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Sybase hopes for Java boost

The database company will next week debut the first part of a wave of new technology that it hopes will reignite revenue growth.

Sybase (SYBS) will next week debut the first part of a wave of new technology that it hopes will reignite revenue growth.

The company will roll out PowerJ, a Java-based rapid application development tool, and will detail new Java features intended for its Jaguar CTS middleware, set to ship next month.

Sybase is also set to ship a new release of its SQL Server database, renamed Adaptive Server Enterprise version 11.5, by the end of next month, a company representative said.

The new products are part of the company's new component-based technology architecture, announced in April, that's heavily dependent on the Java programming language.

The new architecture, dubbed ImpactNow Adaptive Component Architecture, is a multitiered framework that includes new database technology for storing Java, ActiveX, and CORBA (Common Object Request Broker Architecture) components, along with the Jaguar CTS transaction middleware and new development tools.

The goal of the new product line is to allow developers to build a single application, using any popular component architecture, that can run on client systems, application server middleware, or the company's database server, as well as support multiple object and relational data types.

PowerJ, developed under the code-names Jato and Starbuck, borrows the user interface from Sybase's Power ++ development tool, but generates Java applications.

The tool allows developers to drag and drop JavaBeans and ActiveX components into Java applications, and includes a visual SQL query editor, improved documentation, and the inclusion of jConnect, Sybase's data access tool for multitier intranet applications.

The tool is designed to compete with other Java development tools from Borland International, Symantec, Microsoft, and Sun Microsystems, and includes tools to make server-side Java development easier.

PowerJ is priced at $1,995 and includes jConnect and Jaguar CTS.

Jaguar CTS combines the features of transaction-processing monitors, which keep track of individual transactions, and object request brokers (ORBs), which handle communications between software objects across the network. In their place, Jaguar is a single piece of software that can handle large Web-based applications such as order entry, reservation, and electronic commerce systems that process thousands of transactions per minute.

Jaguar CTS supports two competing object architectures: Microsoft's DCOM (Distributed Component Object Model) and CORBA (Common Object Request Broker Architecture). This means that developers can build applications using any tool that supports either DCOM or CORBA.

Next week, the company will announce support for the JavaBeans specification for component-based Java applications, said David Knight, director of Internet transaction products at Sybase.

No pricing for Jaguar CTS has been announced. Knight said it will be detailed next month when the company officially rolls out Jaguar CTS, Adaptive Server Enterprise, and its dbQ message queuing software.

Sybase is hoping the new products can drive revenue growth. Last month, the company posted its third consecutive profitable quarter, but missed expectations as revenues continued to fall. Even though results weigh in on the positive side, some analysts question whether earnings growth are really an indication of a healthy company when revenues continue to slip, or whether they are just the results of aggressive cost cutting.