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Allaire targets Web developers

The company begins beta testing of Cold Fusion 4.0, a new version of the company's Web development tool and application server.

Allaire is stepping up its attempt to capture a chunk of the corporate Web application development market.

The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company has begun beta testing of Cold Fusion 4.0, a new version of the company's Web development tool and application server, with new features keyed to accelerating the development process. The company said 5,000 users are participating in the beta program.

The company has also begun beta testing HomeSite 4.0, a new release of its HTML editing tool. Information on the HomeSite beta program is posted to the company's Web site.

Cold Fusion 4.0, expected to ship this fall, adds clustering technology that Allaire has licensed from Bright Tiger, a maker of Web server management software. The software will add multitiered load balancing, as well as failover and restart capabilities, so that Web sites that experience failures can be quickly restored.

Also new in Cold Fusion 4.0 is better security and faster performance through native database drivers for connecting to Oracle and Sybase databases. Allaire has also added connectivity to CORBA (common object request broker architecture) component applications.

Competition in the Web development tool area is fierce. Along with Allaire, NetObjects, NetDynamics ( recently purchased by Sun Microsystems), and Haht Software, Sybase, Oracle, and Microsoft are all targeting corporate Web developers.

HomeSite 4.0, also due this fall, will include support for budding Web standards, such as XML (extensible markup language) and SMIL (synchronized multimedia integration language).

Pricing for Cold Fusion 4.0 and HomeSite 4.0 has not been announced.