Oracle upgrades development tool, enhances Web services

Oracle Corp. on Monday is upgrading its JDeveloper Java development environment with enhanced backing for Web services, UML (Unified Modeling Language) modeling, and standards.

Available this week, Oracle 9i JDeveloper 9.0.3 adds UML modeling support for building Web services and Enterprise JavaBeans, according to Oracle officials. Developers can visually design EJBs (Enterprise Java Beans) and Web services through UML, said Ted Farrell, senior director of technology for application development tools at Oracle, in Redwood Shores, Calif.

Oracle has added support for building Web services from Java classes, EJBs, and PL/SQL stored procedures.

“[Version 9.0.3] allows you to take some code you already have, and through wizards and UML lets you expose those as Web services and communicate with other Web services-compliant applications,” Farrell said.

To help developers customize the interactive development environment, Oracle is including MyJDeveloper Extension Manager, to enable and disable features, upload new and revised extensions, and track dependencies between extensions.

The product’s .Net Web services interoperability feature enables developers to connect to .Net-based Web services.

“If someone has built a Web service on Microsoft .Net and I want to include that in my program, JDeveloper will allow me to connect to that Web service and include that in my Java application,” Farrell said.

To back open-source development, Oracle is supporting the Apache Struts framework for building Web applications, the Apache Ant scripting structure, and JUnit, for unit testing of software modules.

Also included in 9.0.3 is a TCP packet monitor for monitoring SOAP (simple object access protocol) packets.

Oracle also improved the Code Coach feature, which provides suggestions on improving code, by adding more coding rules to help with performance, Farrell said. Also improved was the event and memory profiling feature, which lets developers monitor memory consumption of an application.

Also featured in the new release is support for J2EE 1.3 (Java 2 Enterprise Edition), EJB 2.0, and the latest versions of Web services standards such as SOAP and WSDL.

An analyst described the release as an incremental one, with worthwhile but not dramatic improvements.

“There’s nothing that makes the product leap out in terms of saying this is a huge leap forward for IDEs,” said John Meyer, senior industry analyst with Giga Information Group, based in Cambridge, Mass.

But the product does benefit from updated standards support and enhanced UML and wizards functionality, Meyer added.

“I think it’s evolutionary. Although this is all really good, I don’t think this is a significant differentiator between Oracle’s and other Java IDEs,” Meyer said, adding he expects the next release of the product to offer more efficiencies for developers.

Oracle9i JDeveloper is available for free trials on the Oracle Technology Network license. Once developers implement a commercial application, the product costs US$995 per developer.

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