December 6, 1996 11:10 AM ET

Computing giants drink heavily from Java cup
By PC Week Staff

  Java technology is laying the groundwork for the next generation of intranet platforms, and Sun Microsystems Inc., IBM Corp. and Oracle Corp. are leading the way.

Fall Internet WorldThe three vendors will join dozens of others--including Gradient Technologies Inc., Apple Computer Inc., Digital Equipment Corp. and Microsoft Corp.--next week at Internet World in New York to demonstrate their latest Java-related products.

Sun will have a large profile at the show, introducing new World Wide Web serving capabilities for Solaris, a number of Java advancements, new Java accelerators, and expanded electronic commerce and partnership efforts, according to sources.

Sun's JavaSoft division will launch a "Pure Java" campaign that will seek to brand all cross-platform Java implementations, applets and applications. It also will roll out the beta of its object-oriented development platform, Java Beans, for integrating Java applets, ActiveX controls or OpenDoc parts in a single application. The JavaBean development kit also will ship next week, nearly three months ahead of schedule, officials in Mountain View, Calif., said.

SunSoft Inc., another division of Sun, will release a JIT (Just-in-Time) compiler for Solaris and plans to release a JIT for Macintosh and Windows NT within 60 days, said officials in Mountain View, Calif.

SunSoft also will detail its plans to integrate the Sun WebServer into Solaris, said sources. The new HTTP sever will make use of an accelerating technology that is currently part Solaris, sources said.

The Solaris integration "opens a world of possibilities," said Solaris user Robert Gahl, CIO for Sphere Information Services Inc., in San Jose, Calif. "There's a potential there for tighter integration and better speed. I'd also love not to have to pay a tax to Netscape [Communications Corp. for Web server software]," he added.

Java will be a big part of IBM's Internet World plans, when the Armonk, N.Y., company releases AppletAuthor, a JavaBean development tool. The company also will introduce a Java version of its NetRexx scripting language, officials said.

IBM officials claim there are approximately 2 million NetRexx developers.

Oracle will debut a new version of its WebServer, now called Web Application Server. The cornerstone of its Network Computing Architecture, the server will feature native Java object support and electronic commerce and transaction processing capabilities.

Oracle, of Redwood Shores, Calif., also will announce that its Express Web Publisher will ship early next year. The product, an add-in to the Express Analyzer front-end query tool, will let users conduct online analytical processing queries with a Web browser.

Other major vendors planning announcements include the following:

Gradient, of Marlboro, Mass., will debut Version 2.0 of WebCrusader, which makes the security of Distributed Computing Environment middleware accessible through Web-based clients. New features include the integration of Java-based application development software from NetDynamics Inc. as well as support for the Secure Sockets Layer and new platform support for HP/UX.

Apple is planning three major announcements, including the launch of its first Web HTTP server for the Mac OS. Designed as Personal Web Server, the new HTTP server will include hooks to an automatic HTML conversion technology to enable files stored in a central directory to be automatically available over the Web or intranet, said officials in Cupertino, Calif.

Apple also will introduce a new multimedia authoring tool called Cocoa as well as a licensing deal with NetCarta Corp. for its HotSauce Meta Content Format mapping technology, officials said.

Digital, of Maynard, Mass., will announce bundles for its AlphaServer 1000A and 4100A servers enabling electronic commerce. Some of the offerings include Digital's AltaVista search engine and Millicent micro-payment technology, as well as Microsoft's Merchant Server, which also will be available on Intel Corp. servers, said sources.

Microsoft also is expected to introduce the final version of Internet Explorer 3.0 for Windows 3.11 as well as announce deals with Intel for marrying the NetMeeting client with Intel's Internet Phone and the release of NetShow 1.0.

Reported by Michael Moeller, Lisa Wirthman, Stephanie LaPolla and Juan Carlos Perez.

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