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JavaOne: Still About the Code
Third-party vendors emphasize infrastructure, integration
By David Rubinstein and Alan Zeichick
July 1, 2001 — SAN FRANCISCO — While much of the buzz at JavaOne revolved around the latest trends—Web services and Java in embedded devices—many traditional code creation, testing and management vendors showcased new versions of their tools, keeping the feet of the visionaries rooted to the ground.

After 10 years as a services company, Spectrum Software Inc. launched its first product, a source configuration management toolkit, SpectrumSCM, that despite costing only $750 per user is claimed to be a full-featured solution. “There was a big hole in the market,” said Adrian Raybould, director of software development at Spectrum. “The high-end tools are very expensive, complicated and awkward to maintain. The low-end tools, that you have to buy in pieces of functionality, often have integration problems.” SpectrumSCM is a Java-based toolkit for version control, process control, release management, branching and issue tracking without dependence on an underlying operating system. SpectrumSCM also is Web-based for use by disparate members of an organization, with SSL, cryptography extensions and digital signature security.

In the code visualization space, Dublin, Ireland-based Headway Software Inc. has integrated Headway reView 2.4 with Sun’s Forte for Java development suite. The $1,000-per-seat reView is designed to take code and reverse it into a tree structure or model so developers “can see exactly what they have,” said Brendan O’Reilly, CEO of the 18-month-old company. Meanwhile, Visicomp Inc. has improved its VisiVue runtime tool for trace text filtering, allowing developers to customize what founder Ron Hughes called “the smoking gun” of application failure to see just the lines of code where they suspect the problem to have occurred.

Another company focused on debugging, The Kernel Group Inc., showed off a new version of its AutoTrace tool that now adds Java compatibility and native compiler support. The AutoTrace 3.1, according to the company, can trace Java threads, as well as the C/C++ supported by previous versions.

At the show, Instantiations Inc. claimed that next month it will release a version of its jFactor code refactoring tool for the JBuilder development environment. jFactor, which costs $695 per seat, currently has 23 refactoring functions for improving the design of code as it is written. jFactor already is integrated with IBM’s VisualAge for Java.

Released into beta last week, Bean-test 4.1 from Empirix Software Inc. is scheduled for general release in August. The upgrade includes a graphical user interface for method ordering, so more people in an organization can use the testing tool earlier in the development cycle, according to Bean-test product manager Diane Mailloux. The new version also allows for extensible testing configurations, in which the results of one Enterprise JavaBean method can be passed to another, or the testing of more than one EJB in one test case, she said. The data sources can be randomly generated or user-supplied, depending upon the needs of the application, and the runtime of the load test can be customized, she added.

Working to improve the performance and reliability of Java applications, VMGear Inc.—which changed its name from Intuitive Systems Inc. in April—has a new suite of software, called Optimizeit. According to the company, Optimizeit includes three tools: a memory and performance profiler, a real-time thread debugger, and a code-coverage checker for use during test sessions. Optimizeit Profiler has been an existing stand-alone product; the debugger and coverage tools are currently in beta for Windows and are expected to be generally available in the fall on Linux, Solaris and Windows.

Sitraka Software Inc. has updated its JProbe code management and JClass interface-building components, and also will support the Java Network Launching Protocol (JNLP) in its DeployDirector application management solution. JProbe 3.0 now has snapshot differencing capabilities that allow development managers to set baselines for application performance and then to test the applications against them; an instance viewer that can narrow down code to find memory leaks; and improved examples and documentation, according to Jeff Zado, Sitraka’s JProbe product line manager. In addition, the software now runs on AIX and HP-UX, with support for Oracle’s 9i application server expected in the next release, Zado said. In JClass 5.0, Sitraka has added 3D charting capability and has created JClass ServerChart, which takes advantage of application server services and scales along with the server to provide 3D charting capability for server-side applications, Zado said. Also, Sitraka has sold its Sitraka Mobility division to Everypath Inc., a developer of wireless applications, for an undisclosed sum.

Programming for nonprogrammers? To the list of companies that target “business analysts” with drag-and-drop developer tools, add Synthis Corp., whose new Adalon, unveiled at JavaOne, is intended to complement software such as Rational’s Rose and TogetherSoft’s ControlCenter, according to company president Wells Burke. The Java-based tool lets those nontechnical users diagram the business processes within an e-business application, including data types, data rules, error conditions, messages and workflow dependencies. When the design is complete, the data is stored in a proprietary data format that the company calls adXML, or Application Design XML; the adXML data can be used to generate code skeletons. The prerelease version of Adalon is currently available for early access partners; general availability is scheduled for August.

Rational Software Corp. has integrated its Rose UML modeler and ClearCase code tester with Sun’s Forte for Java IDE. The integration allows the auto-synchronization feature to be turned off between the code and the model on a class-by-class basis, according to Bill Taylor, director of product marketing for Rational’s visual modeling and developer tools. Rational also launched, which Taylor described as a vendor-neutral Web site that has aggregated materials relative to Java and allows users to download servlets, applets and EJBs with tutorial support and discussion groups.

Wily Technologies Inc. released its Introscope 2.6 Web application monitor with integration for the iPlanet and HP Bluestone application servers, in addition to BEA’s WebLogic. Introscope, according to marketing vice president Vic Nyman, can tell developers what is going on inside a JVM, alerting them to system breaks and allowing for performance trend reporting. The new version adds automatic performance management when the tool is used with a supported application server.

Sybase Inc.
, although best known for its database software, also offers development tools, and the company was previewing the next version of one of them—PowerDesigner—at JavaOne. The new version, yet to be numbered, includes business process modeling, first-time support for UML activity and component diagrams, better support for EJBs, integrated data-warehouse modeling, and support for Microsoft’s Visual Basic for Applications scripting language. The company plans to release a beta of the updated PowerDesigner before August, and claims that the software will be generally available in the fourth quarter.

Data Representations Inc. unveiled three extensions to its Simplicity software family. Simplicity Enterprise, which the company says will be generally available in early July, is a graphic component-based development environment that is designed to add functionality to Java servlets by incorporating databases, XML documents, files and EJBs to server-side Java applications. For J2ME developers, Simplicity for Mobile Devices, also expected in early July, provides an environment for building software compliant with Sun’s Mobile Information Device Profile; it also includes a J2ME MID emulator. New at the show was a Simplicity for Palm OS, which the company has priced at $695 per developer set. Pricing for the other versions was not revealed at the show.

Embarcadero Technologies Inc. renamed its GDPro modeling tool Describe, and has given developers the ability to see both a UML model and code from a single screen, alleviating the need to toggle back and forth between the model and the development environment. Describe also now includes a bridge to its ER/Studio database to allow an application to be built based upon the database model. Describe, to be available this month, integrates with Sun’s Forte for Java IDE, with future integrations for JBuilder, VisualAge for Java and VisualCafé expected, the company says.

A new application from RadView Software Ltd., called WebFT, is designed to provide functional testing of Web applications. WebFT, which the company says will be available in late July for $4,995 per developer seat, uses a JavaScript-based language to create test scripts. The program offers both a graphical icon-based testing environment and a command line from which QA staff can execute JavaScript calls to manually exercise specific Web application features.

RadView says the same language, which it calls SmartScript, is used on all of the company’s testing products as well.

Finally, for developers using Jcorporate Ltd.’s Expresso open-source Web application framework, JavaOne was the venue for a minor update. New in Expresso 3.1 is enhanced support for the Model-View-Controller design pattern, with a new ControllerServlet component type that can support multiple graphical user interfaces within a single application. It also includes a new tool for measuring performance of Expresso-based applications and their external URL links. The new release is now compliant with Sun’s JDK 1.2, according to the company.





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