Progress Software Corp yesterday announced the latest version of its application server, which comes bundled with an integrated development environment for building and deploying web-based business applications. Apptivity 3.0 is designed to enable businesses to rapidly deliver new applications for the intranet, extranet, and internet environments. Pat Vermont, director of product management for Progress’ Apptivity unit, said Version 3.0 offers five key new features that differentiate it from the previous releases. SmartClient: autosensing software that automatically detects the type of browser being used and adjusts accordingly, so developers only have to write the application once and any browser can access it. SmartConnect: the mechanism by which users gain access to all the different types of data on the network. Older versions only offered database access, via the JDBC standard, whereas Version 3.0 lets customers interact with ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), Universal SQL, XML, legacy, custom, and packaged applications. Apptivity Business Beans: Appivity’s version of Sun Microsystem Inc’s Enterprise Java Beans (EJBs). Improved Enterprise Rapid Application Development and Management Tools: the new tools allow for team development as well as offering a single set of tools for building business beans and the Java/HTML front end environment. Improved CORBA-based Enterprise Application Server: Apptivity 3 is built on top of industry- standard CORBA 2.0, with support for Iona OrbixWeb, Inprise Visibroker, and Sun Java IDL. As such, the application server is multithreaded and offers load balancing and fault tolerance enabling it to handle large numbers of concurrent users. Progress Apptivity 3 is scheduled to ship within the next 45 days. Apptivity Developer is $995, Apptivity Application Server is $10,000, and the Enterprise Starter Edition is $15,000.