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HP debuts free Java tools

Hewlett Packard Co., looking to become a serious Java middleware player, unveiled a pair of interesting offerings during the JavaOne conference last week in San Francisco. The new Core Services Framework (CSF) and its HP Internet Server, created by developers gained from the acquisition of Bluestone Software last year, both represent the first reference implementations of the Java Services Framework, an ambitious set of Java interfaces whose specification was passed as JSR 111 in April by the Java Community Project.

The new offerings are slated to be available soon as free downloads from the company's Website. Rich Friedman, chief technologist of HP's new Bluestone Division, says that the new CSF gives developers and ISVs an open-standards framework that supports the interoperability of Java application services and the reuse of software components.

CSF allows developers to embed application components within a Java standardized framework or embed the framework inside their applications. For developers, says Friedman, the payoff is the rapid, modular inclusion of new Java services and APIs into new and existing applications to meet pressing business demands and shorten application times to market.

HP describes the Internet Server as its 'next-gen' Web server. Built on the Core Services Framework, HP says that the server piece provides ISVs and application developers "...with the ability to quickly build service-based applications that offer stable, high-performance HTTP, JSP, and Servlet services."

Analysts at Zona Research see the new HP releases as a step towards commoditizing Bluestone's J2EE- and XML-based Web application servers. A recent Quiniela newsbrief notes: "There are 280 pages of J2EE specifications, and until someone implements them in code, there are many ways to interpret the codification of those specs." Zona analysts expect parallel efforts from Apache's Jakarta. OSGI will also eventually make it to release form, they say.

Although HP is first to market with these two releases, Zona points out that the company "will not make a nickel from distributing this code." But Zona sees the move as probably a smart one: "[HP] will have an easier time selling higher-level services to those application developers who have plunked this code down into their corporate applications... For large, well-established enterprises like HP, this offering might be the straw that could tip the scale in their favor in some situations and against certain vendors..."

About the Author

John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached at john@watersworks.com.

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