Sun today announced Java Blend 2.0, a development tool that links business software with information in databases, and Java Message Queue, software that lets business applications, such as financial and human resources software, to exchange information.
"With the rapid pace of acquisitions, there is a requirement for companies to take all the existing systems and hook them together as rapidly as possible," said Jon Williams, director of marketing at Sun's Internet applications and performance tools division. "This gives a standardized and efficient way to link systems together."
The new products help Sun in its goal to provide corporate developers with all the software they need to build and run Web sites that connect their customers, employees, and partners together. In fact, Sun recently purchased two tools companies--NetBeans and Forte Software--to better compete against IBM, Microsoft, and Oracle. The software rivals are all trying to attract developers with programming tools, hoping that would lure them to buy more expensive technologies, such as databases and high-powered computers.
Pam Hudadoff, Sun's product line manager for the new products, said Java Blend 2.0 allows developers to connect applications to databases without having to write complex Structured Query Language (SQL) and Java Database Connectivity (JDBC) code. The updated tool, which is faster and more reliable than previous versions, according to the company, automatically generates software code to link them together.
Hudadoff said Java Blend 2.0 is the first implementation of a new Java application programming interface (API) aimed at making data access easier. The Java Data Objects API is focusing on databases, but in the future, Sun and other Java companies will evolve it to support other data files, including Extensible Markup Language (XML), a Web standard for exchanging data, she said.
The Java Message Queue software is Sun's implementation of a new Java API called Java Messaging Service, which lets separate business applications communicate and exchange information.
Sun executives said the company is in the process of integrating its own software tools--Java Blend and Java Message Queue--with Forte's application integration tools and the Sun-Netscape Alliance's application server, technology that helps businesses run e-commerce Web sites.
Yankee Group analyst Colin Mahony said Sun is getting close to becoming a one-stop shop for corporate developers.
"Sun is getting together all the components they need--the development tools and the application server. They have the operating system and hardware, but there's still gaps," he said. "You're seeing them fill in those holes. It's not perfect yet. You still see a lot of fragmented components, but they're on the right track."
Java Blend 2.0 will ship this month and cost $1,195 per developer. Java Message Queue will ship in December and cost $495 for up to 250 connections. Both support Solaris and Windows NT operating systems.