JavaWorld News Briefs (5/1/97)

Keeping you abreast of the ever-changing Java world


Borland CEO predicts the future of Java

Dimension X supports Microsoft Application Foundation Classes

Ellison says NCs need "Intel Inside"

Forrester Research claims ActiveX/Java speeding past CORBA

Get a prelease of Microsoft's AFC

Get Windows for Java with Exodus NTERPRISE

HDS NCs are faster, with lower prices

IBM/Lotus team up on e-business apps

IDC says by 2000, Internet spending will top 2 billion

Intel claims Java runs best on Intel

Java cryptography library debuts at Comm97

Java performance on NCs not up to speed

JDK to get summer '97 tune-up

JStream Java-compresses files

Kona applets readied for NCI NC software

Lotus NotesPump beta gets Java support

Microsoft refutes Sun's ActiveX demonstration

NCs close in on standards

NCD supplies Windows for IBM machines

NCI software good for NC desktops and servers

NEC to run NCI server software on its machines

NetAcquire Java Toolkit from Real Time

NetCaster "pushes" into next Communicator release

NetHopper mobile browser will support Java

Netiva creates Web database app

Netscape's Directory SDK now supports LDAP

Philips announces NC device based on NCI/Intel platform

Public beta of MerzScope mapper available

RSA's BSafe BComes JSafe

Segmented Java draws support

Universal language: truly "write once, run anywhere

With Edgeworx VBA, who needs Java?

Xelfi delivers visual IDE for Java

Oracle's Ellison changes NC strategy tune;

Should be "Intel Inside"

It seems that Acer Group officials helped Oracle's Larry Ellison change his NC strategy. The group said consumers won't go for NCs without "Intel Inside," and Ellison bit. "It just hit me," Ellison said. "It took me a while to see that we needed to go with the flow of the existing industry."

At OpenWorld, where Oracle debuted its first network computers, Oracle also announced it has received broad support from Intel. Oracle's original design was based on the StrongARM RISC chip, designed by Digital and the UK-based Acorn Computer Group. This shift in strategy pits Intel against Microsoft.

Proton Electronic Industrial, Akai Digital Electronics, Funai Electric, Philips Electronics, and Accton Technology will be providing new Intel Pentium-based clients and servers. The units will be priced both above and below the 00 mark and will ship with Netscape Navigator, a text editor, an address book, a scheduler, an email app, and presentation graphics based on Oracle subsidiary Network Computer Inc.'s Hat Trick Java suite.

NCI's take: "Nobody had ever heard of the ARM chip, and jumping not only to a totally new paradigm of computing but using all totally new technology underneath was a little frightening to some," said Jerry Baker, president of NCI.

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Baltimore Tech shows off its Java cryptography library

Baltimore Technologies is shipping J/CRYPTO, a Java-based cryptography class library that implements RSA, DES, Triple-DES, SHA1, MD5, Diffie-Hellman, and other cryptographic functions. The library should plug into the Java Cryptography Architecture (JCA) and will comply with Sun's Java Cryptography Extension (JCE). Cryptography is important to Java developers for authentication and validation of Java apps, making Java secure enough to operate financial and communications markets.

The J/CRYPTO developers addressed Java's memory management and virtual memory system weaknesses by developing an obfuscation class, which renders sensitive data, such as secret keys, undetectable to other programs.

J/CRYPTO's features include:

Baltimore Tech intends to add Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), IDEA, RC2, RC4, BSA4, BSA5 ciphers, and a range of high-speed stream ciphers to future implementations of J/CRYPTO.

J/CRYPTO's first customer was the Swiss COMIT Gruppe, developers of banking and e-commerce applications.

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Borland CEO says reduced deployment risk will make Java

the development platform of the future

Borland CEO Delbert Yocam explained to the Java Aces (100 elite Java development engineers) at Sun that new development tools must reduce the risk of deployment in enterprise computing environments if Java is to become the number one development platform for new projects by the year 2000. The solution: Bring new Java development tools to the market -- tools that provide cross-platform interoperability, high performance, reliability, and scalability. "If Java is to gain the corporate acceptance that we hope it will," said Yocam, "it is imperative that customers have access to high-performance, scalable, and pure Java development tools."

Yocam also expects that "by the year 2000, Java will be the leading programming environment for all new development projects." He added, "The fastest way for Java to gain credibility at the enterprise level is for vendors like Borland to provide high-quality, high-end Java tools that will attract developers to Java for enterprise development." To press this point, Yocam estimated that there are 300,000 Java developers worldwide, while Borland has sold more than 600,000 copies of its development environment, Delphi.

In answer to the five most frequently-asked questions from customers (listed below), Yocam mentioned that Borland provides scalability, interoperability, support for open standards, and performance.

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Dimension X supports Microsoft App Foundation Classes

The next release of Liquid Motion Pro, Dimension X's Java-based multimedia Web design package, will support the Microsoft Application Foundation Classes for Java (AFC) to add more user interface and graphics capabilities to the software. "By using AFC, our developers were able to quickly and easily build common user interface and graphics elements, freeing them to focus their attention on features that add real value to Liquid Motion Pro," says Karl Jacob, Dimension X CEO. "AFC's rich feature set and robust functionality helps us deliver a potent tool which ultimately enables the creation of more dynamic and compelling content for our customers."

Liquid Motion Pro 1.1 is available for 25, running on Windows 95, NT 4.0, Solaris 2.3, 2.4, or 2.5.

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Get a pre-release of Microsoft's Application Foundation Classes

Grab a pre-release of Microsoft's Application Foundation Classes (AFC), a collection of Java class libraries that help developers quickly create commercial-quality, cross-platform Java applications. The preview release provides the AFC GUI libraries, including a set of pre-built user interface components.

Who has jumped on the AFC bandwagon? The following is a list of products and their companies:

Aimtech, Dimension X, Exeter Educational Management Systems, FutureTense, LikeMinds, Metrowerks, Neural Applications, VI/Visualize, and others have also announced support for AFC.

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Microsoft refutes Sun's JavaOne ActiveX demonstration

Microsoft has published a document that refutes Sun CEO Scott McNealy's potentially damaging ActiveX demo at the recent JavaOne developers conference. McNealy demonstrated an ActiveX security flaw, one that could allow a hacker to break into a computer user's personal files. The document is called "The Facts About ActiveX and Security Compared with Recent Statements from Sun Microsystems."

Sun commissioned a developer (for ,000) to write an ActiveX program that would take over a person's computer and rifle through personal files.

Microsoft claims this is not a security flaw -- that a Java applet or Netscape Navigator plug-in can be written to do the same thing. The Java sandbox (an enclosed, virtual space where downloaded Java apps are corralled) restricts the usefulness of Java apps, since the apps cannot use system resources from within the sandbox. Microsoft claims Sun realizes this, and that the next version of Java will use a "trust-based" security model similar to the one ActiveX currently uses. (A trust model identifies the certified provider of a program and then allows users to decide whether to trust that provider.)

The Microsoft document even provides links to information on Sun's and Netscape's upcoming trust models. Those who are interested can compare and contrast.

The document also notes that, even though most media didn't note it, the version of Microsoft Internet Explorer that McNealy used warned him before the download started that he had the option not to download the program. In the IE default setting, a user cannot download an ActiveX program that has not been digitally signed by the author. And even when the user changes the priority, IE still provides warning before download can proceed.

Oh, and Microsoft says the author of this ActiveX stealth program may have sold his license to create and sell software, since he violated the license agreement.

Original document:

Sun's trust model:

Netscape's trust model:

Microsoft's trust model:

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Web automation technology is at your fingertips with webMethods toolkit

The Java-based webMethods Automation Toolkit, from webMethods, lets developers create applications that automate access from Web-based data and services from within business apps -- using standard HTML and HTTP. While most Web software tools deliver applications to the Web, the Automation Toolkit reverses the process, with both retrieval and update capabilities.

With Web Automation's bi-directional process, a company's business processes can be integrated with the business process of another vendor, supplier, or even internal business units -- without using a browser.

Java classes generated by the Automation Toolkit provide transparent access to Web data and services from standalone and server-side Java apps, as well as browser-based applets.

A new Automation Engine from webMethods is a pure Java application that runs alongside Web servers and generates HTML documents from automation templates. These templates point to other Web addresses as data sources. The Automation Engine enables easier aggregation and retrieval of specific data from diverse Web sites. The Automation Engine and the Automation Toolkit has been designed to operate successfully together or independently, depending on customer needs.

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Public beta of MerzCom's MerzScope Web mapper available

MerzCom released a beta of MerzScope, its Java-based mapping and viewing package that allows users to produce dynamic graphical maps of any collection of Web pages and links. MerzScope maps are completely relational, so surfers can view a complete graphical overview of a map and navigate with a mouse click. "Hierarchical lists of URLs don't work when they get too long," said company president Henry See.

MerzScope is intended for Web site designers and consists of a mapping application and a small applet used to view and navigate the maps. Designers seed the application with a single Web page and then start expanding through the URLs on that page. They can then structure the map by placing pages where they wish, adding graphics and text to enhance the map's appearance. The map may also be easily revised, should the mapped content change frequently.

MerzScope features dynamic zoom, which allows the developer to isolate a node or collection of nodes and focus more narrowly to see increasing levels of detail. The package's semantic zoom reveals information about a Web page in finer detail as the viewer approaches. MerzScope also has a "surf-tracking" feature that keeps a dynamic log of previously visited pages and their current position in the map.

Beta release:

More info:

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Netiva creates Web database app

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