Borland's JBuilder 5 Embraces the Enterprise

June 1, 2001 —  (Page 1 of 2)
Borland Software Corp.'s new JBuilder 5, which shipped mid-May, is more than a revamp of its rapid application development environment. The RAD tool encompasses a bevy of enterprise-centric features, including XML support and deployment to WebLogic, WebSphere and other J2EE-compliant application servers, in addition to Borland's own application server.

According to Tony de la Lama, vice president and general manager of Borland's Java Business Unit, the company took a multipronged approach to addressing the needs of its typical user, which included improving host support, target support and embrace of emerging standards. "We're already certified for Windows, Linux and Solaris, and this summer we're adding [host support for] Mac OS X," which will be available only in the $999 Professional version, he said.

In addition to application servers from BEA and IBM, applications developed with JBuilder 5 will run on any J2EE-compliant server, de la Lama said. "We create Enterprise JavaBeans to spec. So if [the server] is to spec, they'll work." Where the most uncertainty exists, he said, is in the debugging and deployment phases "because the application servers don't have a J2EE standard for those. So it gets a bit harder to deploy on nonsupported application servers."

Significant in the new release is support for XML, which de la Lama claims will set the stage for future Web services development capabilities. According to product manager J?rgen Fesslmeier, JBuilder 5 can generate and validate XML data with metadata from Document Type Definitions (DTDs) or XML schemas, which he said is useful for cross-device publishing.

However, JBuilder stops short of embracing SOAP, despite the fact that the protocol is now native to Borland's recently released Delphi 6.0. "We feel that technologies like SOAP and UDDI are not ready for prime time today," said Fesslmeier. "We want to give developers what works today so people can be productive today. XML is a means to a lot of ends, and we address the transformation, cross-device publishing and integration even without SOAP."

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