As Apple begins a major push to win developers over to the next major update to Mac OS X, Sun Microsystems has announced an update to its Java Studio Creator tool designed to lure more Mac developers toward its programming language.
Formerly known as Project Rave, Java Studio Creator is a visual development environment for rapid creation of Java applications, typically used for custom development work in business. It provides a visual development environment, as well as support for JavaServer Faces, JDBC (Java Database Connectivity) Rowsets, and APIs for XML-based Web services.
The latest release of Java Studio Creator, dubbed 2004Q2, allows users to develop Java applications on Mac OS X, Windows XP and Solaris (either SPARC or x86 versions), for deployment on any platform compatible with the Java 2 Standard Edition. The product, which also adds support for simplified Chinese and Japanese languages, is available as part of the Sun Java Developers Network subscription, priced at $99 per year.
“Apple has been an important partner on the Java platform, and Mac OS X supports a thriving Java developer community,” said Jim Inscore, group product marketing manager for corporate developer tools at Sun. “We think the ease of use of both OS X and Java Studio Creator makes us an ideal offering for the OS X developer community.”
Inscore added that the popularity of the Mac internally had also aided the release, as “many of the Project Rave engineers are active Mac users.”
Java application development on the Mac has enjoyed something of a renaissance since the release of Mac OS X, which brought support for Java up to date compared with previous versions of the operating system and included a Java Development Kit as standard.
Over the past year, several significant Java-based Mac applications have been launched, including versions of ThinkFree Office and Servoy Developer, a database rapid application development environment built entirely in Java.
Under Mac OS X, Java is a fully supported development environment, on the same level as Objective-C and other programming languages. Java applications can take advantage of the full Aqua interface, and developers can mix languages within a single application built on top of Apples Cocoa API.
According to Jan Aleman, CEO of Servoy, Suns release of Java Studio Creator represents both a boost to the platform and an indication of Java developers interest in the Mac.
“Mac OS X has become a serious server platform,” Aleman said. “In deployments of Servoy, weve seen a lot of people choose OS X as a Java platform because of the ease of deployment. Its an excellent platform for Java development.”
“By making our products more accessible to developers around the world, on every major platform, we are supporting our commitment to make the Java language the most popular, developer-friendly technology on earth,” said Jeff Jackson, vice president of Java platform development and strategy at Sun Microsystems Inc.
While Sun pushes its development environment, Apple Computer Inc. has announced a new program aimed at getting more developers to work on Mac OS X 10.4 “Tiger,” the next major update to the operating system due in the first half of 2005.
The Tiger Early Start Kit bundles together a prerelease version of the new operating system, developer documents and a DVD that includes videos and material from the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference, which took place in July.
Buyers of the $500 pack also become Select members of Apples Developer Connection scheme, which gives them a years worth of access to developer technical support, as well as hardware discounts.
Editors Note: This story was updated to include comments from Sun and Servoy executives.