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Pure Java now for Beans

Sun Microsystems extends its "100 percent pure Java" program to cover JavaBean components--pieces of reusable code for Java applications.

Sun Microsystems has extended its "100 percent pure Java" program to cover JavaBean components--pieces of reusable code that programmers can plug into their Java applications under development.

The program will test and certify JavaBeans to assure that the object-oriented components will run as promised in any Java-enabled environment, no matter what platform.

"This program provides customers of JavaBeans a mechanism for identifying components that are truly cross-platform," said James Leonard, program manager for the "100 percent pure Java" effort at Sun's JavaSoft division.

"When customers are buying JavaBeans components, they have two questions: Are they portable? Can those components can be customized and an application built independent of what particular development environment they might be using?" he added.

Previously, the "100 percent pure" program covered Java-based applications, applets, and class libraries; a total of 160 products have been certified to date. The extended program does not cover Enterprise JavaBeans or Java "servlets," but JavaSoft may add both server-side technologies to the program, according to Leonard said.

Testing JavaBeans to certify them takes about two weeks, and Sun's comarketing and "100 percent pure" branding programs for full applications also apply to JavaBeans.

In addition to the usual tests for portability--meaning the technology runs on any official Java Virtual Machine--JavaBeans also must pass a "build-time independence" hurdle to assure that the components can be reused, linked with other components, and customized.

But components written as ActiveX controls based on Microsoft technology won't be certified as 100 percent pure Java, Leonard said.

"They include native code, machine-specific code. The concept of 100 percent pure Java is that when you boil down the application or bean, it ends up resting on top of the core Java platform."

Ncode and Omron Advanced Systems, which assisted in the two-month process of developing the JavaBeans test regime, have the first components certified 100 percent pure Java. Protoview Development Corporation also has a certified 100 percent pure JavaBean.