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

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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).
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