Sun visualizes Java with new tool

Company to issue Java Studio Creator at JavaOne developer show

At its 2004 JavaOne Conference, Sun Microsystems will release the much-heralded, so-called easy-to-use visual Java tool, Sun Java Studio Creator.

The company will also issue a beta of NetBeans 4.0, an early-access edition of Java Studio Enterprise 7, and a beta of J2ME Wireless Toolkit 2.2.

Designed for developing workgroup applications, Java Studio Creator makes use of component technology, drag-and-drop functionality, and integrated editing, said Joe Keller, vice president of marketing for Java Web services and tools at Sun.

According to a beta user, Java Studio Creator shows promise in bolstering Java as an alternative to Microsoft’s Visual Basic for client-side development. “It will let us use Java all the way across the board, from the server all the way up [to] the GUI,” said Dick Wall, lead software engineer at New Energy Associates, a provider of decision support and financial software for the utilities industry.

Available for Windows, Linux, and Solaris, trial versions will be offered via the Sun Developer Network.

Also new to Java Studio Creator is subscription-based pricing.

“In the past, you bought a product and purchased support,” Sun’s Keller said. “In the future, you will join programs and get tools and support as part of the program.” According to Keller, Java Studio Creator might have cost two to three times as much under Sun’s previous pricing model.

Sun will also release a beta version of the open source NetBeans 4.0 IDE (integrated development environment), featuring support for automated refactoring and J2SE 5.0. Also included in Version 4.0 are code-editor features such as “smart imports” and improved code completion.

An early-access release of Java Studio Enterprise 7 — which Sun will tout at the show and release in late summer — integrates support for UML (Unified Modeling Language) technology from Embarcadero Technologies. Major phases of the development cycle will be supported with reverse engineering and code documentation.

A beta of J2ME Wireless Toolkit 2.2 will also be available at JavaOne. The release provides an emulation environment and examples of applications for mobile devices.

Borland will use JavaOne to announce its participation in the Java Tools Community, while BEA Systems plans to report that Instantiations has built plug-ins to link Project Beehive, an open source version of BEA’s WebLogic Workshop run-time framework, to the Eclipse open source IDE.

Copyright © 2004 IDG Communications, Inc.

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