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Symantec Announces Enterprise-Wide, Distributed Java Development

Symantec Corporation today announced Visual Café for Java, Enterprise Suite, the first of a new generation of software tools for enterprise rapid application development (ERAD) using Java.

ERAD technology is intended for developing distributed applications running on multiple, often geographically dispersed computers.

In an interview with key Symantec managers, WebDeveloper.com was told that a major breakthrough in the new product was distributed--not just remote--debugging. A developer can even view processes and threads across multiple machines on a network, and debug code on different machine architectures from a central location.

"Our initial emphasis is on the Internet as a networking infrastructure, rather than the Web as a graphical front end," said a spokesperson.

But Symantec made it clear that the market for this product isn't just corporate developers and consulting firms, but Web developers.

"Anyone who can write Java code can now write enterprise-level applications," a spokesperson said. "You don't have to know ORBS or IDL, just where the distributed JavaBean is located".

The next release of Visual Café for Java technology, Version 3.0 (not yet announced but obviously coming before the end of the year), will be included in the Enterprise Suite. Developers will be able to write their applications, including database applications, entirely in Java. Today developers write Java database applications in both Java and a database-specific language called Structured Query Language (SQL).

Visual Café for Java, Enterprise Suite, provides deployment platform independence so that developers can write Java applications that can be deployed on virtually any application server platform. This platform independence allows debugging across multiple platforms and virtual machines, including Sun's Solaris, Hewlett-Packard's HP/UX, IBM's AIX, and Windows NT. It also allows full interoperability between different applications without regard for the language their logic or objects are written in, such as Java, C++, Cobol, or other development languages.

To achieve platform independence, Visual Café for Java, Enterprise Suite, is the only application development environment based on an open platform that supports a wide variety of middle-tier application servers and Object Request Brokers (ORBs) for deploying distributed applications.

Unlike Microsoft's Visual J++, which is primarily for developing applications for the Windows platform, the Enterprise Suite lets developers leverage their existing investments in tools and target the server platform--hardware, operating system, and enterprise application--of their choice.

The suite provides a rich environment for quickly and easily building, deploying and managing distributed systems based on the leading software architectures for distributed computing: the Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA) standard developed by the Object Management Group industry consortium, and the Remote Method Invocation (RMI) technology from Sun Microsystems. Symantec will support best-of-breed CORBA and RMI tools, including Iona's OrbixWeb Java object request broker, Visigenic's VisiBroker for Java, Sun's JavaIDL, and other technologies as they become available.

Through its open interfaces, Visual Café for Java, Enterprise Suite, will also support the transition to the latest Java technology provided in Sun's Java Developers Kit (JDK), including support for Enterprise JavaBeans as it becomes available.

Pricing for the product will be announced when it ships in the fourth quarter of 1998. A full list of the Visual Café for Java, Enterprise Suite, features can be found at cafe.symantec.com.