News and New Product Briefs (1/5/97)

Divya's infoBook receives 100% Pure Java certification

Divya Inc.'s infoBook has received 100% Pure Java certification. infoBook is a Java-based text and multimedia information presentation manager that often is used for an interactive phone book and product and real estate catalog.

infoBook is primarily used as an applet in Web pages, although it can also be used as a standalone application. And its is certified as both an applet and application.

Divya also plans to get BackOnline, its Java- and browser-based client/server backup software, certified too, according to Divya president and CEO Anil Hemrajani.

Microsoft's latest Java SDK somewhat more compliant

According to the Extraprise Group's "Extraprise Alert" newsletter, Microsoft's latest shipping version of its Software Development Kit for Java 2.01 now provides classes that supports Sun's JDK 1.02. Sun is now shipping JDK 1.1.5.

The newsletter attributes this move by Microsoft as a response to the swelling ranks of developers and corporate IT managers that are demanding a more open standardized Java. Not to mention that the U.S. District Court is expected to issue a ruling in the Sun vs. Microsoft lawsuit soon.

Survey: Internet, distributed apps well under way

The Extraprise Group's Advisory Services has released some early results from its Extraprise 100 survey of senior IS staff at Fortune 1000 and emerging companies. And the results show that Web-based applications have found a solid home in corporations.

Some of the early findings include:

  • 81% of the respondents are now developing intranet and extranet systems
  • 60% use Netscape for the standard Web server environment (45% use Microsoft Web servers)
  • 45% use Java for development (39% use Visual Basic)
  • 24% use some sort of push technology

So far, the survey has found that the most popular arenas for Internet applications are marketing, customer support, and human resources.

The complete survey results will be available in January 1998. For more information, email abonde@extraprise.com

Large percentage of Windows programmers writing for both Netscape and IE

In the first of a continuing series of non-sponsored programmer opinion surveys, Evans Marketing Services discovered that of the 300 Windows programmers it contacted, more than 70 percent are writing their apps for both the Netscape and Internet Explorer Java virtual machines (VM).

In Evans' Summer '97 Programmer Opinion Survey, the company also found

  • 61.3% are writing Internet apps that use a VM
  • 16.3% are writing for the Netscape VM only
  • 11.9% are writing for the IE VM only
  • 71.9% are writing for both

And what will next year bring for these programmers?

  • 67.1% will be writing VM-targeted apps
  • 11.4% will be writing for the Netscape VM only
  • 12.9% will be writing for the IE VM only
  • 75.6% will be writing for both

The large percentage of respondents targeting both VMs means that many Windows programmers will have to choose broad appeal over browser-specific capabilities, unless Microsoft decides to make its Java derivative more standard.

Of course, browser usage among this group doesn't reflect development habits. Forty percent use Netscape for surfing, 38.7 use Internet Explorer, and 19 percent use both.

Sun chooses NetResults for '98 Sun Developer CD

Sun has chosen Innotech's Java-based NetResults-CD search and index tool for its 1998 Sun Developer CD, a subscriber quarterly on Sun's current and emerging technologies.

NetResults-CD will allow subscribers to access the CD-ROM publications with any Java-compatible browser. With it, users can create index and search interfaces on the CD. NetResults also gives users an automatic boot and install feature, as well as permitting simultaneous searching of the CD and publishers Web site (so you can keep the information up to date).

Although publishing requirements determine the pricing for NetResults-CD, the standard NetResults-CD Tool Kit starts at ,995 (which includes publishing and distribution rights for 25,000 CDs).

Sun's Enterprise JavaBeans splits in two

Soon after Sun's JavaSoft division announced its Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB) specification at Fall Internet World in New York, the company split the spec in two to keep the persistence and nonpersistence folks happy. A persistent object is one that retains it original behavior or state.

EJB's two groups are called Session Beans (which don't support persistence) and Entity Beans (which do). Version 1.0 of EJB will work with just support for Session Beans, but EJB 2.0 will require the support of Entity Beans. Any object persistence required in EJB 1.0 can be handled by using Entity Beans or a Bean container.

IBM and Oracle cajoled JavaSoft into the nonpersistent version of EJB because they felt it would be too difficult to write persistence EJBs for relational databases immediately. This may be why the specification, intended for release in November, was about a month late.

Next-gen developers sell open logic, not proprietary software

Enterprise JavaBeans technology is helping to form the core for a new breed of independent software vendor -- ISVs that are more intent on selling open computing business logic or domain-specific expertise instead of the proprietary hooks. One such ISV is Extensity.

Extensity developed a product called Expense Reporter, a Web application to automate expense reports, expense approval, and expense payment. Expense Reporter is made of Java servlets or server components built on WebLogic's Tengah Java app server. The components are distributed by way of thin client or applet. (Extensity is also planning to license components by NeuronData and KIGroup.) Company president and CEO Sharam Sasson commented that the company (products to be launched in early 1998) is also working on time-management and purchasing-requisition applications.

Upstream Consulting director John Rymer comments that Netscape typifies this type of company because it "is not dependent on proprietary hooks to sell its software." He sees a potential explosion in this type of ISV, those that "will build solutions using either Java or ActiveX or Dynamic HTML."

Andyne GQL Reports gets 100% Pure Java certification

Andyne Computing Ltd.'s GQL Reports' Web Report Viewer, Java-based report-writing software, has been certified 100% Pure Java. Web Report Viewer is a Java applet embedded within the reporting application.

GQL Reports is an Andyne GQL-integrated report writer. Andyne GQL is a query and reporting tool. With the Web Report Viewer applet, users can access reports from any Java-ready browser without the need for plug-ins. The Web reports generated by GQL Reports are platform-independent.

Andyne is readying other Java applets to use in its Managed Web Environment business intelligence suite (intended for early next year). Applets are being prepared to handle query refreshes and report qualifications. Java-based online analytical processing is expected to be integrated in the following release.

Andyne senior VP of product management Ron Spencer notes that what Andyne is committed to is "basically putting more functionality on the desktop, but without increasing the size of the client applications."

Visual Cafe for Java gets the thumbs up from Corel

Corel has chosen Symantec's Visual Cafe for Java (VCJ) as its primary development environment for Java development.

Corel chose VCJ for its rapid application development (RAD) abilities, integrated project-management features, source and visual editors, component libraries, incremental debugging and other tools, and its support for JDK 1.1 and JavaBeans.

Corel president and CEO Dr. Michael Cowpland said, "After extensive evaluation and testing of competing products, we selected Symantec's Visual Cafe for Java as the foundation of our development efforts. Symantec's proven track record of support for Java technologies and tools give us confidence [about] moving forward."

CA's Masterpiece/Net receives 100% Pure Java certification

Computer Associates Prestige Software International division announced that Masterpiece/Net, its Web-based global financial management system, is now 100% Pure Java certified.

Masterpiece/Net provides enterprise financial information access from Web-browser platforms, whether it's at the office, at home, or on the road. It includes consolidation, general ledger, accounts payable, accounts receivable, fixed assets, purchasing, fund accounting, inventory control, job cost and labor distribution, and query, reporting, and analysis tools.

CA senior VP/GM Robert H. Toth said, "In addition to providing access via the Internet/intranet and cross-platform compatibility, using Java is cost-effective for Masterpiece/Net clients." He added, "With Masterpiece/Net, software distribution becomes a thing of the past. Client desktop installation and maintenance are now automatically performed from a central Web server."

Novell selects WebLogic's Tengah Java app server for Open Solutions Architecture

Novell has chosen WebLogic Inc.'s Tengah Java application server as the pure-Java server platform for its Open Solutions Architecture (OSA), the framework for NetWare and other Novell products.

Incorporating OSA and Tengah's suite of Java application assembly and deployment services gives Novell customers and partners the ability to rapidly deliver increasingly complex server-based applications and services. As the Java app server for OSA, Tengah will provide Novell VARs with the tools needed to craft commercial-level Java applications. Tengah's application assembly services support:

  • Distributed components
  • Distributed objects
  • Database integration
  • Web integration
  • Event management
  • Global directory (NDS)

Novell users can use the Tengah OSA to deploy and manage Java applications developed by Novell VARs or third parties.

Novell senior VP Chris Stone commented that "Together, OSA and Tengah deliver a stable, scalable Java server platform on NetWare that allows us to deliver the manageable solutions for the Internet to meet our customer needs."

IBM's LANDP connectivity software gets NT and Java support

IBM has incorporated support for Windows NT and Java applications to its LAN Distributed Platform 4.0 (LANDP), released in December 1997.

LANDP 4.0 already ran on AIX, DOS, OS/2, and Windows 3.x. With the Java and NT support integration, the software should now be proofed for the Y2000 problem, according to company officials.

LANDP 4.0 offers such services as database, communications, and security. These services are independent of the underlying system software and should allow any application running on one of the above specific platforms to access services from a server running on NT. LANDP product manager Archie Kemp said, "This is a piece of software that runs between the application and the operating system. It provides electronic journaling, store and forwarding, software distribution capabilities, and [the] various language-binding needed in distributed data environments, particularly banking, and across architectural boundaries."

Kemp added that by running the software on a LAN, users get to choose the hardware, application software, and systems software desired for a particular environment. He finished by mentioning that LANDP "provides services which large enterprises need and are not provided by the operating system."

Corel to post 5m loss

According to company officials, Corel has said that the company expects to post a loss of 5 million in the fourth quarter.

Part of the loss came from inventory lowering in the sales channel. Corel started reducing channel inventory in Q397 when it posted a 2m loss on 4m in sales. These efforts are migrating Corel's inventory model to one of just-in-time supply. President and CEO Dr. Michael Cowpland hopes that the new model will allow Corel to report more representative numbers in the future.

Part of the loss is from taking a charge for obsolete inventory, and the Corel also snapped up 1.3 million common shares in this quarter (Q497) for cancellation, at the same time raising its cash level to 0m (up from 0m last quarter. Corel's sales reached 02m in Q497.

W3C moves XML closer to standardization

In December 1997, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) declared that the eXtensible Markup Language (XML) was stable enough to implement on the Web, moving the markup language closer to standardization. The W3C moved the question out of the XML Working Group and handed it over to the 229 member companies, each of which have one vote to approve, approve with changes, or disapprove XML. The vote will occur sometime in January 1998.

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