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IBM forges e-commerce tools

The company?s VisualAge updates ease linkage of Web client systems to enterprise applications.

Hoping to garner a share of the booming market for e-commerce development tools, IBM (IBM) has reworked its VisualAge tool lineup to ease the linkage of Web client systems to enterprise applications.

The company, which boasts a huge customer base among Fortune 500 companies, has targeted the reworked VisualAge tools at programmers faced with linking new Web-based e-commerce applications to older, existing business systems.

VisualAge is a tool lineup which includes code generators for SmallTalk, Java, Basic, and Cobol.

The company today said it will add Windows NT support to its VisualAge for SmallTalk product, will debut a new version of its VisualAge Generator code generator with added database and Java support, and will ship additional team development tools as part of its TeamConnection package.

The overall goal of the releases is to enable VisualAge developers to build new systems and update existing ones so that they are accessible via Web browsers and support off-the-shelf components for speeding up development.

VisualAge for SmallTalk version 4 will ship at the end of October; no pricing information is available. VisualAge Generator V3 costs $6,499 and is shipping today. VisualAge TeamConnection, also shipping now, is priced from $995.

In July, IBM shipped VisualAge for Java, a tool for building "100 percent pure" Java applets, JavaBeans, and entire applications.