Click on our Sponsors to help Support SunWorld

Software Development '96:
Java is this year's hot ticket

Developers gather to learn as much as possible about Java...and other news from the show

By Elinor Mills, IDG News Service, San Mateo Bureau

April  1996
[Next story]
[Table of Contents]
Subscribe to SunWorld, it's free!

Mail this
article to
a friend

San Francisco -- Borland International Inc.'s Delphi grabbed the crowds last year, but the popularity of the Internet made Java the hot topic at the Software Development '96 show here in late March.

Developers congregating around the Sun Microsystems Inc. stage -- where free cappucino, mocha, and other coffee drinks might have accounted for some of the crowd -- shared their impressions of Java, and their plans for using it, with a reporter.

"Next year there will be something else as hot as this [Java] was, but it will start with a different letter," said Ron Talmage, a software developer for True North Technology in Seattle. "Last year it was `D' and this year it's `J.' The phenomenon is the Internet."

Talmage said his firm is considering using Java to enable quick development of applications and utilities such as data cleaning and Web site prototyping in its intranet.

Many visitors to the Sun booth were there to find out what the hype surrounding Sun's object-oriented programming environment is all about. A few had some real, hands-on experience with it, while most said they were planning to work with it sooner or later.

"I think it's revolutionary," said Charles Smith, a consultant with Web Associates in San Mateo, CA. He was attending a preview of the new Java WorkShop development environment for building Java applets, which Sun announced this week.

Smith said he wants to learn how to use Java so he can fine-tune data after Java code is automatically generated in Oracle Corp.'s PowerBrowser database.


Others are looking to Java for use in building World Wide Web pages.

Al Mendall, a programmer for Asam International in Dublin, CA said he wants to use Java in the Web page of his company, which makes warehousing and inventory control software for shipping firms. He envisions creating short animations to show how warehouse and other procedures are to be done.

"In two years every company is going to have a Web page" with Java, he said. "I'm kind of surprised by how quickly Java has become so popular because two months ago I hadn't even heard of it."

Another attendee was evaluating Java for use in warehouse automation software. Java would be ideal for creating applications that allow companies to track employees and inventory movement in real time, said John Sweet, senior engineer for Real Time Solutions in Berkeley, CA.

Banking and shopping were other areas attendees mentioned as suited for Java applications.

Java applets can allow online shoppers to track their selections and maintain the information as an applet rather than requiring the server to keep track, said David Lewis, a programmer for Basis International Ltd. in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

"We're migrating aggressively to Java," said Glenn McComb, president of McComb Research in La Jolla, CA and an outside senior architect for Tibco, a software company that makes middleware that connects bank systems to users.

"We're building trading floors and financial trading systems for global banks," he said. Among the applications Java will enable are stock tickers, interactive banking services via the Internet, and animated tellers.

"Our approach is to have a Java library talk through to our banking system back-end server," McComb said. "We're getting rid of proprietary languages and substituting with Java."

A representative from the New York State Department of Health in Albany flew out to the trade show for the sole purpose of getting more information about Java. The department has received a $2 million federal grant to build an intranet that will allow state officials to share information with the state's 62 counties.

And Java can help prevent bottlenecks on that Health Information Network by allowing users to do more computing, such as editing and updating of databases, on their desktop rather than having to connect to the server, according to Frank Hsia, associate computer programming analyst for the agency.

"We want to reduce traffic between the client and server," he said, particularly given the fact that the county networks are mostly 64K-bit per second lines. Real-time updates are vital when there are disease outbreaks and other medical emergencies, Hsia said.

In other Software Development '96 news...

Click on our Sponsors to help Support SunWorld


What did you think of this article?
-Very worth reading
-Worth reading
-Not worth reading
-Too long
-Just right
-Too short
-Too technical
-Just right
-Not technical enough

[Table of Contents]
Subscribe to SunWorld, it's free!
[Next story]
Sun's Site

[(c) Copyright  Web Publishing Inc., and IDG Communication company]

If you have technical problems with this magazine, contact

Last modified: