Sun Microsystems will ship its much-heralded, so-called easy-to-use visual Java development environment, Sun Java Studio Creator.
Designed for developing workgroup and departmental applications, the product makes use of component technology, drag and drop functionality, and integrated editing, said Joe Keller, vice-president of marketing for Java web services and tools at Sun.
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It will be offered to subscribers to the Sun Developer Network, which costs $99 (£54) a year.
"In the past, you bought a product and purchased support," Keller said. "In the future, you will join programs and get tools and support as part of the program."
Java Studio Creator might have cost two to three times as much under the previous delivery model, he added.
Sun’s offering shows promise in bolstering Java as an alternative to Microsoft’s Visual Basic for client-side development, a beta user said.
"It will let us use Java all the way across the board from the server all the way up to the GUI," said Dick Wall, lead software engineer at NewEnergy Associates, which provides decision support and financial software for the utilities industry.
Java Studio Creator the product is available for the Windows, Linux and Solaris operating systems.
Paul Krill writes for IDG News Service