Tools Ease Use of Eclipse

Innoopract's W4T technology targets Java interface development.

As more developers move into Java development for Web applications, tools such as Innoopract Informationssysteme GmbHs World Wide Windowing Toolkit Eclipse plug-in will come in handy.

The company plans to demonstrate its new W4T technology at the EclipseCon conference in Anaheim, Calif., next week. The W4T Eclipse plug-in, available now for $129 per seat, offers a visual way for Java developers to build Web interfaces. It promises that developers can deliver the presentation layer for Java server applications twice as fast as traditional methods, said Eric von der Hayden, managing director of Innoopract, in Karlsruhe, Germany.

Von der Heyden said that Java developers often face the challenge of having to learn Web scripting languages such as HTML, JavaScript and others but that W4T Eclipse eliminates the need for that by providing a graphical drag-and-drop scenario for building interfaces.

"You can use the tool to do things like Web services interfaces or even database user interfaces," said Jochen Krause, founder and president of the company. "We are application-server-independent, and we support everything from the open-source Tomcat server to BEA [Systems Inc.]s WebLogic. We are also browser-independent."

Von der Heyden said W4T Eclipse works well for developers moving to Java from Microsoft Corp.s Visual Basic because of its ease-of-use capabilities. It also features menus, tree views, radio buttons, text buttons and other commonly used user interface parts. In addition, the product works seamlessly in the Java environment, he said.

Von der Heyden said the product consists of two parts, an Eclipse-based visual development tool and a component library.

Benoit David, a senior consultant at N-Side, a decision support tools maker in Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, said W4T "is all that is needed for those who have to build Web applications but dont want to spend time to learn too much on Web technologies."

Andrzej Delegacz, database analyst with the Virginia Commonwealth University Health System, in Richmond, said: "I think its really the best thing that could happen in Web-based programming. This is something that a lot of programmers were waiting for."

Also at EclipseCon, Catalyst Systems Corp., of Glencoe, Ill., will announce Openmake 6.3, the latest release of its application build management tool. Openmake 6.3, available for $299 per client, enables developers to work within their independent development environment and enables organizations to keep things consistent across the development process, officials said.