IBM Releases Five New Java Technologies To AlphaWorks

One is a Java game which allows developers to program application logic in Java through the Eclipse open-source framework, using collaborative development processes.
IBM Monday will make available a host of new Java development technologies on its developer site for emerging technologies, alphaWorks.

The Armonk, N.Y.-based vendor will be demonstrating the new resources at JavaOne 2004, which will be held next week in San Francisco.

On its alphaWorks site, IBM showcases so-called alpha technologies and encourages developer feedback before integrating the code into its software. IBM on Monday will release five new technologies for testing, developing and evaluating Java software and services, said Amit Patel, emerging technologies strategist for alphaWorks at IBM.

One of the new technologies will be an Eclipse-based development tool for bridging the communications gap between Java and COM applications, Patel said. The Development Tool for Java-COM Bridge, which comes out of the IBM Rational division, enables the integration of both COM- and Java-based components in one application and allows these components to communicate bi-directionally through Java Native Interface technology.

IBM will also release Method Scheduler for Java, or MS4J, a technology used internally on IBM's intranet site to keep the site's data cache fresh, Patel said. The technology allows developers to schedule a set of instructions for Java objects, called methods, to help improve performance of Web sites built in Java. "People who manage Web sites will be interested in this," he said.

Another technology is Asynchronous Input/Output (I/O) for Java, or AJava, which is aimed at helping Java servers manage high-volume distribution. The technology potentially boosts the number of simultaneous clients that can be connected to a Java application by allowing for asynchronous I/O. That enables the operating system to handle other tasks while messages between Java servers and clients are being completed, Patel said.

"In synchronous input/output, each new connection needs a new thread, so the OS limits the amount of threads," he said. "By making it asynchronous, once the OS hands [the communication] over to the subsystem, the OS can do something else instead of waiting for the return [message]. This goes around the requirements of having threads."

Application Privacy Monitoring for JDBC also will be posted on alphaWorks Monday. The technology is a Java/SQL library that works with IBM's Tivoli Privacy Manager and provides privacy monitoring functions for J2EE applications running on a WebSphere application server and connected to IBM DB2 using JDBC, the standard for making database calls to and from Java-based applications.

Finally, IBM will release a new Java game to help student developers learn how to write Java code, called CodeRuler. The game allows developers to program application logic in Java through the Eclipse open-source framework, using collaborative development processes, Patel said.

Developers can evaluate all the alphaWorks technologies for free; however, IBM allows companies that want to embed the alpha technologies in their products to license them through its alphaWorks commercial licensing program. So far, IBM has sold nine licenses for the 14 emerging development technologies available on alphaWorks, Patel said. Some technologies licensed so far have been IBM's Interface Tool for Java, Logging Toolkit for Java and Graph Foundation Classes for Java.

AlphaWorks is part of IBM's developerWorks developer resource, which comprises multiple Web sites with technology zones that focus on key areas of interest for developers building applications, as well as sites for developing applications specifically on IBM software.

Kathy Mandelstein, program director of IBM Developer Relations, said the Java zone is averaging a million page views per month and continues to be our "No. 1" zone for developer interest. The site has had 90,000 registrations so far this year for Java tutorials and downloads, she said.

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