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ParcPlace-Digitalk Inc, Sunnyvale, California, says it will use its acquisition of Objectshare Systems Inc this week to plunge into what it calls the wide open sea of the Java components market and release the first of a family of products in August. Objectshare is putting the finishing touches on the August release, called jKit/Grid, a series of Java classes which acts as a set of grid and table UI that provide scrolling grid controls and related cell editors. Santa Clara-based Objectshare is offering a free download of jKit/Grid for non-commercial use and was expecting to charge $145 for a one year commercial license with support and $495 for the same deal with source code, but with ParcPlace-Digitalk running the show, it’s unclear if that pricing will remain. Objectshare says it has a family of Java components in the pipe for programmers which want short-cuts to build more complex applets and applications. ParcPlace-Digitalk said yesterday it hasn’t decided whether that component and others to follow will be branded with its name or Objectshare, which will become an independent business unit of the firm when the deal becomes final. The companies did not release financial details of the acquisition. The unit will report to Richard Dym, ParcPlace-Digitalk’s VP of international operations, who said it will produce mass market components for the Smalltalk, Java and ActiveX environments. We’re going to be active players in the components business and the addition of Objectshare gives us an immediate quick-step in that direction and still allow ParcPlace to focus on our forte – distributing computing in the enterprise setting, Dym said yesterday. The acquisition’s more obvious benefit will come from Objectshare’s Smalltalk tools, such as WindowBuilder Pro/V and WidgetKit/Professional, which make a nice fit with

ParcPlace-Digitalk’s Visual Smalltalk Enterprise product line and offer an entry into IBM’s VisualAge marketplace. Dym emphasized that Objectshare would continue to offer Smalltalk tools for VisualAge customers. Expect ParcPlace-Digitalk to reveal its branding strategy and prices next month. Expect Objectshare to post a letter detailing future plans for its customers on its Web site in the next two weeks. Objectshare has 15 employees and claims 10,000 users. Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

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