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Following Microsoft's release of Visual Studio .net, the Java world is responding by making objects and libraries more accessible to developers who have a minimum of training. BEA claimed the visual interfaces for J2EE and Java provided by Weblogic Workshop will enable developers trained in Cobol, Visual Basic and any other procedural-based language to build enterprise-class applications.
Adam Bosworth, vice-president of engineering at BEA, demonstrated the features of the new programming environment at eWorld developer conference in San Diego.
He said, "Web services is a simple idea but today's proprietary applications make it difficult to fulfil the promise of getting applications to talk to each other.
"Data-based products, such as SAP, are tightly coupled with their databases and won't let other developers' applications talk to them. We are providing ways to open out the data and do for Web services what SQL and ODBC did for client/server applications."
Mapping is a key element of this new-found connectivity. It is a simple way of describing an application's features without the need to understand WSDL (Web Services Description Language). In this way, changes to an application should not upset other systems and applications that call it. It provides a way of making an application look the same from the outside despite changes internally.