Sun hails Java Studio Creator tool

DOWNSVIEW (12/03/2003) - Sun Microsystems Inc. on Wednesday reiterated its intentions to increase the number of Java developers by unveiling a preview release of its so-called easy-to-use Java development tool, now named Java Studio Creator.

Separately, the company also revealed it has declined an invitation to join the Eclipse consortium for development of open source tools, citing a disagreement with IBM Corp.

Code-named "Project Rave," Sun's Java Studio Creator preview release is intended to elicit feedback from corporate developers. Sun is looking to leverage the product to make Java more accessible. General availability is planned for mid-2004.

"We will go from 3 million Java developers to 10 million," said Sun's Jonathan Schwartz, vice president of software, in a quarterly presentation to the media in San Francisco on Wednesday.

Also on Wednesday, Sun announced Java Web Services Developer Pack 1.3. The package provides users of the Java Enterprise System server package and Java Studio Enterprise with the ability to design to the latest specifications and profiles from industry consortia such as the W3C, OASIS, and WS-I, Sun said. Featured in the package is support for the WS-I Basic Profile for deployment of Web services.

In declining an invitation to join the Eclipse consortium, a Sun official cited a plan to merge Eclipse with Sun's own NetBeans open source tools initiative. But IBM declined that invitation, so Sun then declined to join Eclipse, said Ingrid Van Den Hoogen, senior director of Java and strategic marketing in the Sun software division.

"We offered to unify the Java tools efforts between what IBM is doing with Eclipse and what Sun and the open source community are doing withNetBeans, and we wanted to see if there was a point where we could merge the technologies," Van Den Hoogen said in a phone interview following the media presentation.

Recently, Sun has pondered joining Eclipse, even seeking a name change for the organization, which Sun considers to be a putdown of Sun.

In other news at Sun's event on Wednesday:

* The company announced an agreement to integrate and ship Macromedia Flash Player 7 with the Java Desktop System. As part of the agreement, Macromedia Flash Player will be pre-installed into Mozilla, an open source browser and a key component of Java Desktop System.

* Five reference architectures were unveiled, with the intention of providing recommended hardware and software components to build repeatable, multi-tiered architectures for specific functions. Among reference architectures unveiled include Migration Reference Architecture for Tru64 systems, to ease migration to Sun systems from discontinued AlphaServer units.

Also unveiled were Web Application Firewall, Supply Chain Management, Secure Web Server and Enhanced Communications Services reference architectures.

* Sun announced updates to Solaris, to improve performance, security and diagnostics capabilities. The December Solaris OS distribution features x86 performance optimization and higher network throughput with less processor load. It also offers fine-grained administrator privileges to diminish risk of viruses, worms, Trojan horses and other malicious code.

Additionally, a DTrace advanced tracing function enables tracking and logging of critical system and software activity on demand. Also featured is Network File System Version 4, which provides secure access to files across the Internet.

* The company announced an early access program for Sun Studio 8, the latest release of the company's IDE for C, C++ and Fortran developers building applications for the Solaris OS.

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