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August 27, 1998


By CBR Staff Writer

Hot web application development company Vision Software Inc is fending off suitors while gearing up to attack what it believes will be a commodity application server market with a cross- platform Java-based business logic server. In creating a new 4.0 cut of its Jade Java application development environment, which is due next week, Vision has effectively created a separate logic execution engine with its own abstraction layer, from the underlying and proprietary Jade application server technology. Vision currently supports Corba and COM object component models, with Enterprise Java Beans support to follow in a dot release of Jade once The Object Management Group and the EJB companies bury their hatchets in an integrated Java object component spec due in November. But with Oracle et al all providing their own Corba/COM application servers Vision says the obvious strategy is to extract its core Java business logic services, make the cross- platform and develop integration, bundling and marketing deals with the application server community. If it were running on Oracle application server it wouldn’t, for example, need to use Oracle developer tools or any other proprietary 4GL or low-level coding tools. It doesn’t say who its partners might be, but expect multiple announcements in the vendor and integration sectors. The logic execution services component of the Jade business logic server executes Java business rules that can be generated within a high-level programming environment. It has a rules compiler, rule sequencer, optimizer, transaction controller and external schema integration tool. The logic engine sits atop the abstraction layer underneath which reside application execution services including session management, failover, data caching, load balancing, thread pooling and connection pooling. Jade uses what Vision calls its XDA extensible data access architecture which provide links to Java, relational, object and legacy data sources. Jade 4.0 comprises the business logic server, Java-based vision developer studio environment for writing business rules, and vision business server manager and console for managing and monitoring multiple the security, rule tracing, installation and administration of multiple business server installations. The business logic server costs from $6,000; the developer studio is $3,000 on Solaris or NT. Over time it expects to roll all of its products, including the Visual Basic development environment into an umbrella Jade marketing brand. The suitors are currently being turned away, it says (until presumably someone makes an offer it can’t refuse) as it continues to head for an IPO offering next year. It counts its closest competition as Sun’s NetDynamics, WebLogic, SilverStream and Netivity.

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