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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
Others are looking to Java for use in building World Wide Web
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,
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
"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...
- Borland International announced the availability
of Borland C++ Development Suite 5.0 and Borland C++ 5.0. The
development suite, with an estimated street price of $500, includes
all of Borland C++ 5.0; CodeGuard 32/16 bug detection and diagnosis
tool; PVCS Version Manager; InstallShield Express, which creates
install programs for deploying applications using pre-built components;
and AppAccelerator for Java, a just-in-time compiler which speeds up
Java applications. Borland C++ 5.0, with a street price of $350,
includes a native 32-bit hosted environment, ObjectWindows Library 5.0,
Microsoft Foundation Classes compilation, and Visual Database Tools.
Borland, based in Scotts Valley, Calif., can be reached at (800)
645-4559, (408) 431-1000.
- Intel announced VTune 2.0, a performance
analysis and tuning software tool designed for the Intel architecture.
VTune gives developers a picture of how their software affects the
system, locates trouble spots and offers suggestions on how to maximize
the performance of code. It also helps developers in optimizing their
code for Intel's MMX multimedia technology. VTune 2.0, which will be
availabe within 30 days and supports Windows 95 and Windows NT, has a
list price of $300. Intel, in Santa Clara, Calif., is at (800)
253-3696, (503) 274-7247.
- Imperial Software Technology announced XD/Java,
a Java code generation option for X-Designer, and JavaDesigner, a
visual Java application builder that provides a visual interface of
Java classes, applets and applications. X-Designer, with XD/Java, will
remain at its current list price of $3,400 for the first license and
will be available during the second quarter of the year. JavaDesigner
will be available in the third quarter. Pricing has not yet been set.
Imperial, based in London, is at +44 1734 587055.
- Stingray Software announced Objective Grid for
Java, a Java version of Stingray's Windows C++ grid control called
Objective Grid for Microsoft Foundation Classes. Objective Grid for
Java is the first non-OCX grid control available for Java developers.
It will beta test this summer and ship in the third quarter for about
$400. Stingray, based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, is at (919)
933-0863, (800) 924-4223.
- Interactive Development Environments (IDE)
announced tools for both generation and reverse engineering of Java
code. IDE's StP/OMT-Booch object-oriented analysis and design toolset
also supports version 8 of the Unified Method standard for OO analysis
and design. IDE also premiered Ada95 code generation and generation of
code for the Forte Advanced Application Environment from StP/OMT-Booch.
StP/OMT and StP/Booch 3.1 with Ada95 and Forte code generation are
available on Sun Sparc platforms and HP 9000s. They are each priced at
$12,000 per license. StP/OMT and StP/Booch 3.2 with Java code
generation, reverse engineering and IDL reverse engineering will be
available in May on the same platforms with the same pricing structure.
IDE, based in San Francisco, is at (800) 888-4331 or (415) 543-0900.
- Continuus Software announced Version 4.1 of its
Continuus change management suite which adds support for Windows-native
clients. The workflow suite coordinates the activities of developers,
testers, build managers and project managers. Continuus 4.1 will be
available later this month and per seat pricing will be announced then.
Continuus, based in Irvine, Calif., is at (800) 820-1995, (714)
- Visix Software announced the newest version of
Galaxy Application Environment which adds support for Microsoft Corp.'s
Windows 95 and Ole. Galaxy 2.6 will be available at the end of this
month. Pricing has not been set. Visix, based in Reston, Virginia, is
at (703) 758-8230.
- Interactive Network Technologies announced the
June release of Carnac, a library of C++ objects that offers multiple
views, layered graphics, virtual scrolling, integrated hardcopy output
and interactive editing facilities. Interactive Network Technologies,
in Houston, Texas, is at (713) 975-7434.
- Software Emancipation Technology unveiled
Discover 4.0, which includes a group of specialized applications that
provide rapid system transformation for dividing existing software into
new application packages and reducing recompilation time. Discover 4.0
is available now for Sun and HP Unix platforms. Pricing for a typical
10-seat configuration begins at $50,000. Software Emancipation, based
in Lexington, Massachusetts, is at (617) 863-8900.
- NuMega Technologies announced SoftIce, the
Advanced Windows Debugger for Windows NT, and BoundsChecker 4.0, the
first error detection tool to support Microsoft's ActiveX technology.
SoftIce for Windows NT is available for $700. BoundsChecker is
available now for $500. NuMega, based in Nashua, New Hampshire, is at
(800) 468-6342, (603) 889-2386.
- ForeFront announced ForeHTML, a WinHelp-to-HTML
conversion tool that generates interlinked Web pages from any WinHelp
project using a menu interface, and Ole for Help, a utility which adds
live data and objects to help files. ForeHTML is priced at $170 and
will be available in June. Ole for Help is priced at $200 and will be
available in May. ForeFront, based in Boulder, Colorado, is at (800)
357-8507, (303) 499-9181.
- SunSoft announced a joint development project
with Ilog to build a component gateway between Java
and C++ objects that will allow developers to integrate their existing
C++ object code with dynamic Java Web languages. The gateway translator
will automatically produce a Java interface to an ANSI C or C++ library
from its header files. Developers will then be able to access C++
applications in the Java environment and to extend the translated C++
classes in Java as if they were Java classes.
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