JavaWorld News Briefs (5/1/97)

Keeping you abreast of the ever-changing Java world

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In June, Netiva Software will release a Web database application -- software that allows users to quickly create multi-user intranet database applications that are instantly accessible to hundreds of users through a Web browser. The company claims its product was designed especially for the Web, so users don't have to hack together various technologies to create a data-intensive Web application.

"The Web is the ultimate multi-user, database platform, but until now there has been no database application for it," said Steve Pollock, Netiva VP. "Databases have always been powerful tools, but they are exponentially more useful in a Web environment where the platform itself supports multi-user interaction and easy, ubiquitous access to information."

The Netiva app comes in three parts: the Netiva Designer, the Netiva Server, and the Netiva Intelligent Java Client.

With Netiva Designer, developers create the application, then with a simple menu command, they move the app to the Windows 95- or NT-based server. Users can then point their browser to the database URL and start using the application. The Intelligent Java Client makes the app seem to operate locally, although the calculation is occurring on the server. Some of the product's technical features are:

  • Integrated Web database designers and application server
  • A plethora of powerful macros
  • An intuitive page design process
  • Custom starter apps
  • Support for popular data formats (import, export, and transactions)
  • Netiva's DataPage technology

Netiva's DataPage technology (patent pending) allows users to draw a page, then the software automatically creates a relational database structure under it.

A five-seat license will cost 99. The unlimited license costs ,999. Netiva 1.0 will be available in June 1997.

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Run Windows apps on Java machines with Exodus NTERPRISE

Exodus Technologies has released NTERPRISE 1.2, software that lets users run Windows apps on Java machines. It is designed for MIS departments.

With NTERPRISE, users can:

In addition, the software

NTERPRISE works with Intel, PowerPC, or Digital AlphaServer platforms. It allows users to run as many Windows applications in as many windows as they like. Data can be moved seamlessly between Windows programs and the Unix apps.

For ,545, users get a five-seat starter kit. ,795 will buy a 10-user license.

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NCD supplies Windows for IBM machines

Network Computing Devices (NCD) has joined with IBM to create the NOW program, an effort to bring multi-user windows solutions to the corporate marketplace that uses IBM Network Workstations. Besides educating and supporting IBM Business Partners (resellers of IBM products), NCD allows them to resell its WinCenter Windows emulation software.

WinCenter allows Network Station users to use Windows applications from their machines, as well as AS/400, 3270, Unix, and other legacy applications. Lorraine Hariton, senior VP of marketing and business development for NCD, said, "Traditional AS/400 and RS/6000 VARs, as well as Windows NT VARs, can now offer their customers access to Windows applications through a centralized server architecture [with WinCenter]. This enables the VAR community to provide their users with the desktop applications they want, while ensuring minimal IS headaches for their customers."

One of the product offerings available through NOW consists of an IBM PC server, WinCenter, and five Network Stations. IBM Business Partners who sell NOW packages by June 30, 1997, and install them by September 30, 1997, will receive ,000 from IBM as an incentive to develop the necessary skills to deliver network computing to its customers. NCD is supporting participating business partners through a price promotion on WinCenter.

What's this got to do with Java? Setups like this one give a Java-enabled network the ability to keep productivity alive -- by having access to the world's largest repository of business software -- Windows software.

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Xelfi delivers visual IDE for Java

Xelfi Technologies released Xelfi 0.9 -- a visual integrated development environment (IDE) for Java programmers. This RAD tool comes with an integrated editor, browser, compiler, and debugger.

Xelfi is a multi-windowed IDE: Developers can see all the applications that are open on the desktop. The main window consists of a main menu, a toolbar of commonly used commands, and a component palette to hold users' favorite modules.

The customizable Xelfi class browser lets developers follow the class path to review packages and classes at the same time -- complete with inheritance information -- as well as modify class and method headers.

The template system includes templates for empty Java sources, non-visual classes, and visual classes. Any class or form can be saved as a template, along with any developer-added components, property settings, and Java code.

The Xelfi visual programming tool comes in four parts:

Xelfi has a compiler interface (not a compiler) that allows a link to an internal or external compiler. It also has a debugger interface.

Currently, Xelfi generates code compatible with JDK 1.02. Support of JDK 1.1 code is coming. Xelfi-generated code has been tested to varying degrees for various systems. For example,

You can download this shareware for a 30-day trial period. Registration is 0.

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IBM/Lotus team up to build, deploy, and

manage e-business apps

IBM and Lotus jointly announced integrated application development packages for building, deploying, and managing electronic commerce applications. The packages (which support Java and JavaBeans) include Lotus Go Pro, Lotus Notes Designer for Domino, and IBM VisualAge.

Lotus Go Pro is the code name for a Web design package that includes the Lotus Go server, NetObjects Fusion, and Lotus BeanMachine for Java, a new Java visual development tool from Lotus. Developers can create Beans-based applets with the BeanMachine, then slap them on the pages with Fusion, and not write a single line of Java code. With the JDBC (Java Database Connectivity) standard, they can access database information to include on the site.

Lotus Notes Designer for Domino is an integrated development environment (IDE) based on a secure, distributed document database that combines information storage with enterprise-wide messaging, replication, security, and workflow. This IDE lets developers rapidly create strategic business applications. The package includes Notes Global Designer (for the rapid creation of multi-lingual applications), the BeanMachine, as well as support for Java server agents, ActiveX components, and HTML.

IBM VisualAge offers the complete package for professional Java developers to create interactive Web applications across clients, Web servers, and enterprise servers. VisualAge supports Domino and Go servers, and includes:

Lotus Go Pro:

Lotus BeanMachine:

Notes Global Designer:

VisualAge for Java:

VisualAge Runner:

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NCI operating system works both for NC desktops and servers

Oracle's Network Computer Inc. announced its suite of software for network computers (NCs), including NC Desktop software, NC Server software, and NC Card smart card software.

The NC Desktop software includes a desktop operating system, Netscape Navigator, Java virtual machine, and a multimedia Video User Interface (VUI). The desktop also provides a range of standard user tools, such as email, personal calendar and address book, text editor, file manager, and news feed ticker. The software (which receives automatic, transparent updates from the server) can reside on the network or in ROM on the NC.

The NC Desktop editor renders text automatically in HTML format for cross-platform file sharing. The NC Desktop's Java VM has a just-in-time (JIT) compiler. For multimedia purposes, the software supports Quicktime, Real Audio, MPEG, AVI, as well as streaming video formats. Users also get the NC Connect option so their desktops can emulate Windows, 3270, 5250, and VT 220 machines (running with ARM, StrongARM, or Intel processors) to access existing apps.

The NC Server software supports a high-performance operating system, the Oracle universal database, an application-development environment, and thousands of applications. The Server (designed to support Oracle's Network Computing Architecture) consists of the NCOS operating system, NC Services software for managing NCs, and NC Applications. Applications include:

The NC Card smart card software allows secure and reliable communication and commerce across the Internet. It's based on the ISO 7816 standard.

NC Desktop, NC Server, and NC Card will start shipping in May 1997 (limited quantities only); NCI hopes to get up to full speed in the summer. The products will start at 45 for a 5-user server with additional users available at 49 per named user.

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Philips announces NC device based on

NCI software/OS and Intel processor

Network Computer Inc. (NCI) and Philips Business Electronics have completed a software licensing agreement that will allow Philips to market a network computer that runs NCI's NC software and operating system. The first NC devices will be powered by the Intel Pentium 133MHz processor, and Philips expects it to retail under 00. Users should be able to connect the device to a TV set or computer monitor (anywhere in the world) since Philips plans for the NC to support worldwide TV display standards (PAL, NTSC, as well as VGA). The product will also support standard network interfaces, including Fast Ethernet, CD-ROM, infrared, as well as wireless keyboard and mouse.

Bonnie Crater, NCI strategic marketing VP said, "Adding an international manufacturer of Philips' caliber to the list of network computer suppliers brings the industry one step closer to making network computing a global reality."

The Philips NCs will run NCI's NC Desktop system software. The company expects to start delivering network computers as early as June 1997 and will initially market them in Asia and the Pacific, with Europe likely to follow.

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NEC to run NCI NC server software on its Express Servers

NEC Corp. is currently involved in certifying NCI's NC Server software on its Express Server platform. After the software is certified, NEC will offer the hardware and software system for sale to small- to medium-sized organizations.

The Express Server platform is one of the best-selling Intel-based servers in Japan, with a wide variety of systems compatibility and scalability, ranging from the low-end single Pentium processor model to the high-end SMP model with 8 PentiumPro processors.

Taiji Suzuki, NEC's C and C Systems Group VP said, "This solution [Express Server and NC Server software] addresses the demands of the fast growing WebComputing market segment and becomes a very attractive addition to NEC's total solution offering."

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Kona applets readied for NCI NC software

Lotus has plans to enable its Java-based Kona applets for NCI's NC Desktop NC software. Lotus has several JavaBeans productivity applets -- scheduled to ship in the third quarter of '97 -- that would make it easier for developers to develop and deploy Java business applications.

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