News and New Product Briefs (12/2/97)

NEC launches AuraLine Java Multimedia Creation Kit

NEC Systems Laboratory introduced the AuraLine Java Multimedia Creation Kit at Comdex. This low-end Java tool adds multimedia effects to Web sites and graphic presentations.

The AuraLine Kit lets users who have little or no Java programming experience add simple graphics (animations, scrolling, hotspots) and audio effects to Web pages. Developers use a simple timeline interface to add effects. The timeline can be saved in an HTML or script file that can be uploaded to a Web server to place in a Web page. The media objects can be converted into ActiveX controls, if you decide you want them to show up in a PowerPoint presentation.

AuraLine is not "targeting the high-end Adobe and Macromedia user, nor the developer who uses Visual Caf," said Susanna Pool, NEC marketing consultant.

The AuraLine Kit includes a 5,000-item (clips, and so on) media library and is available for 0. The next version promises to offer full interactive video and multimedia-management capabilities (due early 1998 for less than 00).

Finjan Java Security Alliance enrolls Data Fellows anti-virus company

Finjan announced that Finnish company Data Fellows, an anti-virus software manufacturer, has joined the ranks of Finjan's Java Security Alliance. Data Fellows makes the F-PROT Professional anti-virus toolkit.

Data Fellows president and CEO Risto Siilasmaa said, "Data Fellows believes in sharing an API with the industry to offer enterprise customers an integrated, streamlined solution for network security. Our CounterSign technology and Finjan's Content Inspection technology are perfect fits for any enterprise looking for best-of-breed security solutions." And Finjan CEO Shlomo Touboul added, "This move marks a dramatic shift in the previously-held belief that anti-virus technology can prevent mobile code attacks." Discrete mobile code security breaches, unlike virus attacks, do not necessarily follow patterns.

Data Fellows' F-Secure Anti-Virus' CounterSign technology, employed in its F-PROT Professional anti-virus toolkit, uses dual or multiple scanning engines for multi-layered virus protection, performing multiple simultaneous scans with different scanning engines and methods, including on-demand and real-time scans.

Data Fellows:

NetAccent ships DART Mail Java e-mail software

NetAccent Inc. is shipping a Java-based e-mail suite called DART Mail 1.0 that is 100 percent Java. DART Mail supports the IMAP4 protocol to allow users to store e-mail on the ISP's server, so someone using more than one computer never has to worry about synchronizing e-mail directories between various machines. NetAccent considers airport and trade show kiosks, hotel guests, and eventually public "smart" telephones as targets for DART Mail.

NetAccent president Ketan Kotak said, "With DART Mail, a person could use a computer at work, a different one at home, access e-mail via a hotel's computers, check messages with a PDA, and never worry about copying messages from one system to another." He added, "ISPs will be able to charge incremental fees for storing these messages and providing users with this flexibility."

Also, Kotak sees network computers as a perfect environment for DART Mail, because it supports a healthy variety of e-mail protocols (IMAP4, POP3, SMTP, MIME) and Java, and takes up only a small amount of processing power. He commented, "NC manufacturers will be attracted to DART Mail due to the small footprint; since we work with virtually any mail server, NCs bundled with our client will fit perfectly within the customer's environment."

DART Mail offers ISPs support for Windows, Mac, and Unix.

Activerse offers Ding! and Ding! Switchboard for live collaboration

Activerse Inc. announced Ding! and Ding! Switchboard, an all-Java, Internet/intranet instant collaboration system.

The Ding! portion is an instant-messaging client application that lets users know instantly who's online. Through Ding!, the user can "reach out and touch someone" through instant HTML messaging, chat, file/URL transfer, and live status bulletins. And users can control their own availability, even limiting who can contact them.

Ding! Switchboards is the online access manager's portion that resides on public or private servers. Multiple Switchboards coordinate just like Web servers, using a common protocol to create a seamless distributed network with no single point of failure. With Switchboards, clients can authenticate users and connect them to their groups regardless of location, through peer-to-peer connections.

HP's Medical Products Group, the Trammell Crow Company, GE Mortgage, Andersen Consulting, Ernst&Young, First Union Banking, Bank of Boston, Credit Suisse, and L-3 Communications Telemetry & Instrumentation have started (or plan to) a beta installation of the Ding! products. L-3 systems administrator Gregory Blake said, "Ding!'s peer-to-peer architecture is especially important. Most, if not all, of the other instant-messaging products rely on a central server. If that server goes down, you lose communication. This doesn't happen with Ding!."

Some Ding! features include

  • User management of Net presence
  • User privacy protection by being able to see who's watching you
  • Reliable, scalable peer-to-peer communication that works just like the Web
  • Simple file-transfer management
  • Embedded HTML for quick Web access
  • LDAP interface for directory searches

Shipping later in 1997, Ding! Switchboard and Ding! PowerPak bundles will be priced at 95 for a Ding! Switchboard and a 25-client pack. The Ding! client is free for non-business use, and costs 0 per user if you're using it for business. Current versions support Windows 95 and NT, with major Java-platform support planned before the end of 1997.

Paralogic licenses ParaChat 2.0 chat server to The Mining Company

Paralogic Corp. has licensed its ParaChat 2.0 chat server to The Mining Company, which intends to use ParaChat on its 500 GuideSites.

The Mining Company business affairs VP Eric Bingham commented, "All of our GuideSites share a clean, consistent design, and we were able to quickly and seamlessly integrate ParaChat into the Mining Company environment on all our sites."

With the ParaChat server, each of The Mining Company's Guides get full access to ParaChat's high-traffic, highly scalable, single-hookup chat engine. ParaChat 2.0 uses MuxSock, a new optimization module that utilizes socket multiplexing to deliver more than 1,000 simultaneous connections on a single server (and an uncountable number of simultaneous connections across multiple servers). The ParaChat server is written in Java and runs on any machine supporting the Java virtual machine. The Java client starts up after a download of only 45 kilobytes of code, and no plug-ins are required.

According to Paralogic president and founder Vijay Vaidyanathan, "ParaChat has been licensed for use on over 75,000 Web-based chat rooms."

Pricing for a ParaChat 2.0 license depends on the number of simultaneous users. It starts at ,450 for a 1,000-user license. MuxSock is offered as an option and is priced based on the number of simultaneous users.

MuxSock is highly recommended for sites with more than 500 simultaneous users to optimize performance.

The Mining Company:


Vision releases Vision JADE 3.0 development environment

Vision Software officials say their success with JADE 2.0 made it easy for the company to decide to develop JADE 3.0.

Enhancements to JADE 3.0 include:

  • Applications templates -- for time-tracking, medical systems, order entry, and phone books -- for customers to use out-of-the-box
  • An integrated point-and-click deployment manager that automates transmittal of secure JADE 3.0 applications
  • Dual support for JDK 2.1 and 1.1
  • Integrated Crystal Reports for improved reporting/printing capabilities
  • JLINK facilities, which allow you to work with other packaged applications
  • Full e-mail integration, including agent-based e-mail (automatically sends out e-mail if an event occurs)

JADE 3.0 will be in beta this month and is expected to ship in early 1998.

Novell and MindQ teach Java to 2,000 software engineers

Novell Inc. is using courseware developed by MindQ Publishing to teach Java to 2,000 of its software engineers in 33 countries.

The Novell-internal developers' courseware, called "Novell Java Developer Training," will help the company reach its goal: to have all Novell products and services be written in or accessible through Java.

The course is an "electronic workbook" and is distributed across Novell's intranet directly to the desktop of each engineer. Novell Java Tech Group product manager Jim Colburn said, "Novell assessed all types of traditional and desktop training. MindQ's training features built-in assessments that help students and managers test and reinforce what they are learning, and provides the most flexibility to achieve rapid learning. Novell Java experts worked with MindQ to develop this 'real world' training solution, implemented and completed in six months."

The Java courseware covers Java language fundamentals, visual development tools, JavaBeans and component theory, JDK1.1, class libraries, and security.

Iona to support CORBA integration in Borland development tools

Iona Technologies announces support for Borland's C++Builder, which means that Iona's CORBA product, Orbix, now supports it as well as Borland C++ and Borland Delphi. (Iona has plans to add JBuilder support in the next release of its Java-based OrbixWeb.) Borland C++Builder Client/Server Suite is a suite of developer tools and C++ compilers.

Orbix supports platforms including mainframes, Unix, Windows, and OS/2. It also supports a wide range of languages, including C++, Java, COBOL, and Smalltalk, and tools such as Visual Basic, PowerBuilder, and Delphi.

If you want to try a beta of the Orbix 2.3 Borland C++ Builder, send e-mail to the address listed below.

Through a legal move, Sun asks Microsoft to stop using Java logo

On November 18, 1997, Sun Microsystems formally asked a U.S. District Court to bar Microsoft from using its Java-compatible logo in promoting and distributing Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 and related products.

Sun's filing is in response to Microsoft's countersuit over allegations of breach of contract, failure to operate in good faith and fair dealing, and unfair competition. Microsoft's suit alleges that Sun failed to live up to the agreements of its 1996 contract. Sun's suit claims that Microsoft is trying to break Java's cross-platform compatibility and instead develop a Microsoft-only version of the product. The Java-compatible logo already appears on packaging and promotional materials for some Microsoft products.

Sun general counsel Michael H. Morris said, "We take very seriously our stewardship of this remarkable technology, which includes keeping the promise of cross-platform compatibility that our logo stands for. Today's filing signals that we will act to protect both that technology and the trademark." He added, "A significant part of the value of the Java technology depends on the acceptance by the public of the promise that Sun will stand behind that technology and do everything possible to enable the products with the Java logo to be capable of delivering 'Write Once, Run Anywhere' performance."

Microsoft platform marketing director Cornelius Willis countered with, "We think we have the right to use the logo and will continue to do so, and will argue that in front of the judge."

Netscape to release Java-only browser

Netscape officials plan to release a Java-only version of its Navigator software, code-named Javagator, sometime in the first or second quarter of 1998.

Javagator will run on network computers and PCs, and will work with Java applets. It will let users execute Web programs on local machines instead of waiting for the client to retrieve data from Web servers after the users type in a URL. Javagator will support DHTML and JavaScript technologies, giving users access to animated objects, as well as other interactive content.

Javagator will be available as a download product from the Web.

Dataquest survey says IE cutting Navigator market lead

A Dataquest survey says that Netscape browsers still hold 57.6 percent of the market (third quarter '97), while Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE) share of the market has increased to 39.4 percent (up from 20 percent at the end of fourth quarter '96).

Dataquest principle analyst Kathryn Hale said, "If Microsoft's growth in browser share continues, Dataquest projects Internet Explorer to reach parity with Netscape Navigator as early as the second quarter of 1998. What will be really interesting is next quarter's data." She pointed out that the data was collected when the latest version of the Microsoft browser, IE 4.0, started shipping.

The Dataquest survey data reflects a seven-day period at the end of each quarter, using about 60 million daily query points in data supplied by Digital's Alta Vista search engine group.

Sun licenses Brio Enterprise tools

Sun Microsystems has licensed Brio Technology Inc.'s Enterprise product family of client/server and Web query and reporting tools. The companies also are jointly developing a full Java client to deliver Brio query, reporting, and analysis functionality to extranet users.

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