Third-Party developers rally round Java flag

This month's JavaOne developers conference, in San Francisco, will provide software developers with an opportunity to stake their claim to a piece of the rapidly growing market for third-party Java products and tools.

Performance and ease of use are at the top of the list of attributes for the development tools, add-ons, and niche products that promise to speed-up, simplify, and extend Sun's widely touted cross-platform development language.

BulletProof, a Los Gatos, California-based developer of Java-based financial applications, will roll out its J-Designer Pro, a Java-based visual client/server interface builder.

Written in Java, the GUI builder targets popular fourth- generation languages such as Powersoft's PowerBuilder, allowing developers and -- in some cases -- end-users to create Java front ends to ODBC-compliant databases without writing Java code, according to CEO, Scott Milener.

"J-Designer Pro is not a development environment. It's totally point-and-click. It's essentially a wizard for Java for creating database widgets," Milener says.

The product implements BulletProof's Jagg connectivity software, a Java-to-ODBC (JDBC) interface. When the JDBC interface (which is slated for release in June) becomes available, BulletProof will add support for the specification, according to Milener.

"We will add JDBC support to Jagg, although users will still use Jagg, which is much simpler than JDBC to implement," Milener says.

Also likely to make a big splash at the JavaOne conference is Asymetrix, which last week announced SuperCedeO -- what it called the "industry's fastest Java virtual machine". SuperCedeO uses a patent-pending Flash Compiler 9 technology that company officials say compiles Java code five times faster then existing just-in-time compilers.

The new technology will not only speed up Java applications as they run, it will also allow Java developers to cut down on time spent checking application code.

"SuperCedeO runs Java at C++ performance," says Peter Kellogg- Smith, product manager for the Bellevue, Washington-based Asymetrix.

Asymetrix has not yet announced any application development tools, but Kellogg-Smith confirms that the technology in the SuperCedeO could be a boon to developers.

"If we were to have any application development products, you would be able to modify applications while they were running using this technology," Kellogg-Smith says.

Asymetrix is also expected to announce new products at the JavaOne conference.

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