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'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.