News and New Product Briefs (4/1/98)

HP outlines its Java intentions for enterprise products

Hewlett-Packard recently announced its strategy to integrate Java technology with its mainstream enterprise business products.

Generally speaking, that strategy includes enhancing performance and extending scalability for its Java products. In particular, HP intends to open a "tuning center" that will be responsible for optimizing the range of environments that incorporate Java.

Two virtual machines are on the horizon. The first 100 percent JVM-compliant version will be coupled with a native compiler, designed for corporate business-critical systems. The second, more controversial VM will be designed for the Intel/HP IA-64 64-bit processor architecture. The controversy stems from the fact that it will be optimized for the architecture and probably will not adhere to the JVM.

HP Internet and Application Systems GM Nigel Ball said, "Sun's Java technology has been interesting from the beginning, but its potential for real business value has only recently emerged. By focusing on the evolving requirements of enterprise businesses, HP will make Java environments the practical choice for the companies that can benefit from its technological virtues."

The company also plans to create a tuning center in Cupertino, CA to help developers and customers assemble the most efficient, complete Java systems by optimizing Java-based apps, databases, and operating systems.

HP is also focusing on server-side Java applications in enterprise resource planning (ERP), supply-chain management, electronic commerce, and operating resource management. And the company announced the formation of a software business organization designed for developing embedded virtual machine products.

Sun chooses Concept Five for Java Center

Sun has chosen Virginia-based Concept Five Technologies, an IT consulting/integration firm, as an Authorized Java Center.

Doug Foran, VP of sales and marketing for Concept Five, said that previous experience makes the company a perfect location for a Java Center. "We are particularly qualified to train educate and advise businesses that are under pressure to deliver their services over the Net. We were pleased, for example, to train First Union National Bank in the use of Java technology and CORBA, and look forward to bringing other Sun customers to the center to help them jump start their 'Net business services.' "

Reed Hornberger, director of market development at SMCC, said, "Because of its in-depth understanding of Java, CORBA, and security technologies, and its expertise in leveraging legacy systems investments, Concept Five provides crucial services for businesses looking to profitably participate in electronic commerce worldwide."

Riverton's HOW 2.0 models and generates components

Riverton Software announced HOW 2.0 for Java, a new release of a component-modeling tool that works with most Java development environments.

HOW 2.0 for Java lets developers automatically generate middle-tier business components as JavaBeans from application models -- components that use DCOM or CORBA as their distribution protocol.

With it, developers can model application components and database queries, which the software then generates into JavaBeans-compliant classes with methods, properties, and relationship-traversal support. From the models, it automatically generates classes implementing JDBC-embedded SQL statements. The classes can be modified and enhanced with most Java-enabled development environments, including Java WorkShop, Visual J++, PowerJ, Visual Café for Java, and JBuilder. Any class changes are synchronized with HOW and preserved.

The generated components can be deployed as distributed middle-tier components using either CORBA and an object request broker or DCOM and a transaction server.

Riverton has also released two other versions -- HOW 2.0 for PowerBuilder (supports Jaguar CTS and MTS) and HOW 2.0 for Visual Basic (supports MTS, ADO, and other enterprise Microsoft technologies).

HOW 2.0 Professional Edition for Java, available in May 1998, starts at ,995. The Enterprise Edition, with language cartridges for Visual Basic, Java, and PowerBuilder, and an automatic subscription to any subsequently released cartridges, starts at ,995. A Modeling Edition with all the modeling tools (but it can't generate components) will cost ,995.

Instantiations JOVE optimizing deployment environment

Instantiations claims that developers of large complex enterprise applications will be crying "By JOVE" when they get a look at JOVE, its optimizing deployment environment for Java.

The JOVE environment uses such techniques as object-oriented optimization and native-code compilation to create a scalable development environment, designed to help most major development environments make complex Java applications more efficient.

Instantiations intends to license JOVE to Java IDE vendors, enterprise software-development companies, and large corporate Java users.

The first beta release is scheduled for May 29, 1998 for Wintel platforms.

NSI Com chosen to supply Java software co-processor on ARM chips

Embedded-systems Java software supplier NSI Com has been chosen to supply its Java Software Co-Processor (JSCP) for ARM processors.

With JSCP, ARM chips will get such features as loading and executing standard Java code that seamlessly resides with non-Java applications. JSCP uses an encapsulation technique that delivers a low memory footprint and high performance.

NSI Com plans to extend JSCP with support for additional real-time operating systems and on ARM-based platforms.

IBM and NetObjects join products for Java site building

IBM and NetObjects announced that they will be integrating NetObjects Fusion ProPack e-business apps with IBM's VisualAge for Java development environment (Professional Edition) with the goal of making Java-based, commerce Web sites easier to build.

NetObjects Fusion ProPack is a set of seven applications that provide all the key technologies necessary to build e-business Web sites, including four sets of Java components for dynamic database access (one each for database server platforms from Allaire, Lotus, Netscape, and Microsoft). The ProPack also includes Scriptbuilder, a dedicated script editor, and Lotus BeanMachine for Java, a Java applet tool that lets developers add multimedia, special effects, smart forms, and live-data capabilities to sites.

AvantGo licenses Java for Palm Computing's Conduit SDK

Palm Computing, maker of the PalmPilot, has licensed Java synchronization technology from AvantGo Inc. for the Java edition of its Conduit Development Kit.

The Conduit Development Kit lets developers craft Java applications that synchronize with other applications (such as project schedulers and workflow managers) running on the Palm III organizer, as well as on other devices based on the Palm Computing platform. The toolkit can be used to exchange data between existing enterprise database applications and PalmPilot organizers.

AvantGo also announced that Palm Computing is bundling AvantGo Web Client and AvantGo Desktop (extending enterprise applications to handhelds) with the toolkit.

The Conduit Development Kit, Java Edition is available from Palm Computing for 69.

HiTecSoft NetBasic 7.0 for Java links Java and VB

HiTecSoft Corp. announced NetBasic 7.0 for Java, a Java-Visual Basic system that includes a component-based scripting model and a server-level interface to Java classes and JavaBeans.

NetBasic 7.0 is a Novell-supported scripting languages for IntranetWare. It can be used to create dynamic HTML for Web publishing as well as creating NDS and database-aware applications for NetWare.

The software uses an object-oriented component model known as the Universal Component System (UCS). It interacts with Java, JavaBeans, ActiveX, and other NetWare components, incorporating them. It also interacts with scripting languages such as JavaScript, REXX, Perl 5, etc. It makes all of the above appear as extensions to UCS.

NetBasic for Java uses UCS to locate and instantiate the independent Java and JavaBeans, and swallows them to run as an integrated part of its system. It can also call NetWare APIs directly, giving native access to applications that need it. It supports the Java Naming and Directory Interfaces.

Developers can add additional APIs to UCS, so any UCS component can then be accessed from Basic Scripts, Web, C/C++, Java, JavaScript, Perl, and Python.

Check with the company for pricing.

Quick stats: Sun foresees Java's market targets for 1998

Sun Microsystems projects that specific Java markets will see the following levels of shipments in 1998, based on product shipments so far this year:

  • Java-based smart cards, 500 million units
  • Java-based appliances and office machines, 203 million units
  • Personal computers with Java installed, 95 million units
  • Java-enabled servers, 2.2 million units

Oracle's Java plans for Oracle8.1

Oracle plans to detail the new Java features it has planned for the Oracle8.1 database on tax day, April 15.

Oracle8.1 should be available by the end of 1998, and will feature a Java VM for executing Java triggers and stored procedures in the database. The JVM will support thousands of concurrent users in a single environment. Oracle is also planning to enable execution of Enterprise JavaBeans business logic components in the database software.

No official word features like object inheritance. In Summer 1997, an Oracle official said that 8.1 would incorporate this feature, which allows the abilities of existing objects to pass on to new objects.

The version 8.1 general beta release is planned for Summer 1998.

JC100 component association formed

The Java Component 100 Association (JC100) was formed at the JavaOne show to provide JavaBean, servlet, and applet developers with a single access listing repository for development, distribution, support, marketing, and sales. And also to make sure that Java components work together.

JC100's Web site will be a bean supermarket, a listing of Java components and services available from the Association's members. As the site develops, Association officials have plans to evolve it to a place where members can engage in e-commerce with each other. And they plan to add testing, verification, and certification and optimization programs.

Founder and chairman Roger Bell said, "To begin with, the emphasis will be on building a development and support network. As component developers, what we have found is that we need to work together to ensure that our products interoperate and plug together like Lego's."

JC100 has been compared with the Java Financial Objects Exchange (JFOX) for the financial industry and the Java Telecom Object Network (JTONE) for telecommunications.

Core Technology adds filter enhancement to CTCBridge emulator

Core Technology is adding Underneath Filters 1.30, an enhancement package, to its CTCBridge T27 emulator for Java.

With Underneath Filters, users can now:

  • Access just the screens they need
  • Have buttons and menu items that change depending on the current screen or set of screens; each button/menu item can call a macro or run a script under administrator control

The package should be available in Q298. (CTCBridge T27 for Java is a full T27 emulator delivered through a Java applet.)

The company also announced that MultiBridge-32 1.21, a multiple-station pooling technology, has been added to the company's CTCBridge 5250 Emulation for Java product. (The 5250 product is a full 5250 emulator that is delivered through a Java applet. The emulator provides Internet/intranet access to IBM AS/400 midrange systems.)

MultiBridge-32 enables station pooling, which simplifies the configuration of networked workstations when a limited number of communication stations on the host need to be available intermittently to a larger number of users.

And the feature also makes it easy for users to access the AS/400 of their choice. Each AS/400 can have its own associated pool of stations available for allocation to clients, and each group or location of users can have their own pool, ensuring that one group can't lock out another group.

If you're already a support-contract user of the 5250 emulator, you get your update free. It should be available in Q298.

Borland VisiBroker flies past 30m worldwide licenses

Borland International announced that licenses for its VisiBroker Object Request Broker software passed the 30 million mark in 1997. VisiBroker (comes in a Java and a C++ version) is an development environment for crafting distributed applications.

Randy Hietter, director of product marketing at Borland, commented that "by forming strategic alliances with today's industry leaders, we have established Borland's technology as the de facto standard and have moved way ahead of the competition."

Following are some of the major customers who use VisiBroker with or in their products:

  • Oracle uses VisiBroker for Java to provide developers with a development environment for client communication within the Network Computing Architecture (NCA).
  • Silicon Graphics integrated VisiBroker for Java (and VisiBroker for C++) into IRIX, providing integrated operating system support for IIOP and CORBA.
  • Netscape embedded VisiBroker for Java into the Communicator client software, allowing Java applets to interoperate with object servers. Netscape also integrated VisiBroker for Java and VisiBroker for C++ into the Enterprise Server 3.0.

Other VisiBroker licensees include Novera, Business Objects, Bluestone, Cincom, Gemstone, Actra, BBN Technologies, Trilogy, Hummingbird, and Scopus.

A different Java-based operating system

The JOS Project is a collaborative project instigated by an international group of Java programmers, designed create a free, open Java-based operating system, or JOS.

Project members have already started working on JOS prototypes, with several proposals under evaluation. Project officials expect that an initial working nano kernel will be available for comment in Q198.

Java developers and enthusiasts are invited to participate. Visit the Web site and/or send mail to (with "subscribe jos-announce" in the body of the message) for e-mail updates on the project.

Java/Linux Porting Project moves

The Java/Linux Porting Project, with the goal of making the Linux OS an important Java resource, has moved its home.

The Project has information on

  • JDK ports to Linux on i386, Alpha, PowerPC, and SPARC platforms
  • Java JITs, IDEs, and other Java development tools for Linux
  • Java/Linux mailing lists
  • Java books and tutorials
  • JavaSoft products that can run Linux, such as JavaServer, Java Workshop, and HotJava

The Project's ftp servers have available:

  • All known JDK ports to Linux
  • JDK diffs
  • Patches to run JavaSoft products on Linux
  • Documentation
  • JITs, IDEs, and decompilers
  • JDBC drivers

Information is available for beginners and experts.

O'Reilly opens Java resource center

Computer book publisher O'Reilly and Associates has opened the O'Reilly Java Resource Center.

The Java Resource Center contains articles, resources, notice of upcoming books or events, and an "Ask Tim (O'Reilly)" column.

In the existing Java book list, you'll find:

  • Database Programming with JDBC and Java
  • Designing with JavaScript
  • Developing JavaBeans
  • Exploring Java, 2nd Edition
  • Java AWT Reference
  • Java Distributed Computing
  • Java Examples in a Nutshell
  • Java Fundamental Classes Reference
  • Java in a Nutshell, 2nd Edition
  • Java in a Nutshell, Deluxe Edition
  • Java Language Reference, 2nd Edition
  • Java Network Programming
  • Java Reference Library on the Web
  • Java Threads
  • Java Virtual Machine
  • JavaScript: The Definitive Guide, 2nd Edition
  • JavaScript: The Definitive Guide, 3rd Edition
  • Netscape IFC in a Nutshell

Visit O'Reilly's Web site to see what else the ever multitasking publisher is up to.

Cybotics Java-based search engine

Cybotics Technologies announced Cybotics Search Engine 1.0, a Java servlet-API-based multilingual search engine.

Cybotics Search Engine currently supports English, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.

Features of the Cybotics Search Engine include:

  • Search while indexing -- Supports continuous searching while the index is updated.
  • Scheduled indexing -- Schedules the indexing process so that it starts automatically at specified times.
  • Incremental indexing -- Index can be built incrementally, so unchanged documents can be skipped at index update.
  • Local files and remote URL indexing -- Files to be indexed can be local Web server files or remote files at a specific URL.
  • HTML meta field search -- A meta tag search of each separate field search is possible.
  • Online context-sensitive help
  • Multiple collections support -- Create multiple collections and select which collection to search.
  • Statistical document ranking algorithm
  • Browser-based administration tool
  • Customizable result pages

You just need a Java-capable browser (Navigator 3.0 or higher, or Internet Explorer 3.0 or higher).

The Cybotics Search Engine 1.0 is available for a 30-day evaluation. (The engine is free to educational, non-commercial users.)

Spyglass creates Java consulting for non-PC device manufacturers

Citing the demand for PersonalJava apps and the dearth of programmers to meet those needs, Spyglass announced that it is creating a Java consulting practice to work with companies in the consumer electronics, telecommunications, cable, and direct satellite industries that want to add Java and PersonalJava to their products.

This means small browsers for set-top boxes. (In fact, Spyglass is cooperating with Sun to produce Personal WebAccess, a small-foot-print browser based on HotJava.) But that's not all. It also includes online applications designed for smart phones and other appliances, including communication abilities for those applications with other operating systems.

Spyglass executive VP Mike Tyrrell said, "The demand for Java and PersonalJava applications exceeds the supply of proven, expert services. We are seeing it every day with our current customers. Device makers and others are seriously considering Java technology and they absolutely want a choice when it comes to applications, but they are hard pressed to get the integration done. That's where we can help."

Cablevision chooses Ameristar Technologies for Java subscriber clients

Ameristar Technologies, a company that focuses on specialized Internet cable-TV technologies design and deployment, announced that it is providing its Java-based subscriber agent technology to Cablevision Systems, a cable system with more than 3 million subscribers.

The Ameristar agent will act as a component of Optimum Online, Cablevision's high-speed cable modem residential service. The agent component lets Optimum Online customers access to the service from any platform, from the one in the company's set-top cable boxes to any desktop that runs Java.

Cablevision technology VP Wilt Hildenbrand said that the Ameristar Java subscriber agent allows the company "to get to market rapidly with a cost effective, high functionality product that not only meets our current requirements, but also has the proper 'hooks' designed in for future growth and functionality."

Where's JDK 1.2 going?

Sun Microsystems' latest roadmap for the next Java Development Kit, version 1.2, details where the upcoming JDK is headed. (It is available in beta 3 right now; Sun expects to ship the final version in Summer 1998.)

What you can expect:

  • Performance

    -- Performance has been enhanced by better thread synchronization, sharper memory allocation for Solaris, and tuned class libraries. You'll also get:

    • Symantec's JIT Compiler 3.0 for JRE for Windows (available in the April 1998 release of JDK 1.1.6) to speed JDK for Windows
    • The HotSpot VM foundation
  • Java Foundation Classes

    -- These graphical user interface components and foundation services deliver the ability to craft, display, and print customizable interfaces and graphics. JFC 1.1 includes:

    • GUI components
    • The Java Accessibility API (for users with disabilities)
    • The pluggable look-and-feel architecture
    • Cross-platform drag and drop
    • The Java 2D API
  • Security -- The original sandbox model is extended with permission-based access policies.

  • JavaBeans component model

  • Interoperability and connectivity

    • The Java Remote Method Invocation (RMI) will be enabled to run on top of the Internet Interoperability Protocol (IIOP) standard, so Java objects are able to access and interoperate with remote Java-based and non-Java objects.
    • The Java Internet Definition Language (IDL) will be included, which provides an all-CORBA (Common Object Request Broker Architecture) interoperability and connectivity system to different types of applications and data in enterprises.
  • Internationalization -- Text-editing components will now be able to receive Chinese, Japanese, and Korean input methods.

Visit Sun's Java Web site for additional information.

The latest word in Sun Java APIs

Sun announced the final release of InfoBus 1.1, a compact Java API that allows cooperating applets or JavaBeans components to exchange structured data.

The InfoBus API was jointly developed by Sun and Lotus, and is available now.

Other developments for Java APIs:

  • The Java Message Service specification was recently released for initial public review. It gives developers a standard Java API for enterprise messaging services.

  • The JavaMail 1.0 final spec was recently released. It provides developers with a set of abstract classes that model a mail system and delivers a platform- and protocol-independent framework to build Java-based mail/messaging applications.

  • The JDBC 2.0 final spec was recently released. It delivers uniform SQL-based access to a wide range of relational databases.

  • The Java Naming and Directory Interface is shipping. It enables developers to build powerful and portable directory-enabled applications using an industry standard. It also gives Java applications a unified interface to multiple naming and directory services in the enterprise and delivers connectivity to cross-platform enterprise naming and directory services.

  • The Java Transaction Service was released for initial public review. It ensures interoperability with sophisticated transaction resources such as transactional application programs, resource managers, transaction processing monitors, and transaction managers. These components are usually supplied by different vendors, so JTS provides an open, standard access to these transaction resources.

Visit the following Web sites for detailed information on these APIs.

Sun asks Java licensees for a floating-point modification

Sun has pitched a proposal to its Java platform licensees to make a modification to Java and the Java VM specifications, a modification that would amend the way the Java platform handles floating-point calculations.

Currently, Java and Java VM specifications state that the results of floating point calculations must be rounded to IEEE 754 single-precision (in 32-bit architectures) or double-precision (in 64-bit architectures) values. For some processors, such as those from Intel and the PowerPC, performance is increased if the spec allowed floating-point computations to be calculated with greater precision. Several industry participants requested a change from Sun, so Sun proposed amendments that would allow intermediate calculations (following IEEE 754 extended formats).

Once the Java licensees review and comment on the proposed modification, Sun will incorporate the feedback and then open the proposal to public review (expected to begin May 1).

PersonalJava offers Windows CE port

Sun announced plans to develop a port of the small-device-optimized PersonalJava to Microsoft's Windows CE.

The Windows CE port adds Microsoft to the list of operating systems and real-time operating systems vendors that run applications written to the Java platform. The companies that previously licensed and implemented the PersonalJava platform include:

  • Acorn
  • Geoworks
  • Lucent
  • Microtec
  • Microware
  • QNX
  • Sun's JavaOS
  • US Software
  • Wind River Systems

Alan Baratz, JavaSoft president, said, "With the Microsoft Windows CE port to round out a terrific market, developers can now run applications for the Java platform based on a broad range of consumer devices, from set-top boxes to PDAs to home electronics."

The port will available to developers/device manufacturers in Q398.

Intuitive's OptimizeIt! Java problem profiler

Intuitive Systems announced OptimizeIt! 2.0 Professional, its Java language profiling tool that lets developers detect, analyze, and fix performance problems in Java programs. With it, you can check apps, applets, or Beans.

OptimizeIt! 2.0 Professional analyzes how CPU time is spent in a Java application and provides precise data about memory use, important because Java doesn't allow developers to control the freeing of memory. It features new CPU and memory-profiling capabilities that make it easier to spot abnormalities. It also has a new object reference browser to explain why an object is not garbage-collected.

The new release includes:

  • Hot-spot detectors
  • The ability to export data as ASCII or HTML
  • The ability to start and stop profilers from within a user's code
  • Faster installation procedures using a configuration wizard

Available after March 30, 1998 (and supporting NT, 95, and Solaris), OptimizeIt! 2.0 Professional for Windows will cost 89. The cost is the same for OptimizeIt! 2.0 Professional for Solaris, which will be available in April 1998.

Sun extends PersonalJava APIs

Sun recently announced three new API specifications designed specifically to extend the functionality of the PersonalJava platform for consumer markets.

Sun promised specifications for the JavaTV API, AutoJava API, and JavaPhone API, to be available Q398. Each spec will be created with working groups from each industry.

The JavaTV API will help manufacturers, developers, and content providers develop standards for delivering interactive content to consumers through cable set-top boxes, satellite receivers, digital televisions, and HDTV. This API will handle such features as channel-changing controls, on-screen graphics, audio/video streaming, e-commerce, conditional access, and smart-card support.

The AutoJava API will be designed to support plug-and-play connections between existing automotive hardware and new software components. The AutoJava framework may include APIs for navigation, audio/video controls for in-vehicle entertainment, remote-diagnostic capabilities, voice recognition, AC/climate control interfaces, and wireless communications.

The JavaPhone API should expand phones so that they connect to a network and can Web browse and send and receive e-mail. It should include such APIs as power management, display controls, and data synchronization.

Mercury Interactive Java tester system

Mercury Interactive is debuting a Java-application testing suite that supports major Java toolkits.

The suite includes WinRunner and XRunner, designed for functional testing of Java clients; LoadRunner, designed for load testing of Java-based systems; and TestDirector, designed to manage the increased volume of testing Java-based applications. These testing applications run from a single environment to test a mixed environment of Java object technologies.

The suite supports major Java toolkits, including Sun's AWT, Oracle's Developer/2000, and Sun's JFC. Mercury officials say to expect upcoming support for Microsoft's WFC, Symantec's Visual Café, and others.

Test scripts can be reused, and script development can be leveraged across different browsers and platforms, shared between Java and traditional clients, and even used for load testing. For instance, a user can develop a test script with Navigator on Solaris and run it on IE on Win95 without changes.

LoadRunner provides scalable load-testing with the ability to run hundreds of virtual users, applets, and virtual machines on a single box.

The products are currently in beta testing. Mercury Interactive expects them to ship in July 1998.

Sun gets its Java preliminary injunction against Microsoft

U.S. District Court Judge Ronald M. Whyte granted Sun Microsystems' request for a preliminary injunction that keeps Microsoft from using the "Java Compatible" logo to promote and distribute Internet Explorer 4.0 and related products.

In Judge Whyte's ruling, he said that Microsoft's interpretation of the licensing agreement between the two companies "would essentially allow Microsoft to destroy the cross-platform compatibility of the Java programming environment." Judge Whyte also added that Sun demonstrated a sufficient likelihood of establishing consumer confusion to entitle it to a "presumption of irreparable harm."

Judge Whyte cited that Sun has not approved Microsoft's Internet Explorer 4.0 and related products, and "therefore, Microsoft's use of the 'Java Compatible' logo falsely implies that its software products implement the Java Technology in a manner approved by Sun."

The ruling stops Microsoft from using directly or indirectly Sun's "Java Compatible" trademark in connection with the advertising, distribution, sale, or promotion of the products until each product passes the Sun test suite. Microsoft is also ordered to remove the disputed products from commercial sales channels, or to remove, cover, or obscure the "Java Compatible" trademark.

Microsoft's Java advertising at JavaOne conference

Microsoft spends lots of money every year in advertising -- some product advertising and some industry positioning advertising. At this year's JavaOne conference, it demonstrated an interesting combination of both.

Besides the many Yellow Cabs that drove by Moscone Center (the site of the conference) sporting rooftop ads for Visual J++ and the Microsoft Java virtual machine, there was a seemingly grass-roots "guerilla" action outside the conference promoting the fact Microsoft has won the Java wars. On several corners, casually dressed people were handing out Microsoft JVM t-shirts.

But the best ad vehicle was also the one that demonstrated that it was a corporate effort. Flatly chalked on the sidewalks surrounding Moscone was several slogans, including "Try Microsoft® Java Virtual Machine and Visual J++®, A Powerful combination" and "Microsoft® Java Virtual Machine and Visual J++® -- its won everywhere" in orange chalk. (Note: Sometimes the apostrophe in "its" was there, sometimes it wasn't. Probably to make it look authentic.)

Of course, no real tag artist would flat-shade those ugly stick letters. And who's kidding who with that registered trademark stuff?

O'Reilly upgrades WebSite Pro server

O'Reilly released WebSite Professional 2.2, the latest upgrade to its server, that with several enhancements for Java servlet development.

To deliver more Java servlet development options, the new upgrade includes Live Software's JRun 2.1, support for the JDK 1.2 and JavaSoft Servlet API 1.1, and persistent-tracking capabilities and support for JFC 1.1.

Other, non-Java enhancements and additions include:

  • Uplink, O'Reilly's utility designed for Internet Content Providers and ISPs that supports SSL-3 and lets clients or partners publish to a site without compromising the site's security. Includes a royalty-free license for distributing Uplink to users and customers.

  • Enhanced log-file management and generation, making it easier to obtain Web-traffic reports.

  • The new version of the included iHTML Professional features numerous improvements to logging, error handling, tags, and system stability.

WebSite Professional 2.0 is 99. If you're a 2.0/2.1 customer, the upgrade is free for the download.

Borland brings out upgrade to JBuilder

Borland International announced an upgrade to its JBuilder visual development tools, JBuilder 2.0, with tighter integration for all things Java.

JBuilder 2.0 promises tighter integration for multiple Java Development Kits, application deployment, Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB), Java servlets, JFC/Swing components, CORBA, and high-productivity coding wizards.

It supports JDK 1.1.x, JDK 1.2, JFC/Swing components, JavaBeans, EJB, CORBA, RMI, JDBC, and all major corporate database servers.

JBuilder 2.0 is available in three versions -- the Client/Server Suite, the Professional version, and the Standard version. Some of the enhancements include:

  • JDK Switching allows developers to compile and run their applications against any JDK from 1.02 through 1.2.

  • JFC/Swing component integration promotes the creation of professional-looking, full-featured user interfaces. It includes a set of enhanced JFC components that are fully JDBC data-aware.

  • CodeInsight is a set of coding Wizards to assist developers while programming by providing the proper syntax when creating and editing code parameters, variables, properties, methods, events, and it highlights invalid data types.

  • The Deployment Server for Java allows corporations deploy Java applications.
  • CORBA integration with VisiBroker 3.2 is tighter.

  • The EJB Wizard automates the creation of Session and Entity EJBs, and standard Home and Remote interfaces.

  • The Java servlet wizard can create dynamic, server-side Java applications that integrate with Web servers.

  • The DataStore offers high-performance data caching and persistent storage of datasets, objects, and files.

  • BeanDesigners are for building and customizing industry-standard JavaBeans components, giving developers the ability to visually display, add, and edit JavaBeans properties, events, and methods.

  • BeanInsight is an easy-to-use analysis tool for diagnosing JavaBeans.

  • A library of more than 200 JavaBeans with source code.

Look for JBuilder 2.0 in Spring 1998. The Client/Server Suite should cost ,495. The Professional edition should run 00 and the Standard edition, 00.

Bluestone releases Sapphire/Web 5.0

Bluestone Software announced an upgrade to its Sapphire/Web Web application server, Sapphire/Web 5.0.

Sapphire/Web consists of five products:

  • Sapphire/Universal Business Server (UBS)
  • Sapphire/Application Manager (SAM)
  • Sapphire/Developer, Sapphire/Enterprise Deployment Kit (EDK)
  • Sapphire/Integration Modules (SIMs)
  • Sapphire/Universal Business Server (UBS)

The UBS adds unlimited scalability, dynamic load balancing, application isolation, optimal-weight clients, and comprehensive state management to all the Sapphire/Web products. It includes:

  • Global, application, session, and user state management
  • Persistent state management (through JDBC)
  • Cached state management
  • Restorable state for fault tolerance and data integrity
  • Object state management in addition to string data
  • Session affinity to route a particular user to a particular instance
  • Server or client state management
  • Optional server state management

The SAM uses a rules-based server engine for logic execution. It employs agent technology for monitoring, collection, presentation, notification, and integration, writing repository information through JDBC to any RDBMS.

Changes to the Developer include:

  • Source code control integration
  • Complete resource and object management
  • Project merging, for building function-specific component projects
  • Automatic interface generation
  • Improved Java GUI Builder integrations
  • Editor enhancements, such as color-coded tag editing; hundreds of additional new tags for Java scripting, VB scripting, and I.E. 4.0 scriptlets; and a new tag editor written in Java
  • JClass charts and JClass tables Wizards
  • The ability to use JDBC metadata for development and deployment

The EDK is a new module that encapsulates the following:

  • Java Object Binder, a component integrator that provides the ability to automatically locate and link your application to virtually any object/component in the enterprise.
  • SIM builder, facilities, components, and wizards to let developers, VARs, and integrators build their own SIMs.

The Sapphire/Developer Enterprise Edition is a combination of Developer and the EDK, and it also includes the JavaBean SIM, CORBA SIM, and the COM/DCOM SIM.

The SIMs are prebuilt, native-data integration modules that plug in and extend Sapphire/UBS and Sapphire/Developer.

Pricing depends on configuration.

Quick take: Sun really, truly ships JavaStation

Sun has finally shipped the JavaStation network computer. And, the company struck a deal with Toshiba to design and develop a mobile version of the JavaStation. The basic version of the JavaStation will be 99.

Sun also announced a non-binding plan to develop a mobile NC with Toshiba. Whether it will compete with Toshiba's existing network computer, the Confolio, is yet to be seen.

Senate asks Microsoft, Sun, Netscape to waive OEM confidentiality

In the U.S. Senate investigation into Microsoft's business practices, four senators have requested that Microsoft (as well as Sun and Netscape) waive confidentiality agreements that bar OEMs from turning over information on pacts each may have with the companies.

Judiciary Committee chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) (along with Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Mike DeWine (R-OH), and Herbert Kohl (D-WI)) asked the companies to waive agreements in a letter on March 26. (Part of the investigation calls into question whether Microsoft made unfair use of its alleged monopoly in PC operating systems to induce or coerce OEMs to preinstall its IE browser to the exclusion of Navigator.)

Microsoft officials were concerned that the company's business secrets might be opened to public scrutiny if the Judiciary Committee had access to such agreements, citing that the Senate is not bound by the same rules of secrecy that the DOJ is. With that in mind, Microsoft officials are waiting for confirmation from the Judiciary Committee that trade secrets won't be breached.

Hatch said that no information from the agreements would be made public unless decided by him and Leahy, then "reasonable notice" would be given to the company.

Gates, McNealy, and Barksdale were unavailable for comment.

IBM takes Java to Hong Kong

IBM has been working with ISVs in Hong Kong to offer specially developed Java applications for small- and medium-sized businesses.

IBM's Greater China Group's software GM David Sung, said, "Java is not only an exclusive technology for large and multinational corporations, but also for small- and medium-sized businesses, which make up over 90 percent of the business community in Hong Kong."

IBM is pumping unknown amounts of money into marketing its e-business products and services in Hong Kong, and has hired a marketing manager responsible for the e-business product line. Earlier in March, IBM hosted the IBM Day for Java for local businesses.

IBM also offers services, from customer consulting to education and training to centers where developers can work and test applications on a variety of systems for no cost.

Other IBM Java initiatives in China include:

  • Cooperation with the Chinese Academy of Science to develop the Chinese version of VisualAge for Java
  • Beijing Advanced Systems Development Corporation Ltd., IBM's joint venture with Tsinghua University and part of IBM's Around-the-Clock JavaBeans development team
  • The opening of Shanghai Java Studio
  • Sponsoring a Java contest among 23 university professors in writing programs and developing curriculum on Java

See IBM's Java Web site for additional information.

Sun unveils embedded JavaOS for Consumers

At the recent JavaOne developers conference, Sun announced its network-enabled, consumer-appliance embedded operating system, JavaOS for Consumers.

The JavaOS for Consumers is based on the ChorusOS kernel, which allows the language (designed for interactive TVs, desktop/mobile Web phones, and handheld devices) to run Java apps and services in real time. It also lets a single hardware device run multiple interfaces and API types simultaneously. (The ChorusOS is a embedded system real-time operating system from Chorus Systems, now a part of Sun.)

JavaOS for Consumers should be available by April 15 to OEM customers using the PowerPC and SPARC platforms. Sun officials say to expect the OS for ARM and Intel platforms in about three months.

Quick look: Netscape adds Java Center to its Software Depot

Netscape announced that it will add a Center for Java Software to its Netscape Software Depot.

The Java Center, which is sponsored by Netscape, HP, IBM, Novell, and Sun, is designed to be a one-stop shop for users to purchase Java applets, JavaBeans, and components. Netscape officials say that on launch (March 26, 1998), it will include more than 100 Java software products from various companies, including components from Centura, imchat, InfoSpace, JavaSoft, NetObjects, Sunsoft, TMSSequoia, and Oblix.

The store is managed by Software.Net.Co.

Gosling promises a faster Java this year

At a welcoming address at the recent JavaOne Developer Conference, Sun VP and Java architect James Gosling promised Java developers that Sun will fix the performance problems of Java this year.

Gosling said, "Over the last year, we've made really tremendous strides in getting the performance of the [Java virtual machine] up to industrial strength. This year is the year that the performance problem goes away."

He went on to comment that the momentum behind Java, noting the tremendous numbers of developer tools that have rocketed onto the scene in the last year, would bring outside help to resolving the performance issue. "The set of developer tools out there has really exploded," Gosling said, then went on to add that 2.5 million developer kits had so far been downloaded from Sun's site.

Symantec adds Java Card development to Visual Café for Java 2.5

Symantec announced that its Visual Café for Java 2.5 will give Java developers the ability to prototype, develop, test, and deploy Java applets that conform to the Java Card 2.0 API.

In Visual Café for Java 2.5, developers should be able to run the Java Card Checker tool so they can verify that their applications will run on smart cards that are capable of running programs written in Java.

Mansour Safai, VP of Symantec's Internet Tools division, said, "Developers using Visual Café can take advantage of this integration to leverage their existing investment in Java and target software for even broader markets." JavaSoft's consumer transaction director Patrice Peyret echoed Safai's comments, adding that this "announcement will contribute to the rapid development of tomorrow's Java Card applications." said Patrice Peyret, director of consumer transactions at JavaSoft, a division of Sun Microsystems, Inc."

The Java Card API has a good start on becoming a smart card standard, since Visa International has chosen it as the platform for its multi-application smart cards.

Check Symantec's site for more information on the company's OpenAPI.

Sony licenses PersonalJava for home entertainment network

Sony and Sun announced that Sony has licensed PersonalJava for use in its digital home entertainment network environment. The companies also plan to develop applications for the environment.

Although the exact agreements aren't yet in place, results of this tentative joining means that Sony will be incorporating Java-based applications into its advanced digital audio/visual products and that Sun will be building PersonalJava software development tools for digital AV products in the home entertainment network environment.

Akikazu Takeuchi, president of Sony's Software Platform Development Center, said, "Sony is creating an open architecture for the home entertainment network environment where users will be able to enjoy the seamless interaction of computers, AV equipment, and digital TV. The Java programming language serves as an excellent cross-platform tool for creating home entertainment network applications."

Apple intros QuickTime for Java

At the recent JavaOne show, Apple announced QuickTime for Java, which links QuickTime's digital video and multimedia capabilities to Java platforms.

With QuickTime for Java, developers can write Java programs with QuickTime capabilities, including graphics, sound, video, text, music, virtual reality, and 3D features. A developer's release is available on Apple's site.

Apple software engineering VP Avie Tevanian said, " Integrating QuickTime with Java will not only open new doors for QuickTime, it will also allow the creation of truly advanced interactive software by the Java community."

Oracle's AppBuilder Java devkit debuts

Oracle will debut AppBuilder 1.0, its Java development environment that focuses on server-based applications, on April 15, 1998.

Through CORBA, AppBuilder 1.0 (built on Borland's licensed JBuilder technology) will support interoperability, including data sharing, between Java logic and other applications. AppBuilder will also support applications that access databases through the SQLJ and Java Database Connectivity (JDBC) standards. AppBuilder can also access applications through HTML.

The upgrade, AppBuilder 2.0, expected to ship within a year, will support graphical modeling of applications and is repository-based. It will also support access to Java directly in the database. Version 2.0 will come in two editions, a Professional edition that supports Enterprise JavaBeans server component deployment and Oracle8.1; and an Enterprise edition that supports these two features and graphical modeling.

AppBuilder runs on Windows NT. Pricing is not yet available, but will be available by ship date.

TowerJ compiler posts high VolanoMarks

Tower Technology announced at the recent JavaOne show that its TowerJ 2.0 compiler (for server-side Java execution) reached at VolanoMark benchmark number of 2412 messages per second.

The numbers were achieved on a RedHat 4.2 Linux system on a single Intel 233MHz processor. The VolanoMark benchmarks, from Volano LLC, measures the throughput of high-activity communication servers with long-lasting connections.

Tower CTO Robert Howard said, "Our VolanoMark of 2412 indicates that TowerJ is the technology of choice for deploying server applications in Java. Dozens of Java applications vendors, including Volano, WebLogic, KonaSoft, IF Computers, NetForge, and others have had their applications TowerJ-certified. Now users of these are using TowerJ and experiencing significantly better throughput on their servers."

Tower also announced the start of its new TowerJ Certification Program and a service to help developers tune the performance of their server-side Java applications.

ObjectSpace joins Java Consumer Alliance Program

ObjectSpace Inc. announced its charter membership in the Java Consumer Alliance Program hosted by Sun. ObjectSpace focuses on integrating distributed-computing solutions.

With the alliance, ObjectSpace focusing upon three technology areas:

  • Embedding PersonalJava into consumer devices with compact information displays, such as Web phones and handheld devices.
  • Using EmbeddedJava to facilitate the delivery and manufacturing of wireless and manufacturing devices, such as cellular phones and CAM systems.
  • Continuing to develop highly distributed systems.

David Norris, president and CEO of ObjectSpace said, "Our project experience in the areas of factory automation, wireless communications, and large-scale information systems gives ObjectSpace a unique position in driving the Java platform into consumer appliances."

Visual Components announces Formula One spreadsheet component

Visual Components announced the release of Formula One/Java, the Java version of the company's ActiveX spreadsheet component.

Formula One/Java is a Java-based, Excel-compatible spreadsheet component with more than 130 worksheet functions. Formula One/Java can be used as an applet, a JavaBean, or user application.

On the Formula One/Java site developers can get more background information, online documentation, and interactive demos. Three pricing models are available. The developer license costs 9 per developer (to use in development and on the developer's machine). The server license costs 99 per server/per application (for in-house application deployed over a network). The unlimited distribution license costs ,000 (allows unlimited servers and applications, designed for commercial distribution).