Microsoft says it will open its Visual Studio development suite to enable more than a score of partners to integrate their tools. Among the planned add-ons is a Java 2-compatible compiler from Rational Software.
Rational’s Java compiler will be more industry-standard than Microsoft’s, which steers users to developing applications with extensions specific to the Windows platform, said Eric Schurr, a vice president at the Cupertino, California, company. The compiler could help users who want to develop portable Java applications but still want to use the J++ tool in Visual Studio, he added.
In the King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, offices of British pharmaceutical maker SmithKline Beecham PLC, principal scientific analyst Thomas Johnson said the company requires that he avoid using Windows extensions to Java. But he said he likes the integrated features of J++, such as its debugger. Rational’s compiler, he said, could be the way to write standard Java applications from within the friendly environment of J++.
The effort to open Visual Studio, known as the Visual Studio Integration Program, will likely benefit developers and Microsoft by making it a platform on which companies can develop applications.
Shawn Myron, a systems analyst at BC Tel Mobility Cellular in Burnaby, British Columbia, said the software is exciting. InstallShield Software Corp. in Schaumburg, Illinois, is also a partner, and Myron said he could envision using the software to track his application as it’s developed and automate the creation of the installation package. Brian Hall, vice president at Installshield, said the company is considering doing that.