News and New Product Briefs (9/15/98)

IDC study shows that Java pays off

The main finding in the International Data Corp.'s (IDC) study entitled, "Java Technology Pays Positively," (May 1998), is that multiple-platform projects constructed with Java by early adopters saved an average 25 percent in overall costs when compared to similar projects built in C++. And the savings shot up to an average 40 percent during the coding phases.

And although IDC researchers found the saving significant in and of themselves, the analysts were most surprised that these projects were the participants first projects, using what was essentially a prototype of the JDK.

"The clear majority of positive reaction by the subject adopters impressed IDC, especially given that the projects studied represented the initial Java efforts of the companies interviewed," noted the IDC report. "Not only are such initial projects typically fraught with learning-curve mistakes, but all projects studied commenced on the foundation of the immature Java Development Kit version 1.0.2."

The report goes on to a sweeping conclusion: "Sun has since released a far more robust version of the Java language and platform via JDK version 1.1. IDC therefore concludes that the Java language and 100% Pure Java platform deliver on the promised primary value propositions."

IDC studied nine companies that represented differing mixes of business types, including ISVs, corporate developers, and even a governmental agency. Most of the participants used their existing IT resources (people, hardware/software, networks, and services) and kept the devtool costs to under ,000 per developer seat; in instances when they used just the JDK, the devtool costs were zero.

The average return on investment came at a little over 14 months. Although participants discovered that with a bare minimum of training a C++ programmer can learn Java in less than two months, many of the programmers conquered it in two weeks.

There was little change in time consumed in the analysis/design phase, about 35 percent of the total project time. However, seven of the nine companies reduced personnel expenses by 40 to 50 percent during the coding phase. Participants concurred that built-in memory management and simplified object orientation saved time and personnel during the coding phase.

As noted, savings were highest in the development phase (approximately 40 percent), followed by:

  • Code maintenance (between 30 and 35 percent)
  • QA and deployment (just over 25 percent)
  • Production support (between 10 and 20 percent)
  • Analysis/design (up to 5 percent)

http://java.sun.com/features/1998/07/efficiency.html

Activerse DingBot SDK beta is ready

Activerse announced a beta version of the DingBot SDK, designed to help developers build customized DingBot programs, an Internet agent that works with the Ding messaging system by communicating between other DingBot programs and with users.

DingBots can be crafted to search and retrieve specific information, manage online group meetings, or monitor Web devices. The SDK comes with several predefined DingBots, including:

  • BroadcastBots, which are used to forward data and communications to subscribed users
  • HelpBots, which help Ding system users by walking them through the system's functions
  • TickerBots, which monitor real-time sources of information and then selectively publish that data to subscribed users

The protocol-independent DingBot SDK offers a JavaBean interface, making it easy to craft new bots using common bean tools. Developers can also directly access the Java class interface.

The DingBot SDK beta is available now.

http://www.activerse.com/product/dingbotsdk/sdk.html

WoodenChair/Java Lobby deliver RePackager+ with Swing migration

The Java Lobby and WoodenChair Software announced a special version of WoodenChair's RePackager+ software that comes with Swing conversion PackageMaps to help developers migrate source code between the old and the new Swing naming systems. (For more on the Swing renaming mini-controversy, see "Swing's house-hunting days may be over" in the September issue of JavaWorld.)

There is also a new version, number 1.1, of RePackager+ with the following new features:

  • Performance improvements on repackaging algorithms
  • Improved structure management allows you to scan in multiple structures
  • The ability to view PackageMap properties (such as author, description, and date)
  • The ability to mark files when processing as they review the existing structure

Java Lobby members get the special version free. Developers must have JRE 1.1 (link below) and the Swing 1.1 beta (included in download).

RePackager+: http://www.woodenchair.com/download/SwingMapDownload.htm JRE 1.1: http://www.javasoft.com/products/jdk/1.1/jre/index.html

The Java Shared Data Toolkit is available

Sun announced the availability of the Java Shared Data Toolkit (JSDK), technology that lets developers write interactive distributed collaborative applets and applications in Java.

The JDK 1.1-supported JSDK software can be integrated into applications and other development tools so users can build chat forums, shared applications, remote presentations -- any application that could possibly be enhanced by built-in collaboration features. The JSDK comes with sample applications to highlight the differences among the four types of online collaboration:

  • A chat environment app for typed conversation
  • A shared whiteboard for sketching
  • A real-time, continuous stock quote viewer
  • A shared audio sound server

A single license costs 9. Source licensing is also available.

http://java.sun.com/products/java-media/jsdt

IBM lauds Fast Start Challenge SF Project winners

IBM recently announced the 19 winners of the Fast Start Challenge, early adopters and developers of the San Francisco Project application business components. Awards were based on progress in building and deploying electronic business apps with SF components.

The "Fast Start Award" was presented to:

  • ActionWare
  • BPM
  • Camelot IS-2 International
  • Codeway
  • Consist
  • EMG
  • Front Ends, Inc.
  • G.U.S. AG & Co.
  • IFM
  • InterWeb Solutions
  • Lawson Software
  • Mindwork Softwareentwicklung GmbH
  • Modus Operandi
  • OpenDoors Software
  • Pacific SW
  • Pars International
  • Thera
  • Trax
  • Unisoft

Current San Francisco status: 750,000 lines of code delivered to more than 620 developers.

http://www.ibm.com/java/sanfrancisco/

Microsoft/Sun/DOJ legal news roundup -- 20 briefs!

Microsoft has been extremely active in the antitrust news recently. The following is a roundup of various news items surrounding the DOJ/MS and the Sun/MS lawsuits. For more extensive coverage of the lawsuit the lawsuit update section of the October Table of Contents

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