Software vendors create Java Tools Community

Ten software vendors, including Sun Microsystems Inc., BEA Systems Inc. and Oracle Corp. on Tuesday announced the Java Tools Community (JTP), an organization devoted to improving interoperability in the design of development tools, making it easier for developers to use Java technology.

As interoperability becomes more common among the tools being used by various software vendors, the Java implementations will be more approachable, the implementations of Java solutions will be more affordable and Java standards will be more amenable to creating powerful tools for end users, said Rich Main, director of Java development environments for SAS Institute Inc. in a teleconference.

The various members of the JTP want all the parts of the development process to work in a unified, focused fashion, he added, while working alongside the standards-based Java Community Process — the entity that created the JTP.

Other companies involved in the initiative include: Compuware Corp., Embarcadero Technologies Inc., Iopsis Software, JetBrains Inc., Quest Software Inc., SAP AG and SAS.

Notably missing from the initiative are major software vendors IBM Corp. and Borland Software Corp.

The other aim of the group is to improve “toolability” or the measurement of how easy it is to build tools around a particular standard or technology.

The JTP will work toward making standard Java technology application program interfaces (APIs) friendlier for tool development. As it stands right now, tool vendors cannot easily take advantage of standard API’s when building functionality into their tools and often create proprietary techniques to achieve the benefits that standards were originally created to address.

Main said the goals of the new community group is to maximize toolability, increase the interoperability of Java tools and extensions and facilitate the information across the design community.

“The high-level purpose of this is to try to eliminate the fragmentation in the Java tools market so that people can get their tools to interoperate better,” said Analyst Rikki Kirzner, research director at IDC.

Membership in the community involves use of the free online tool for vendors, customers, developers and users. This will enable collaboration in the toolability of current and newly proposed Java Specification Request (JSRs), which are the actual descriptions of proposed and final specifications for the Java platform going through the JCP process.

Members can be core members, general members who will be chiefly Java software vendors, or can be community participants who want to contribute customer input, the JTP said in a statement.

– With files from IDG News Service

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