Internet World: Jobs touts WebObjects

Development efforts aimed at the burgeoning World Wide Web are shifting from the user interface to the server, according to Steve Jobs, chairman and CEO of Next Software.

Act one of the Web focused on enhancing the user interface and expanding the capabilities of Web browsing software, Jobs said in a keynote address at San Jose's Internet World this week. "But the server will be the epicenter of act two."

The subject of servers also gave Jobs the opportunity to promote WebObjects, his company's software for developing dynamic, server-based applications for the Web.

A future version of WebObjects will offer support for Sun's high-profile Java language, in addition to the languages with which it is already compatible, such as Perl, C and C++.

Java's core feature set is similar to that of the NeXT Object Model incorporated in WebObjects, Jobs says, adding that the combination of the two will enable users to create interactive Web environments that take advantage of both the client and the server.

WebObjects already allows users to create Web pages that change on the fly without data and applications having to be rewritten, says Jobs. Version 1.0 works with any browser on top of Windows NT and Unix servers and enables users to build interactive Web-based applications at the server level.

Released in March, WebObjects 1.0 has garnered more than US$2.5 million in sales, and 20,000 copies of the free version have been downloaded from Next's Web site, according to Jobs.

Clients already implementing WebObjects on their Web sites include Motorola, Disney, Reebok and the Sharper Image.

Next, based in Redwood City, California, can be reached on the Web at http://www.next.com.

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