October 30, 2003

Borland releases Web services-aimed JBuilder X

Author: Chris Preimesberger

Scotts Valley, Calif.-based Borland Software Corp. will officially introduce the latest version of its premium integrated development environment, JBuilder X, at its BorCon developers' conference next week in San Jose. JBuilder X, specifically designed for more efficient building of Java Web services and Web applications, is the first version of the product to run on the MacOS, Borland director of Java product development Bill Pataky said.

All JBuilder versions also run on Linux, Solaris, and Windows. JBuilder X Enterprise is the only current version that does not run on MacOS.

Product manager Jackie Luu said that JBuilder X is the "most significant release of the product in two years." The new version introduces more than 100 new and/or enhanced features, she said.

"The overarching theme of the new version is usability," Luu said. "Beyond that, the major improvements are in Web services development, Web application development, and J2EE deployment. Everything is much more automated and intuitive to use."

Luu said that at any point in the process, however, a developer can push aside the wizards and other automated assistants and get down deep into the code in order to customize anything needed.

"JBuilder 6 brought us into the EJB mainstream," Luu said. "That was the last 'most significant' release. There is no hocus-pocus-type proprietary stuff in the new release. It's a lot more flexible, MacOS X people can run it, and it's optimized for Web services."

JBuilder has had Web services capabilities since version 7, but did not have specifically designed tools and wizards "to hold everything together," Luu said. "You can have several things going on at once all in one surface, so you can drag over objects from one window to another for the build or for deployment," she said.

Despite the automated nature of the new tool, "nothing is hidden; you can customize anything at any point. A strong area of focus in JBuilder X is a new Struts designer that pulls together multi-tier apps much more easily," Luu said.

Luu said that the new product is the "only IDE that is app server independent for J2EE deployment," because it has automatic support for WebSphere, Oracle, Webgain, Sybase, and now JBoss, servers. When asked if there was automatic support for Macromedia's popular JRun server, Luu said there wasn't but that there were third-party connectors for that and other servers.

JBuilder X "only shows the tools and menus that are relevant at the time you need them," Luu said. "This really helps eliminate the clutter on your desktop."

Borland's licensing model also has changed. The company has always had a free license for personal use, Luu said, but now it is also offering a free license for commercial and redistribution use to go with its free JBuilder Foundation version. JBuilder X Foundation is not currently available for download but should be by Nov. 1.

Pricing: Borland JBuilder X Foundation (free); Developers Edition, $1,000; Enterprise Edition (which also includes performance management capabilities), $3,500.


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