Developers looking for a simpler way to design Java2 Enterprise Edition applications, especially for Web services, got an early boost from Oracle as it released its latest development platform to members of its user group.
Oracle9i JDeveloper, with new support for J2EE and XML, wasnt expected until later this year, but the 1.7 million members of the Oracle Technology Network were able to download the software starting last week.
Analysts said J2EE, the programming technology developed by and licensed from Sun Microsystems, has become a mainstream platform. Driving the momentum of J2EE is the increasing demand for Web services.
"Its really the next wave of application development," said Kathleen Quirk, senior analyst for application strategies of Hurwitz Group. Proponents of J2EE, such as Borland Software, IBM, Sun and WebGain, either have or will have similar development platforms on the market.
Oracle9i JDeveloper, designed completely in Java, can be used on platforms such as Linux and Sun Solaris; it was previously available only for Microsoft Windows NT.
The best thing about Oracle9i JDeveloper is that it doesnt crash, said Graham Jones, vice president of development of Enterprise Resource Planning software development company NDS Systems.
With the last version, "it was crash and burn while you were working on it," Jones said. "This one doesnt do that at all. Its much more robust."