News and New Product Briefs (December 5, 1999)

U of Michigan and Schlumberger develop tiny Web server

The University of Michigan's Center for Information Technology Integration (CITI) and Schlumberger have developed a Web server entirely contained on Schlumberger's Cyberflex Access, a Java-based smart card.

Webcard is written in Java and accessed through an OpenBSD tunnel device.

"We're trying to extend the smart card's reach, and one of its strong points is the fact that it's tamper resistant," says Peter Honeyman, director of CITI and principal investigator of the CITI-Schlumberger research partnership. "Furthermore, you can be sure nobody is hacking into your Web server when it is in your wallet or purse."

Smart cards have traditionally been accessed through arcane application interfaces. In contrast, Webcard can be accessed by any Internet-capable Web browser.

"The Java card allowed us to create something smaller than anyone thought plausible," Honeyman says.

The Webcard server supports a simplified subset of the HTTP, TCP, and IP protocols -- and its size is reduced even further because only one connection is active at any time and the server does not return pages with inline content such as images. Project researchers say it would not be difficult to extend Webcard's capabilities.

You can download the source code for the Webcard application and its supporting environment, download the tunnel daemon, and read the technical report at:

VisualCafé 4 opens its doors

Symantec Corporation has announced the release of the VisualCafé 4 development environment for Java.

VisualCafé 4, which incorporates tools from partners such as BEA Systems, IONA, Oracle, and PointBase, takes full advantage of the advanced features of Java 2.

VisualCafé Standard Edition and VisualCafé Expert Edition are available now; VisualCafé Enterprise Edition will be available by spring.

The Standard Edition costs 9.95, the Expert Edition 99.95, and the Enterprise Edition ,799.95. Current Professional and Database users will receive a discount if they upgrade before December 31, 1999.

For more information, call 888-822-3409, or surf to:

Businesses get moving with Nokia WAP Server

Anticipating the day that cell phones are the preferred Internet-enabled device, Nokia has introduced an open server platform for mobile applications.

You can use the Nokia WAP Server to tailor company-specific applications so that roaming users can securely access corporate networks -- or create a new space in the rapidly evolving dot-com economy we all know and love.

According to Nokia, an estimated 15 percent of the mobile phones sold in the world next year will support WAP (the Wireless Application Protocol). With the Nokia WAP Server you can tap into that market. Its features include:

  • Compliance with WAP 1.1
  • HTTP compatibility
  • Native support for WML (Wireless Markup Language) and WMLScript
  • Provisions for push services
  • Java Servlet API
  • LDAP support
  • Certificate-based authentication

The Nokia WAP Server starts at 0,000.

Sun releases JAAS 1.0 beta

Sun Microsystems has released the Java Authentication and Authorization Service (JAAS) framework 1.0 beta to complement version 1.3 of the Java 2 Software Development Kit.

The JAAS supplements the Java 2 Platform with added security features such as user-based authentication and access control, a Java-based version of the Pluggable Authentication Module (PAM) architecture, and flexible user-, group-, or role-based access controls.

JAAS supports the Java Naming and Directory Interface (JNDI).

"The objective of this release is to demonstrate a working example of the JAAS APIs, to get developers familiar with JAAS APIs, and to allow them to start prototyping projects," the company states.

The beta code release runs on Solaris and Windows NT. You must have the Java 2 SDK Standard Edition version 1.3 or the Java 2 Runtime Environment version 1.3 already installed.

Thoughtstar constructs portal for work teams

Thoughtstar has launched QuickTeam 2000, a suite of browser-based collaboration tools designed for small work teams. The portal facilitates project management, document sharing, realtime chat, address books, and calendars.

Quickteam 2000 Express is available for free as a vendor-hosted application. The Professional version is scheduled to be released by the end of 1999. It will support Palm VII integration and 128 bit SSL security. A lease runs 3 per user per month; the sale price is 00.

The product works with any Java-enabled browser.

LiteWebServer and WAICoolRunner beef up JSP support

Gefion Software has announced new releases of its popular LiteWebServer 2.2 and WAICoolRunner 2.2. Both now support the latest version of Sun's Java server technology.

The new releases also reflect the contributions Gefion has made to the Apache Jakarta Project. "Providing commercial-quality support for this open source product is in the best interest of both our customers and ourselves," says Hans Bergsten, president of Gefion Software.

The new releases implement Java Servlet 2.2 and support JavaServer Pages 1.1 through the Tomcat JSP container.

LiteWebServer is a pure Java Web server with a minute footprint. It is ideal for embedded systems, in bundled solutions, in a small intranet, or for servlet development.

WAICoolRunner is a servlet engine for Netscape FastTrack Server 3.01 and Netscape Enterprise Server 3.0/3.5/3.6.

Both products are free for noncommercial use or for commercial use on your own servers. Support contracts provide email support, access to the product source code, access to bug and patch databases, and the right to bundle the product as part of another product. Support contracts are available at 50 per copy up to 11 copies or at ,600 for an unlimited number of copies.

Make your own calendar with DJT

Dirk's 'J' Toolkit (DJT) is a Swing-based Java class library for Gantt chart development from Dirk Lemmermann Software and Consulting. DJT can be used to effortlessly graft a pleasing user interface onto your project management systems.

DJT is a pure Java implementation and works with any platform. The library is available for both Java 1.1 and Java 2.

English and German support is included, but DJT's open API is designed to support virtually any language. Date formatting can be adjusted to locale.

Timecruiser 2.0 offers event management for intranets

Timecruiser Computing Corporation has released Timecruiser 2.0, the latest version of the company's flagship product for time and event management.

Designed for intranets, ISPs, and portals, the latest version can be deployed across multiple servers and sites.

It supports:

  • Workgroup sessions
  • Event scheduling and registration
  • Meeting coordination and notification
  • Multimedia applications
  • Calendar functions, including the launching of apps

The Java-based Timecruiser can run on Windows 9x/NT, Unix, and Linux. For pricing contact company sales.

GSM standard to use Java Cards

Sun Microsystems announced that the European Telecommunications Standards Institute, the body that defines the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) standard, has adopted Java Card technology in GSM cell phones. The phones will ship with a built-in smart card chip that will record a user's authentication data and allow for secure transactions.

According to Patrice Peyret, director of platform software engineering for Sun Microsystems' Consumer and Embedded Division, Java technology allows telecommunications devices to become wireless portals, "connecting consumers seamlessly to Internet-based content and services."

Jiro platform spec released

Sun Microsystems released the Jiro platform's core specification, calling it the Federated Management Architecture Specification.

The specification defines the architecture of FederatedBeans components, the foundation of the Jiro platform.

"The Jiro platform technologies are the first to provide an inherently network-centric approach to dynamically managing heterogeneous storage networks," says Denise Shiffman, director of content services for Sun Network Storage.

The Jiro Website puts it this way: "FederatedBeans components enable the easy creation of management applications that solve the problems of configuring, monitoring, diagnosing, and troubleshooting network devices, systems, storage, and software in an intelligent and automated fashion."

The specification was created during an open review under the Java Community Process (JCP) and is posted on the JCP Website.

See the spec at:

For more information see also:

For details on the Jiro platform see;

Halcyon releases new modules, rechristens SyMON

Halcyon has changed the name of its family of Sun enterprise management products: SyMON is now Sun Management Center 2.1. The company also announced several new modules:

  • Halcyon PrimeAlert WebPortal Module,
  • Halcyon PrimeAlert Module for Sybase Replication Server
  • Halcyon PrimeAlert Module for Oracle

The Sun Management Center, codeveloped by Halcyon and Sun Microsystems, is based on Halcyon's PrimeAlert intelligent agent monitoring technology. The products monitor mission-critical Sun systems and applications around the clock.

The product family also includes these members:

  • PrimeAlert DBMSAlert Module for Oracle
  • PrimeAlert DBMSAlert Module for Sybase
  • PrimeAlert EventAction Module
  • PrimeAlert ScriptRunner Module
  • PrimeAlert FileBrowser Module

For pricing and support contact Halycon: scores with Asia Java Fund has been named among the first recipients of the Asia Java Fund. The Malaysian start-up rents business applications to companies over the Internet.

Darryl Carlton,'s CEO, says that the company has closed a round of investment led by the fund, which Sun Microsystems set up to help new technology companies that use Java. reportedly secured .5 million of the fund's estimated 8 million in assets.

Maya Consultancy helps you prep for Java exam

The developers of gEs:Java 2.0 from Maya Consultancy Services have designed an instrument that simulates the Java certification exam.

The simulator offers you:

  • More than 250 questions like those on the exam
  • The ability to review questions
  • The ability to train on specific topics
  • A 100% Pure Java implementation
  • Online help

You must have JDK installed to run gEs. The exam simulator is portable to virtually any platform. The basic version costs 5, and you can add users, support, and the source code.

Download an evaluation copy with 15 sample questions:

For more information visit:

Orient clients to SpatialFX

ObjectFX Corporation has released SpatialFX 1.5 Enterprise JavaBeans, the industry's first geospatial EJB, ideal for Web-based visualization.

"Geographic visualization is now a critical part of business software and consequently it has to scale to enterprise levels," says Onno Kluyt, senior product manager of Java Component Architecture for Sun Microsystems. "ObjectFX clearly saw this need and was able to rapidly leverage its Java expertise into the first offering of Enterprise JavaBeans for map-related services."

SpatialFX 1.5 includes:

  • Highly scalable component architecture
  • The ability to integrate multiple information sources
  • Interactive, Web-enabled, data-rich maps
  • Client-side JavaBeans
  • More than 500 Java classes
  • Java servlets
  • Fast access to large, street-level databases

Use the included application server in standalone mode, or just plug in the SpatialFX EJB to your existing application server. SpatialFX simultaneously supports HTML pages displaying interactive GIF or PNG map images, thin Java applets displaying maps in multiple layers of vector objects, and full-blown client/server applications.

Supported platforms are Windows NT and Unix; for pricing information contact ObjectFX.

Percussion drums up interest in your Web pages

Percussion Software's Rhythmyx uses XML to enable you to add dynamic content to browser-based applications quickly and easily.

The package is made up of the Rhythmyx Server; the Rhythmyx Workbench graphical design interface; and a Java administration applet to access the server from any Java-enabled browser.

Here's a partial list of Rhythmyx's features:

  • Content management: Automatic links and static and dynamic pages

  • Maintenance: XML and XSL architecture -- with no proprietary tags -- generates no code or script; simple stylesheet substitutions can change page designs at any time without affecting data logic

  • Parameter settings: A simple dialog box offers controls for paging, session management, connection pooling, caching, and query optimization

  • Security: Encryption enforcement, authentication, access controls, and pass-through or alias support

  • Database support: Includes multiple relational table updates and the ability to build queries that execute any type of joins -- even with data from multiple tables from the same or different sources
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