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Java 1.2 Unleashed

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Java Development Tools

The purpose of this book is to teach you to program in Java. Because of this, I have avoided visual development tools and instead have concentrated on programming examples that are built from scratch. By taking this learning approach, you'll be better prepared to understand the code that is generated by visual development tools.

There is certainly a place for Java development tools. These tools help you develop Java applications and applets more quickly and effectively. They make you a better-organized programmer and help you to build a more maintainable, higher-quality product.

In this chapter you'll examine some of the popular Java development tools and learn how they can be used to simplify the process of developing Java applications and applets.

Visual Development Tools

Visual development tools simplify the software development process, letting you create the graphical user interface (GUI) of applets and applications by dragging and dropping user-interface components to their desired locations. These tools provide hooks for event handling associated with GUI components, typically letting you create and maintain event-handling code by clicking on the GUI components.

Visual development tools commonly provide a class browser for viewing and traversing the application class hierarchy. They also include a source code editor that highlights Java syntax elements using special colors. Most tools support automatic code generation and a just-in-time compiler.

Second-generation Java development tools provide JavaBeans support, team programming capabilities, JDBC drivers for popular database products, CORBA compatibility, and tools that simplify connectivity with legacy applications.

Java Workshop

Java Workshop 2.0 from Sun Microsystems (http://www.sun.com/software/Developer-products/java/) is an integrated development environment (IDE) for Java applets, applications, and beans. It provides a graphical user interface and uses Sun's Visual Java GUI builder for developing applets and standalone applications. It includes a compiler, editor, profiler, debugger, and several wizards and online tutorials.

Java Workshop 2.0 runs on Solaris (Sparc and Intel versions), HP-UX, UnixWare, Windows NT, and Windows 95. Java Workshop 2.0 retails for $110.

NOTE: All prices are in U.S. dollars. Prices may vary from the time of this writing.

Java Studio

Java Studio from Sun Microsystems (http://www.sun.com/studio/) is a visual software development environment that maximizes the use of prebuilt JavaBeans components and minimizes the need for coding. Java Studio provides an extensive set of JavaBeans and a set of tools for integrating beans into applets and applications. Java Studio provides beans that support multimedia, GUI development, database access, data flow, and mathematical computation.

Java Studio is built in Java and runs on all Java platforms that support the core API. It costs $69.


JavaPlan from Lighthouse Design, Limited (recently purchased by Sun Microsystems) is an enterprisewide visual development tool for Java applets and applications (http://www.lighthouse.com/Product.html). JavaPlan consists of an integrated set of tools that are aimed at the development of reusable Java components, such as JavaBeans.

JavaPlan supports graphical modeling of applications via an electronic whiteboard, a tool that enables multiuser collaboration over a network. It provides a reverse-engineering capability for analyzing compiled bytecode files, and supports the porting of C and C++ legacy applications. JavaPlan also provides extensive documentation-generation capabilities.

JavaPlan runs on Solaris and Windows NT 4.0. It can be purchased for $3,995 per single user license.

Visual Café for Java

Visual Café for Java version 2.5 from Symantec (http://cafe.symantec.com/) provides a top-of-the-line, integrated visual development environment for Java applets and applications. It supports drag-and-drop visual application development and comes with an extensive prebuilt component library.

Visual Café for Java supports a sophisticated automated code-generation capability that lets users interact with and edit the generated code. It comes in three development editions: Web, Professional, and Database. The Web Development Edition includes the Visual Café for Java IDE, the Visual Page HTML authoring tool, and a copy of Netscape Communicator 4.0. The Professional Development Edition includes the Web Development Edition and adds a native code compiler, an advanced debugger, additional JavaBeans support, and other features. The Database Development Edition includes the Professional Development Edition and adds a dbANYWHERE Workgroup Server, a Sybase SQL Anywhere Database, and a Netscape Fast Track Server.

Visual Café for Java 2.5 runs on Windows NT, Windows 98, and Windows 95. Prices range from $99.95 to $499.95, depending on the edition purchased.

VisualAge for Java

VisualAge for Java (http://www.software.ibm.com/ad/vajava/) is IBM's solution for Java software development. It uses the same technology as other VisualAge products, and is an enterprisewide Java software development environment that focuses on the development of Java applications that connect to existing server data, transactions, and applications. It also makes extensive use of JavaBeans components, via the VisualAge WebRunner Toolkit and tools that provide the capability to convert ActiveX components into JavaBeans.

VisualAge for Java includes a source code editor, debugger, class browser, and extensive class library. These tools are provided in a team programming environment. The Enterprise Access Builder tool facilitates the connection of Java code with legacy applications and data.

VisualAge for Java comes in three versions: Entry, Professional, and Enterprise. The Entry version is scaled down from the Professional version and may be downloaded for free. The Professional version is the Enterprise version without the Enterprise Access Builder and team software development features.

VisualAge for Java runs on Windows NT, Windows 98, Windows 95, and OS/2. The Entry version is a free download. The Professional version costs $99. The price of the Enterprise version has not been determined at the time of this writing.

Visual J++

Visual J++ (http://www.microsoft.com/visualj/) is Microsoft's answer to Java development. It includes wizards for applet development, a class browser, an advanced color syntax highlighted source code editor, a visual debugger, and a just-in-time compiler. Besides providing all of the traditional integrated visual development capabilities, Visual J++ Professional includes database support for a plethora of popular database products. Visual J++ also supports Microsoft's COM, DCOM, and ActiveX technologies.

Visual J++ runs on Windows NT, Windows 98, and Windows 95 and retails for $99.95.

JBuilder Client/Server Suite

JBuilder Client/Server Suite Inprise, formerly by Borland (http://www.borland. com/jbuilder/), is a component-oriented visual development environment for developing enterprisewide Java applications. It provides connectivity to SQL databases, supporting both JDBC and ODBC. It supports team programming and provides distributed object support through CORBA connectivity. JBuilder Client/Server retails for $2,495.

JBuilder also comes in Standard ($99.95) and Professional ($799) versions. The Standard version is for entry-level programmers. The Professional version is the same as the Client/Server version, minus some CORBA and database support.

JBuilder runs on Windows NT, Windows 98, and Windows 95.

Super Mojo

Super Mojo by Penumbra Software, Inc. (http://www.penumbrasoftware.com/) uses a component-oriented approach to developing Java software. It consists of a GUI Designer, Visual Scripter, and a Coder. The Designer provides drag-and-drop development of an applet or application's GUI. The Visual Scripter is used to add functionality to an application's visual design. The Coder organizes objects in a way that facilitates code development. An integrated class and method browser lets users view code that is automatically generated.

Super Mojo is written in Java and runs on all platforms that support the Java core API. Super Mojo is priced at $39.95.


JDesignerPro version 2.3 by the BulletProof Corporation (http://www.bulletproof.com) consists of an application development environment and application middleware. The application development environment provides traditional visual development tools. The middleware consists of the JAGGServer, which provides JDBC/ODBC database connectivity. BulletProof plans to enhance the JAGGServer to handle IIOP and CORBA connectivity.

JDesignerPro is written in Java and runs on Windows NT, Windows 98, Windows 95, and UNIX platforms. It retails for $695.

SuperCede Java Edition

SuperCede Java Edition 2.0 by SuperCede, Inc. (http://www.supercede.com) is an IDE that includes a compiler, debugger, editor, and drag-and-drop visual design tools. It provides database connectivity, C++ and ActiveX development support, and native compilation capabilities.

SuperCede 2.0 runs on Windows NT 4.0, Windows 98, and Windows 95. It costs $29.95.


Jamba 2.0 from Interleaf, Inc. (http://www.jamba.com) is a visual authoring environment that supports the development of Java applets and applications with little or no programming. It provides wizards that simplify program development, advanced animation tools, drag-and-drop support, and an extensive collection of predefined objects.

Jamba 2.0 runs on Windows NT, Windows 98, and Windows 95. It is available for $149.


In this chapter you've examined some of the popular Java development tools and learned how they can be used to simplify the process of Java application and applet development.

Congratulations! You've completed the last chapter of this book. Appendixes A through C provide a summary of the Java language, environment variables, and JDK development tools. Appendix D shows how to use the JDK's tools to automatically generate Java software documentation and help files. Appendix E covers the Java Extensions Framework. Appendix F provides a JDK 1.2 API description.

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