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

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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).

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