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August 24, 1998


By CBR Staff Writer

Application servers and Java programming were the name of the game at last week’s Software Development Conference in Washington. While the show itself brought very little in the way of large announcements, the buzz on the street was Java, and using Java applications to integrate distributed computing environments. David Allison, IBM Corp’s VisualAge marketing manager said interest in application servers had rocketed over the last six to eight months as companies were increasingly looking at ways to extend their legacy data to customers over the web. He said: The advent of e-commerce means that organizations are tripping over themselves to gain competitive advantage and application server technology is one way of doing that. Put simply, application servers are a way of linking distributed computer systems, by using Java applications, to enable customers or employees to carry out real-time transactions over the web. At the moment, Allison says it’s very much the high-end organizations (banking, investment, manufacturing) who are adopting the technology but he predicts the use of application servers will be widespread over the next few years. And there were certainly enough vendors talking about them at the show. Progress Software Inc said it would release its Apptivity 3.0 application server at the Internet World show in New York in October. New features include a smart-client auto sensing capability that recognizes Java, HTNL, Dynamic HTML and Extensible Markup Language (XML) clients as well as support for EJB (Enterprise Java Beans) to access back-end data sources. Another company talking about EJB compliance was Bluestone Software Inc, in town for the launch of its Sapphire/Web application server framework (CI No 3,478 ). And GemStone Systems Inc is next week set to announce that the latest version of its GemStone/J application server that will use Intersolv’s DataDirect SequeLink Java Database Connectivity (JDBC) technology to link to more than 100 database and platform configurations. The flurry of roll-outs come as Oracle today (Tuesday) releases the latest version of its application server. Version 4.0 also supports EJB as well as the CORBA, ODBC and JDBC standards. The launch will also be accompanied by the release of an integrated suite of Designer 2.1 and Jdeveloper 1.0 tools. The server will also support the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) and include Object Transaction Server with Java transaction services, the company said (see related story).

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