Developers Get New Web Services Tools

By Jeffrey Burt  |  Posted 2001-11-12

Users looking for tools to develop Web services have new integrated environments to choose from that offer everything from Web servers to application development tools.

Oracle Corp. last week unveiled its Oracle9i JDeveloper tool set, a product rewritten entirely in Java that executives said completes the triad of the 9i offerings that includes the releases earlier this year of 9i Database and 9i Application Server.

In a similar vein, SilverStream Software Inc. last week rolled out its SilverStream Extend product suite, which lets developers create Web services applications, particularly when trying to migrate data in legacy systems to the Internet.

Those moves follow recent similar ones by IBM, which in September announced an enterprise edition of its WebSphere application server, and Sun Microsystems Inc., which last month tied its Solaris 8 operating environment to iPlanet Application Server.

In addition, Rational Software Corp., in Cupertino, Calif., this week is rolling out the latest version of its Rational Release developer suite, Version 2002, which includes enhanced developer environment integration, component development and new offerings from the companys Rational Developer Network.

Oracles 9i JDeveloper, due next month, marks a significant shift for Oracle, according to Mark Driver, an analyst with Gartner Inc., in Minneapolis.

In the past, the Redwood Shores, Calif., company has created tools that supported only Oracles application server. Now that support is extended to BEA Systems Inc.s leading WebLogic application server, and Driver said he expects it eventually will include the iPlanet server as well.

Mark Johnson, Web development manager for Acco Brands Inc., has been beta testing 9i JDeveloper since July and said the performance is better than expected from an Oracle tool.

"Oracle has been notorious that many of their tools ... need a lot of debugging, a lot of patches," said Johnson, in Lincoln, Ill. "This is very stable. I havent found anything that makes me say, I wouldnt use it until they have this."

SilverStreams Extend suite enables developers to create Web services either from existing systems or from scratch, said Kim Sheffield, vice president of e-business technologies for the Billerica, Mass., company.

The suite, which is available now, is compatible not only with SilverStreams own J2EE (Java 2 Enterprise Edition) application server but also with those from other leading vendors, including IBM and BEA.

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