Vendors stock the Java toolbox

IDG News Service |  Development

Java developers aren't without their tools. That is clear with the outpouring of announcements to come from software development tool vendors at this year's JavaOne Developers Conference, which continues here through Friday with more spotlights on the popular coding community.

In its sixth year, the Sun Microsystems Inc.-sponsored event is a gathering for developers that eat and sleep this language for building flashy Web sites and applications for the range of computing devices. And with the explosion of industry support for standards that will enable a world of Web services and business-to-business transactions, companies are using Java technology to do much of the work, according to Java proponents.

"Clearly Java is the core technology to put applications on the Web," said Richard Green, vice president and general manager of Java software development at Sun, during a keynote address Monday.

Monday, Sun rolled out its first toolset for building Web services applications with an all-in-one package based on the Java 2 Platform. Similar to the host of other toolkit releases here, the Web Services Pack relies on a collection of industry standards including support for XML (extensible markup language), SOAP (simple object access protocol) and directory services including UDDI (Universal Description and Discovery Initiative).

The Web Service pack includes a new version of Tomcat, a reference implementation for Java designed through the Jakarta project at the Apache Software Foundation. Tomcat is an open source project and free to developers. The pack also contains the JAX Pack, a collection of Java APIs based on XML; and JavaServer Faces, a toolkit for developing user interfaces for the server. It is available for download and will be retooled on a quarterly basis, Green said.

As the major software vendors from Microsoft Corp. to IBM Corp. talk up Web services, Sun's efforts to bill Java as a simple and reliable method of building Internet-based applications that can be used in a Web services context couldn't come too soon, analysts note. Sun announced plans to roll in support for Web services into the next release of its J2EE (Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition), offering the same industry-standard support as its the Web Services pack. [See: "Web services unites tech giants ... somewhat," June 1]

Sun also delivered a set of tools that will make it easier to build Java applications for its Cobalt server appliance, a box that hosts and delivers Web pages.The Sun Cobalt Developer Kit is available free to developers to create and deploy server-side Java-based Web applications. It includes Apache's Tomcat and Java Servlet technology.

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