Battered by application server wars, SilverStream Software is shifting its focus to development tools, which were the traditional strength of the companys application server offering, anyway.
SilverStreams first effort in this area is its Extend Workbench 1.0, which tackles J2EE (Java 2 Enterprise Edition) and Web services development.
The software began shipping in late September and is free for now (at www.silverstream.com/Website/app/en_US/Workbench), although the company plans to charge $300 for it soon (officials havent decided when "soon" is).
Either way, this is notably inexpensive for a tool that does J2EE development. It has templates for creating EJB (Enterprise JavaBeans), Servlets and JavaServer Pages (along with associated J2EE archives). It also has tools to make EJB (as well as normal Java classes) accessible as a Web service through Simple Object Access Protocol.
To find other Web services, I used SilverStreams built-in Web services directory search tool to find published Web services and then could generate Java code to call the Web service.
Extend Workbench can deploy code to Java application servers from SilverStream, IBM, BEA, Oracle, Apache and Suns J2EE Reference Implementation.