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

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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.

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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.

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