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September 23, 1998


By CBR Staff Writer

Netscape Communications Corp has announced version 3.0 of its Application Builder, a development environment for multi-tier distributed applications. Being taken seriously in the web application server market takes more than just a web application server. It takes tools. In recognition of this, players in the WAS market seem to have declared September 1998 unofficial tool theme month. No sooner did IBM throw an application development studio into its WebSphere product family (CI No 3,492) than Forte Software Inc slashed the cost of entry to its WebEnterprise tool (CI No 3,498). That hypercompetitive environment means those who look for epochal changes in Application Builder 3 will be disappointed. Netscape’s integer releases are moving out the door in web time, not in real time. Version 2.0 only shipped in February (CI No 3,340). Still, version 3 does include an integrated workspace for product management, visual editing of HTML pages, editing and debugging of Java application code and a graphical SQL query editor. There’s also an application map to give developers a bird’s-eye view of dependencies and flow. A private beta is now available with general release slated for the fourth quarter. Netscape says Application Builder will be available for Windows 9.x and NT and Solaris 2.51 and 2.6. Expect to pay around $1295 per developer seat.

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