Infragistics adds .net support to developer suite

Infragistics, a maker of developer tools for Java and Windows programmers, will next week announce a new version of its software...

Infragistics, a maker of developer tools for Java and Windows programmers, will next week announce a new version of its software for building user interfaces in Windows applications which will add support for Microsoft .net technology.

Version 1.2 of Infragistics' NetAdvantage Suite includes software building blocks to create Windows and .net applications, as well as a library of prebuilt components.

Infragistics' tools can be used to build charts, toolbars and other presentation-layer components that allow developers to design Windows-based applications that have a similar look and feel as those from Microsoft. The tools are used in conjunction with Visual Studio .net, Microsoft's developer software.

"There's a finite [amount of money] each developer has each year to buy development tools," Guida said, pegging that figure at about $5,000 (£3,422). "About 10 to 12% of that market is for components. We're looking to take a proportional piece of that."

The company is also set to announce a number of changes to the way it will sell and licence its tools. Those changes include handing developers the source code to some of its products, as well as the removal of a controversial copy-protection feature in its software, known as product activation, Infragistics chief executive Dean Guida said.

Product activation currently prevents a single copy of NetAdvantage from being installed on multiple machines. Microsoft has added product activation to its most recent desktop operating system and Office productivity software, drawing criticism from some customers.

Infragistics has changed its software licence terms to allow customers to install its software on an unlimited number of computers so long as they are not used concurrently, Guida said.

Customers can purchase NetAdvantage Suite at a stand-alone price of $495 (£339), or with a one-year subscription for an additional $200, which entitles them to upgrades and bug fixes.

For the first time the company is also shipping the source code of its .net component building tools to customers who purchase the subscription plan. The source code allows developers to have access to the underlying technology, which can be useful for bug checking or as a learning aid, Guida said.

"In the Java world, sharing source code is very common," he said, noting that the trend would be beneficial to Windows developers as well.

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