Tools Offer Developers Integrated Environments

Oracle and SilverStream Software are announcing products aimed at giving programmers integrated environments that offer everything from the Web servers to the application development tools.

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Oracle Corp. and SilverStream Software Inc. on Monday are announcing products aimed at giving programmers integrated environments that offer everything from the Web servers to the application development tools.

Oracle is unveiling the latest version of its Oracle9i JDeveloper tool set, a product rewritten in Java. The offering follows releases earlier this year of the Oracle9i Database and Oracle9i Application Server, which combined give developers a complete and integrated development environment, said officials with the Redwood Shores, Calif., company.

The product will be available in December and marks a significant shift for Oracle, according to Mark Driver, a research director at Gartner Inc., in Minneapolis. In the past, the company created tools that supported only Oracles application server and infrastructure. Now that support is extended to BEA System Inc.s leading WebLogic app server, and Driver said he expects it eventually also will include the iPlanet application server.

"Its an issue of pragmatism," Driver said. "BEA is overwhelmingly the market leader. When [Oracle walks] into a shop that already uses BEAs WebLogic, if they dont have something that works with it, theyll be shown the door."

John Magee, senior director of Oracle9i product marketing, said the new tool gives Oracle a more complete Java 2 Enterprise Edition development product suite than its competitors, such as BEA—which he said doesnt offer its own tools—and IBM—which uses partners such as Rational to bolster its offerings.

Among the key features are integrated support for Java, XML (Extensible Markup Language) and SQL; integrated Universal Modeling Language; object-relational mapping; fast debugging; and support for portals, wireless, integration and Web services, said Magee.

Its also available on multiple platforms, including Windows 2000, Windows NT, Unix and Linux.

"Its an integrated, end-to-end suite," he said.

SilverStream, based in Billerica, Mass., is rolling out its SilverStream eXtend product suite designed to give developers the tools they need to create Web services applications. The suite enables developers to create Web services either from existing systems or from scratch, said Kim Sheffield, vice president of e-business technologies for SilverStream.

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

It also encompasses all the standards crucial to the adoption of Web services, including XML, SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) and UDDI (Universal Discovery, Description and Integration).

The suite includes eXtend Composer 3.0, an engine that enables businesses to integrate a range of enterprise systems into Web services; eXtend Director 3.0, a J2EE app development and deployment platform; eXtend Workbench 1.0, an integrated development environment; and the J2EE applications servers the suite supports.