New tools from old vendors

Established vendors Borland Software, WebGain, and Rational Software all announced new development options on 12 November.

Established vendors Borland Software, WebGain, and Rational Software all announced new development options on 12 November.

Borland unveiled a new application server and application development tools; WebGain announced more specialised bundling of its toolkits and Rational released Rational Suite v2002

Borland announced the Borland Software Platform for Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE), which includes a new version of its application server, as well as new editions of its application development tools.

The most significant addition to the J2EE application server is partitioning, which enables users to run several application servers within a single server, said Ken Jochims, director of product management at Borland. Multiple applications remain separate, so that if one server goes down, it will not bring the whole system with it. Likewise, if one server is broken into by hackers or corrupted by a virus, it will not necessarily affect other servers.

The new partitioning architecture also lowers the hardware requirements for running applications and makes it easier to manage the application, said Kathleen Quirk, an analyst at Hurwitz Group.

"Given the current need to keep costs down, this could be an appealing message to the market," Quirk said.

"In many ways, Borland refocused and they really understand what developers need," said Thomas Murphy, an analyst at Meta Group.

WebGain also changed its focus to meet developers' needs of. Stephen DiFranco, executive vice-president of marketing at WebGain, said that his customers are demanding that their own developers take a more horizontal approach to application development.

WebGain will release VisualCafe Enterprise Suite, targeted at teams of Java developers, and an updated version of WebGain Studio in December.

New to Rational's updated suite is ProjectConsole, a tool that enables teams to work collaboratively by gathering metrics about specific software projects and generate a Web site for developers.

Rational has also added more capabilities to its developer network, such as new knowledge centres, as well as exchanges for the Rational Unified Process and Rational Development Accelerators. Rational ClearCase has been updated to support new platforms with more productivity features.

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