Java gets another tool

Progress is set to ship a new version of its development tool package for building business applications in Java.

Mike Ricciuti
Mike Ricciuti Staff writer, CNET News
Mike Ricciuti joined CNET in 1996. He is now CNET News' Boston-based executive editor and east coast bureau chief, serving as department editor for business technology and software covered by CNET News, Reviews, and Download.com. E-mail Mike.
Progress Software is set to ship a new version of its development tool package for building business applications in Java.

Apptivity 2.0 is the first new version of the tool since Progress acquired Apptivity in June via a cash-and-stock deal worth about $13 million.

The tool is tailored for building business applications linked to databases. That?s been the territory of tools like Sybase?s PowerBuilder, and Microsoft?s Visual Basic.

Progress is hoping the tool, already proving to be popular, appeals to corporate developers looking to make the move to Java. Progress claims Apptivity shipped $100,000 worth of development tools in May, the first full month of distribution for its toolset.

New features of version 2.0 include new wizards to simplify coding, a streamlined user interface, a new debugger, and integration with the CORBA (Common Object Request Broker Architecture) specification.

Progress claims the tool helps improve programmer productivity by allowing developers to simultaneously build both the client and server tiers of database applications. Also, the tool doesn?t require a thorough knowledge of Java syntax, since many applications can be built through the tool's drag-and-drop interface, according to the company.

The new debugger allows developers to test and debug distributed applications locally and remotely, so new applications can be distributed more quickly.

Apptivity 2.0 is priced at $1,995, and includes a 5-user license for the company?s Apptivity Application Server, a middle tier for distributing application components. The server is priced at $5,000 for a 20-user version.