects to go live with 12 banks and investment dealers in June 1999. Throughout the rest of 1999, the company expects to expand into other market segments.

There was no further information on the company's site at press time.

Bluestone adds AverStar JWatch debugging to Sapphire/Web

AverStar announced that Bluestone has chosen AverStar's JWatch to be the debugger included in its Sapphire/Web Application Server Framework.

JWatch will give Sapphire/Web users enterprise-class Web-application debugging capabilities. JWatch lets users concurrently debug multiple, independent Java programs running on multiple JVMs. JWatch supports Java 2.

With local and remote debugging and the ability to debug with and without source code, JWatch users can control and debug applets even in the IE browser. Users can debug RMI processes and Java servlets, as well as embedded-system Java-enabled virtual machines.

JWatch is offered to distributors through royalty-based, quantity licensing, and it can be used standalone as a development tool or integrated into an application.

It requires Windows 95/NT 4.0 or Solaris 2.5, as well as JDK 1.1.5 and higher.

IBM claims it has the fastest Windows JVM

IBM has posted a free JVM for Windows 32-bit platforms -- and the company claims it is the fastest one available.

The IBM Win32 JVM, which uses a third-generation JIT compiler and mixed-mode interpreter, can be used with Windows 95, 98, and NT to deploy and run Java applications and applets. IBM officials claim that some of the said applications will run 30 percent faster than with currently available JVMs, including those from Sun and Microsoft. The company cites SPECjvm98 and VolanoMark benchmarks as proof.

The IBM Win32 JVM is Java-certified.

Microsoft hasn't released a new JVM since the start of the Sun-initiated lawsuit. Sun is expected to release its for-pay HotSpot compiler later in April.

IBM's free release, as well as both its and Symantec's release of free JIT compilers (that may rival the performance of the HotSpot version), should make the Java developer community (Windows-based and others) feel secure in the progress of Java, regardless of whether Microsoft decides to continue to participate in the Java arena or of how well Sun's next offering performs.

IBM also provides support for programmers building with the Win32 JVM, including technical and help-desk support for the JVM. IBM also offers JVMs for OS/2, AIX, OS/400, and OS/390.

No Magic upgrades to UML tool

No Magic announced that it has released a 3.1 beta version of MagicDraw, a UML modeling and CASE tool for Java code engineering.

This beta supports both Java code generation and reverse engineering to and from UML diagrams that can be drawn with the same tool. Other new features in 3.1 include the ability to: save every diagram as JPG images for the entire project at once, toggle between black and white and color mode for diagrams, automatically generate a class names appendix, and rapidly reverse engineer and generate code without sets.

MagicDraw UML runs on all major operating systems, including Windows 95/NT, Solaris, MacOS, OS/2, AIX, and HP-UX. It comes in two editions: Standard (49) and Professional (99). There is a demo version available.

Kane Scarlett comes to JavaWorld from such magazines as Advanced Systems, Digital Video, NC World, Population Today, and National Geographic. He's not a platform fanatic -- he just likes systems that work (i.e., don't issue a beta as a final version) and systems you don't have to upgrade every six months (upgrades should be new features, not bug fixes).