Powersoft to leverage tools in Internet

Sybase's Powersoft tools division has begun far-ranging projects aimed at establishing the company as a key player in the emerging Internet application-development market.

Sybase's Powersoft tools division has begun far-ranging projects aimed at establishing the company as a key player in the emerging Internet application-development market. Two weeks ago it introduced its NetImpact line of Internet- and intranet-specific wares, but it intends to tap the technology of its mainstream PowerBuilder tool to raise the bar in Internet development, according to company officials.

Powersoft plans to write a Java version of its DataWindows technology; an ActiveX version may follow, says Bob Zurek, Powersoft vice-president of research and development. Delivering DataWindows -- seen as a competitive advantage -- as a stand-alone component will allow developers of Java and ActiveX-compliant tools, rather than just PowerBuilder, to build Web applications built on a database.

Also in the area of database connectivity, Powersoft has several initiatives for Java Database Connectivity (JDBC) support, including incorporating JDBC with the Java-enabled version of its Optima++ tool, slated for year's end, as well as with NetImpact Studio.

Powersoft is also looking into providing embedded SQL support in JavaScript, Zurek says.

Powersoft's visual components division, which now sells ActiveX controls, is readying Java and Netscape Navigator plug-in versions of its development components, which include the Formula-1 Spreadsheet and Chart, RTF and Grid components.

Further out is the possible addition of Java generation and OpenDoc support in a future release of PowerBuilder, Zurek says.

Web-integration features on tap include the capability to activate three-tier PowerBuilder applications from URLs, which developers can currently implement via the Web.PB add-on for PowerBuilder.

In order to keep in step with Microsoft's object technology, a future release of Optima++ will support Microsoft's ActiveServer framework, allowing developers to create server-based ActiveX components, and PowerBuilder will likely gain the same capability, according to Zurek. "Microsoft SDKs [Software Development Kits] are just coming out. The Optima++ and PowerBuilder teams are looking into this," Zurek says. Powersoft is readying utilities for Webmasters to manage connections and hyperlinks, he says.

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