JavaWorld News Briefs (6/1/97)

Keeping you abreast of the ever-changing Java world


Slingshot 1.5: Web publishing with intelligent push

Free, online Java intro class from IBM

Amazon Web DB devtool adds JavaBeans

Digital unveils Java tools for Alpha

Sun licenses Taligent graphics technology forJava

NatSemi UK picks IONA devtool for DB inventorydevelopment

Univ. of Washington and Sun work on independent Javaverification services

Update: MerzScope 2.0 Web mapper available in beta

iavadraw 3.0 dev platform for Java and Beans

Roasted news, hot off the fire

Apple joins others on Java Foundation Classes

Microsoft licenses NCware's Java implementation of LDAP

WebCollab lets you share visual data over the'Net

Get "early access" to the Java IDL API spec

Microsoft slips DirectX into its Java VM

Easy-to-use Java Studio almost here

Integration of e-mail, fax, voicemail, and paging made possible through Java

Despite Java popularity, developers still usingC++

New security "crash" bug found and fixed

Is trouble brewing for Java's native interface?

Different directions for virtual machines

Update: New versions of Asymetrix tools here

Multiple smart card development packages from IntegrityArts

Version control product to bundle with Visual CafePro

Prices out for Lotus Go Webservers and Dominoservers

Domino servers start field testing

First Tennessee Bank goes online with Java

MarketBuilder DB marketing software

Traffic-Web: A merchandising task-managementsystem

IBM plans VLIW chip that runs Java

Intel's immediate goal: Supercharge Pentiums forJava

Update: Parts for Java 2.0 IDE will support Beans andCORBA

Change FreeHand documents to HTML code

2 heavyweights license Schlumberger's Solo JavaCard

Update: Aimtech's Jamba 2.0 enhanced authoringtool

Slingshot 1.5: Web publishing with intelligent push software

Version 1.5 of CSK Software's Slingshot software is "geared towards serving the data publishing needs of the banking and brokering institutions -- delivering data where and how it is required, to whomever requires it, either in real or delayed time," says Niall O'Cleirigh, Slingshot's chief technical architect. Slingshot is designed to distribute real-time financial market data across the Internet or intranets.

Slingshot's Data Pump (which operates on NT 3.51, 4.0, and 95) is the core of the push technology. A single Slingshot pump can manage 16 applications simultaneously, delivering data (in real time) to 256 users at the same time. And if more bandwidth is required, the systems administrator can install subsequent pumps.

Slingshot has available as an option several development kits, for developers to build custom applications to deliver real-time data based on Java classes, ActiveX controls, Netscape Navigator plug-ins, and C/C++ apps.

The Slingshot Security Manager controls access to all items of Slingshot data for connecting users. Users are assigned levels of data to which they get access, and they are assigned certain usage of that data. Usage includes the ability to:

Slingshot is available as a series of different product sets. The "Platform" consists of the Data Pump, Market Data Interfaces, and the Spreadsheet Server. The "Professional" consists of Platform plus Security Manager and a Delayed Data Server. The "Developer" has the Data Pump and Spreadsheet Server, plus server- and client-side Java, ActiveX, and Navigator plug-in dev kits and the Test Bench.

Platform is available in a 50-user starter pack for 9,750; a 25-user increment is ,875. Professional costs 9,750 for 50-user starter pack; 25-user increment is 9,875. Developer is available in a single-user license for ,850.

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Free, online Java intro class from IBM

IBM is offering a free, online course called "Introduction to Java" to help developers quickly build skills in Java. The one-hour course uses video, audio, graphics, and text to demonstrate how IBM is using Java in its products and services.

Frank Kales, general manager of IBM Global Services, education and training, said the course "also demonstrates that education over the Internet is practical and available today from IBM." The course was developed by people in IBM Research, along with IBM's Java Web team and IBM Global Services.

According to an IBM official, this training approach offers the ability to train people when and where you want, as well as the ability to start and stop the course as circumstances dictate. And with this method, there's no need for a CD-ROM: You just do a quick download of IBM's Bamba player, audio, and Netscape.

Intro to Java:

IBM Global Campus:

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Amazon Web DB development tool adds JavaBeans

Intelligent Environments has added JavaBeans technology to its Amazon Web development tool. Amazon Web is a development environment that lets Java developers build Web apps that link to legacy database systems, such as Unix and AS/400.

"Our Java strategy will, for the first time, allow Java developers to build applications that have high-performance legacy connectivity to Unix, AS/400, and IBM mainframes," said Laurence Shafe, CTO at Intelligent Environments. "We want organizations to be able to leverage their existing investments while creating components that can be utilized across an enterprise."

The Java strategy will occur in two phases. First the company will provide a set of Java class libraries that provide client-side support for connecting to an Amazon application running on a server. The Java class libraries will be available early summer 1997.

The second phase will be full JavaBeans publishing capabilities in the form of AmazonBeans, which will include components based on business rules and access to legacy data. This will give users Java interoperability, including ActiveX, OpenDoc, LiveConnect, Microsoft Transaction Server and CORBA, and simple drag and drop GUI builder tools. AmazonBeans will be available before the end of 1997.

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Digital unveils Java tools for Alpha

Digital Equipment Corp. announced two tools: a just-in-time (JIT) Java compiler for Digital Unix and a Java Development Kit (JDK) with support for the POSIX (Portable Operating System Interface for Computing Environments) standard.

The POSIX support in the development kit will allow developers to create applications that run on multiple processors, as well as allow use of middleware products. The JIT compiler and JDK with POSIX support are targeted at distributed business applications such as transaction processing, database applications and systems and network management. The two Java tools run on Digital's 64-bit Alpha systems.

Digital is offering JDK V1.1.1 beta kit and JIT compiler for free at their Web site.

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Sun licenses Taligent graphics technology for Java

Sun Microsystems Inc. is licensing graphics technology from Taligent to be included in the Java 2D Application Programming Interface (API).

Among the technologies from Taligent are: the bi-directional line layout for internationalization of text, which allows developers to mix text in different languages, including those that are written both backwards and forwards; and high-level graphics technology for combining and manipulating geometric shapes.

The two technologies are to be included in Sun's Java 2D API, a set of class libraries that enables developers to build graphics into Java applications. They will also be included in the Java Foundation Classes, due out with the next version of the Java Development Kit (JDK).

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NatSemi UK picks IONA development tool for database development

National Semiconductor UK has chosen IONA Technologies' Orbix object development tool as a means to develop and integrate a range of manufacturing and reporting tools with an existing inventory database infrastructure. Orbix uses the Object Management Group's Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA) standard, which provides a fast, standards-based approach to the development of distributed object-based applications.

"We have chosen Orbix because it offers an open, standards-based approach to developing complex, multi-platform applications," said Bob Marshall, technical architecture team leader at National Semiconductor UK. "By taking this approach, we can seamlessly integrate existing systems with our next generation applications and provide a solid framework for the development of reusable software components and services."

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University of Washington and Sun work on independent Java verification services

Sun has started work with the University of Washington's computer science and engineering team to develop automatic Java verification services. Prior to the Sun involvement, the university group had already begun an independent research effort to develop these Java verification services.

Research by Brian Bershad, associate professor of computer science and engineering, graduate student Emin Gun Sirer, and staff programmer Sean McDirmid led to the discovery of a bug in the Java verifier that could enable a class file to filter through the verifier and possibly crash the Java virtual machine. The UW team briefed Sun on the bug, which it then corrected. It shipped the fix to Java licensees immediately. The fix will also be included with JDK 1.1.2. See "New security "crash" bug found and fixed" for more information on this bug.

For technical details of the UW-Sun collaboration, check the Sun site.

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MerzScope 2.0 Web mapper available in beta

MerzCom MerzScope 2.0, the Java mapping and viewing package, is available in beta. "We listened to our customers, and responded with a smaller, faster applet, an improved user interface, and an automatic map updating agent," said MerzCom VP of technology Philip LeNir. "MerzScope is now ready for use on commercial Web sites and intranets."

MerzScope 2.0 features an automatic map-updating agent that allows users to keep maps updated even when the Web content changes. This feature is accessible through both GUI and command-line interfaces. Users can now produce scripts that will automatically update their maps to reflect changes in Web content. Also, a new optimized applet makes navigation through large maps faster for low-end machines. The code size of the applet has been reduced by over 30 percent, which decreases the time required for download. The enhanced user interface makes it easier to rapidly produce complex Web maps.

The commercial version 1.0 of MerzScope is scheduled for early summer 1997.

Beta 2.0:

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iavadraw 3.0 dev platform for Java and Beans

SFS Software has made available iavadraw 3.0, its Java and JavaBeans development platform for Windows 95 and NT. With iavadraw 3.0, programmers and non-programmers can build applets, applications, and JavaBeans components using a simple, visual programming interface.

The major development tools are integrated. Tools like the source code editor, preprocessor functions, project management, and a visual debugger interface all come with a tutorial on Java and JavaBeans. This dev platform supports the Java Development Kit 1.1. Get a fully functioning evaluation version at the company's site.

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Roasted news, hot off the fire

Roaster Technologies is now offering "Roasted Java News," an online daily for Java news, culling a collection of headlines from over 50 different publications available on the Internet. Its "Short Takes" department supplies information on new or updated applets, applications, or Java-related sources.

John Magee, director of consulting at Roaster Technologies' sister company, Natural Intelligence, said "This saves an enormous amount of time, and keeps me and my company's Java consultants and trainers continuously current. We consider it required reading."

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Apple joins others on Java Foundation Classes

Apple Computer has decided it will collaborate with IBM, Netscape, and Sun on the Java Foundation Classes (JFC) and will make Java its primary development environment in the new Rhapsody operating system. Rhapsody will include a set of APIs called "Yellow Box" to let developers write desktop and Internet applications. According to Avadis Tevanian, Apple's senior software engineering VP, the company plans to make both the MacOS and Rhapsody "preeminent development and deployment platforms for Java technology."

Tevanian also remarked that by incorporating Java firmly into the Apple OS, Apple's best feature (its interface design) would be a big contribution to the Java community.

Developers' takes on the matter were slightly different. "I think that making Java a premiere development language for the MacOS 8 and Rhapsody is a long-needed move in the right direction for Apple," said Kevin Ready, Blue Platypus CEO. He did add, "Is it enough, and is it in time?"

"I don't see that they had much of a choice, since, by all accounts, their credibility with their development community has been spiraling downward at an alarming rate," said Steve Sloan of Longbow International.

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