Relatively content-free, except when you realize that if beans can run
in both the client AND the server, you can start getting some
interesting peer-to-peer application development...
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JavaSoft next month will outline an enterprise development framework for
Java that takes the language's write once/ run anywhere technology from
the client to the server.
The architecture, to be detailed at the JavaOne Developers' Conference
in San Francisco, will be built on JavaBeans, an object-oriented
component architecture; a Servelet for creating server-side
applications; and a series of APIs from JavaSoft and third-party vendors
for transaction services, messaging and directory services, according to
sources close to the Cupertino, Calif., company.
Within the framework, developers will be able to construct middle-tier
Java applications by linking JavaBeans components. Developers will be
able to connect those applications to extend back-end and legacy
In addition, enterprise developers can preserve their investments in
back-end code and applications while building new Java applications that
can be distributed across the enterprise.
Unlike current Java development that requires developers to interact
with class libraries to build applications, JavaBeans contains the core
business logic of enterprise applications and provides a higher level
interface to the libraries. As a result, developers can quickly develop
applications by linking JavaBeans components.
"There is a tremendous potential for using component architectures to
link in back-end applications," said Edward Glassman, director of
information technology strategy at New York-based Pfizer Inc. Glassman
is evaluating both Microsoft Corp.'s ActiveX and Java application
"At most, we want to be a system integrator, not an application
developer," Glassman said. "That goes in the right direction of
providing me with an application rather than just technology."
JavaSoft will offer several APIs for Java-enabling applications and
providing an interface to which ISVs can create JavaBeans.
Some APIs, such as Java Database Connectivity, are currently available.
Other APIs include Java Naming and Directory Interface, Java Transaction
Services and Java Interface Definition Language.
JavaSoft is working on new messaging services such as a
publish-and-subscribe API in development with The Information Bus Co.
and an asynchronous messaging API under way with IBM, sources said.
The APIs may be released separately and could likely be included in an
add-on pack for the Java Development Kit this year.
Developers will use JavaBeans to construct Servelets using visual
development tools such as Symantec Corp.'s Visual Cafi Enterprise
Edition, due later this year, or IBM's VisualAge for Java, according to
JavaSoft also is working with The Baan Co. to create an object-oriented
interface to relational databases, said Jon Kannegaard, vice president
of software products at JavaSoft.
IBM this summer will release into beta Part Packs, a collection of
JavaBean server applications that will provide functions such as sales
force automation, marketing and human resources.
"The idea is to enable corporations to build functionality on top of
existing applications and enable that functionality to be upgraded
easily by swapping out a single component rather than rewriting the
entire program," said John Patrick, vice president for Internet
applications at IBM, based in Armonk, N.Y.
A key feature of the server-side Java architecture is the ability for
ISVs to create their own APIs-as long as they conform to the 100% Pure
Java specification, Kannegaard said.
JavaSoft at JavaOne will detail Just-in-Time compilers for the server,
as well as native Java run-time performance increases.
Oracle Corp. expects to debut a suite of electronic commerce
technologies and APIs for Java that will enable developers to create
JavaBeans that interact with electronic commerce servers, said company
officials in Redwood Shores, Calif. Likewise, IBM is considering
developing a workflow API, sources said.