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Sun, BEA Systems ship tools

BEA Systems will ship its M3 middleware and tools for building enterprise apps, after news that Sun is also shipping new Java tools.

BEA Systems on Friday will ship its M3 middleware and tools for building enterprise applications, a release that follows news from Sun Microsystems today that it is also shipping new Java tools.

Sun released Java Blend 1.0, which simplifies building business applications that access any relational database, and posted the fourth beta version of the Java Development Kit version 1.2.

M3, which BEA calls an "object transaction manager," is designed to help enterprise developers create, deploy, and manage object-based applications that utilize existing applications. It is built on BEA's popular Tuxedo application engine.

"M3 is for people who want to build applications for a lot of users generating transactions and processing business events in real time," said Alfred Chuang, BEA's cofounder and chief technology officer.

"Scalability is not something you get by luck--it's something you get by building it into the system," he added.

BEA intends to expand its middleware offerings using Enterprise JavaBeans objects and Web-based access to middleware, he added.

Java Blend 1.0 is a Java-based development tool to make it easier to build business applications that access a database, including a runtime environment to help integrate Java objects and enterprise data stored in relational databases.

The Java Blend tool understands various database structures and automatically translates and maps database records to objects, and vice versa, by automatically generating data that corresponds to the underlying database format.

Enterprise developers can write programs entirely in Java to retrieve and modify data from a database as objects, thus eliminating the need to understand different database languages or structural details.

Beta 4 of the JDK 1.2 adds the Java 2D applications programming interface (API), support for Japanese text, and retuned class libraries for greater performance. Sun plans maintenance updates every four to six weeks.

Codeveloped with Baan, Java Blend sells for $2,995 per user for corporate developers, with volume discounts.

BEA's M3 costs $395 per seat. Alternatively, server-based pricing determined by number of machines starts at $1,995 for a Windows NT version. The product comes on 77 computing platforms.