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Java Studio Creator to Debut

Hoping to energize its developer community, Sun Microsystems is expected to officially launch its branded Java developer tool platform next week.

Formerly known as "Project Rave," Sun's Java Studio Creator is designed to go head to head with Microsoft's Visual Studio as well as other Java-based development tools like IBM's WebSphere Studio. The debut corresponds with Sun's annual JavaOne conference, where more than 12,000 developers are expected to descend on San Francisco for the weeklong event.

The developer's tool is designed to accommodate the gamut of Java expertise, from high-level expert to novice.

"We're making this as easy as we can for full time developers and casual developers to build some really great apps," John Loiacono, Sun executive vice president of software, told internetnews.com. "We have four million registered programmers and 1.75 billion Java-enabled devices. So we want to keep that momentum."

Sun's new platform runs on Solaris, Windows and Linux and includes its Java System Application Server 8, Platform Edition, (part of Sun's Java Enterprise System); the Java Platform Standard Edition Software Development Kit (SDK); and developer aids such as examples, tutorials and JavaServer Faces visual components.

Other key features include a Visual SQL database query builder; drag and drop abilities; a simple event-driven coding model; Visual Web services testing and porting to service-oriented architectures (SOA); an integrated development environment (IDE) with contextual coding support, including syntax checking, code completion and javadoc API documentation.

Developers will also have the ability to visually create Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition (J2EE) 1.3 compatible Web applications that run on any Web or applications server supporting JavaServer Pages 1.2.

But instead of just offering a standalone product, Loiacono said Sun is upping the ante by offering the software for an annual subscription of $99. The price includes a perpetual license for the Java Studio Creator tool, product updates and upgrades for one year, access to premium content for one year, and access to Community Support Forums.

The subscription model is quickly becoming the pricing structure of choice for Sun. It has seen its software product lines get a revamp towards recurring revenue, including offering $100 per-year per-employee for the Java Enterprise System to a discounted pricing of merely 33-cents per-citizen for developing countries.

As the Studio Creator is a major development for Sun, Loiacono said the company plans on about a dozen different announcements next week that span Sun's entire hardware and software line.