Version 7 of Sun's Forte Developer toolkit became available as part of Sun's early access program. The free download, available on the company's developer Web site for programme members, adds new functions for building and deploying XML-based Web services. The suite of tools runs on the Solaris operating system.
The tools will make it easier for developers to incorporate existing applications written in Java, C, C++ and Fortran into the Sun ONE architecture and make them available as Web services.
The early release of the tools came just hours after Microsoft made available an early developer version of its tools for building XML-based Web services, called Visual Studio .net.
Microsoft's developer environment is the latest incarnation of the company's suite of tools which now supports the company's .net initiative for delivering software and applications as services over the Internet. One new feature in Visual Studio .net is a tool for creating Web services using more than 20 programming languages including Fortran and COBOL.
Forte Developer 7 has increased support for multiple programming languages. The company designed the developer tools based on NetBeans, a Java-based open source development environment used in Sun's other toolkit, Forte for Java. NetBeans supports various programming languages.
The tools also allow developers to debug applications in multiple languages, the company said.