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Java plays part in EPIC

One-year-old Novera Software introduces its flagship product, a computing platform written entirely in Java that allows people to access networked applications from anywhere in the world using the Internet.

One-year-old Novera Software is introducing its flagship product today, a computing platform written entirely in Java that allows people to access networked applications from anywhere in the world using the Internet.

Novera is allowing developers to download the new product, called EPIC, short for Enterprise Platform for Internet Computing, for a 60-day trial beginning today.

Exploiting the fact that virtual machines are ubiquitous, EPIC uses Java to allow users, from any operating system, to access networked applications from anywhere, according to Novera.

The product gives "developers of Java-based applications for the first time fast, easy access to network operating system services without being tied to proprietary or hardware-specific operating systems," Novera said.

For instance, an employee working from home or telecommuting could use EPIC to retrieve email, personal files, or any number of applications. After logging onto the corporate network, the EPIC system would then give that user access to a predetermined set of applications based on his or her profile. (These applications are in LDAP, a messaging protocol for the Internet). The user could then read email, find a document, and access the office printer or any other networked device, explained Richard Reichgut, director of business development.

EPIC is operationally oriented for large-scale deployments. The internal systems are based on a protocol called Interactive Socketplexing, which "furnishes reliable, asynchronous, multipoint access to system services from Java and ActiveX applications," according to the company. But this is transparent to developers. They only access Novera's EPIC Java classes, Reichgut said. The technology "routes multiple service requests from the client to any server over a single socket." The difference means faster access and lower network management costs, according to Reichgut.

"If you look at a traditional application platform, someone would write an application to run an OS and would ask that OS for services," Reichgut said. "When you write to Java, you're writing to the Internet. We turn the Internet into a computer for the application.

"The whole power of having a Java-based desktop environment is the flexibility of being able to get to it from any system anywhere," he added. "This really brings down the administrative overhead. The application really lives on the network. It doesn't live on a specific machine."

Java community support has been strong, according to Novera. Corel is imbedding EPIC into every copy of their Corel Office for Java, Reichgut said."The Java community has been very, very supportive."

Novera's written release quotes both Kim Polese, chief executive officer of Marimba, and Dr. Michael Cowpland, president and CEO of Corel. "Marimba and Novera have complementary products that help IT departments fully exploit the benefits of Java computing," Polese says.

"Novera is playing an important role with Corel in moving the Java industry forward," Cowpland states. "EPIC provides important network-based services such as file, print and directory services to Corel Office for Java."