Sun charts Java developer tool, platform improvements

Web services functionality considered key

SAN FRANCISCO -- Fresh from unveiling its Sun Java Studio Creator development platform and a beta release of Java 2 Platform Standard Edition 5 (J2SE 5) this week, Sun Microsystems is eyeing improvements to these technologies such as better Web services functionality.

Sun plans to extend Java Studio Creator this fall by enriching the environment to enable development of richer applications, said Jeff Jackson, vice president of Java development tools at Sun, in an interview at the JavaOne conference here this week. The company also wants to add support for use of Enterprise JavaBeans and make it easier to build Web services with the tool, Jackson said.

The fall release, though, which is being classified as a maintenance release, will mostly feature comment fixes, bug fixes, and performance improvements, he said.

Java Studio Creator is being offered to subscribers of the Java Development Network, who pay $99 annually for the subscription.

Future J2SE releases, meanwhile, will be fitted with technologies that have been included in the enterprise release of Java, known as Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE), Jackson said. He cited the JAX-P parser for Web services as an example of such a technology.

“You’ll see Web services technologies, as they become pervasive in everybody’s computing model, that’s how they get into the core,” Jackson said. The followup release of J2SE 5 will be J2SE 6, and is expected in 2005, he said.

“A lot of [the improvements are] going to focus on the manageability, performance, configuration,” he added.

J2SE 5, also known as “Tiger,” will be generally available this fall. It focuses on other updates designed to improve ease of development and speed performance and extend monitoring and management capabilities.

Sun at the conference announced that Allied Irish Bank will migrate 7,500 desktop users from Windows to the Sun Desktop System. The package features the StarOffice productivity suite, a familiar look and feel and file and print interoperability, Sun said. Currently available on Linux, the product also is planned for use on the Solaris OS and on thin client solutions from Sun, the company said.

Copyright © 2004 IDG Communications, Inc.

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