Oracle updates Java toolset

Oracle Corp. announced on Wednesday the availability of Oracle JDeveloper 10g — the latest version of the company’s Java and Web services deployment environment, which now includes grid enablement and support for service-oriented architectures (SOAs).

The company explained that support for SOAs brings greater flexibility to JDeveloper that evolve with changing business requirements, such as integrating systems after an acquisition, customizing hosted applications for a new client, or expanding data collection and analysis across several strategic partners.

Other additions to the release include support for Web services and compliance with the Web Services Interoperability Organization Basic Profile 1.0 for building interoperable Web services, and a productivity layer to simplify development for developers of all skill levels to create Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) applications, called the Oracle Application Development Framework (ADF). It also has support for JEEE 1.4 — which enables Web services in Java.

Each release of the JDeveloper toolset has been a work in progress for Oracle toward making it easier for various levels of developers to write code, while also addressing the vast development market, said analyst Thomas Murphy, vice-president of Meta Group Inc. in Stamford, Conn.

When JDeveloper first was released it was a standard coding environment, which was great for Java developers but not necessarily as good if the programmer coded in Oracle forms, Murphy explained.

“So what they’ve been working on is to build a comprehensive toolset that will allow any Oracle customer to sit down and write code and write new servers and components, or sit down and use a very declarative programming model type of system,” he said.

Murphy said, this release has many important additions in it, such Oracle’s consistent framework — the ADF. “They’ve really blended [past iterations] together to form a complete framework,” he explained. Another important step forward for Oracle JDeveloper is the ability to do some visual page flow and the inclusion of Web services, he added.

Oracle is ranked number three in market share right now for its application server, right behind IBM Corp. and BEA Systems Inc., and has been growing rapidly, Murphy explained. Many times companies will give away their toolsets to get people to start coding on them, in an effort to sell more of their application servers.

Oracle also announced this week that it has surpassed the 20,000 customer mark on the Oracle Application Server 10g. The company said it outperformed BEA in the application server market in the most recent quarter.

Now that Oracle has included support for its grid strategy in the JDeveloper 10g, it demonstrates that the company is trying to strengthen its position in the application server market, Murphy explained.

“So they’ve got this additional piece of their business going on which is the app server,” and they are also trying to beat IBM, Murphy said.

Earlier this week, Sun Microsystems Inc. launched its Java Application Server Platform Edition 8, touting its inclusion of J2EE 1.4 — something that Oracle also supports, Murphy said.

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