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SilverStream updates app server

The firm is revamping its Java-based development tool and application server package for building multitier applications.

SilverStream Software is revamping its Java-based development tool and application server package to make it easier to build multitier applications.

The company this week debuted version 2.0 of its SilverStream application server software.

The application server is part of a Web application development system that is written in Java and builds Java server applications as well as Java and HTML client applications. The toolset generates business logic and database access as well as other communications code along with client, server, and middle-tier software.

Selling application server software is turning into big business. The software can simplify the task of linking incompatible systems and systems located in disparate locations. International Data Corporation pegs the current market as a $400 million-per-year business. By 2001, total application server sales are expected to reach more than $1 billion.

A host of companies are vying for business in the application server market, including Netscape Communications, IBM, Oracle, and Sybase, among others.

The company has revamped its application server with additional management tools. SilverStream 2.0 now includes load balancing to help distribute application components, fail-over and automatic restarting, and a new management console with Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) to allow connections to third-party management consoles.

SilverStream also has concentrated on making its integration features easier for developers to use. The new package includes a component data access scheme called Data Source Objects that defines a common API (application programming interface) for integrating SilverStream applications and data from business applications and databases.

On the client development side, SilverStream 2.0 includes a new HTML development tool for building client-side applications and server-side scripting more easily.

Finally, SilverStream users now can encapsulate business logic--the actual rules that make a business application work--into reusable objects that can be distributed on multiple application tiers. The tool supports the CORBA (Common Object Request Broker Architecture) model for building objects. SilverStream also can communicate with COM (Component Object Model) applications when running on Windows NT.

SilverStream development licenses and deployment licenses are priced separately. The tool works with Windows NT and Solaris operating systems.

A single SilverStream developer license costs $495. The company also offers a five-user development pack for $2,495 and a ten-user package for $4,995.

Deployment licenses start at $8,500 for a single processor server.