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

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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.

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