Loren Abudulezer is president of Evolving Technology in New York City. Specializing in serving pharmaceutical and
financial services clients, this consultancy has been at work on database and Intranet applications throughout
the brief history of the Internet. The company’s work in Internet technology, said Abudulezer, arose naturally
out of its work with three-tiered client/server applications and IBM’s VisualAge for SmallTalk. "In the first
couple of years doing Internet development, we primarily wanted to maintain static applications and have access
to back-end applications," said Abudulezer. Work that began with VisualAge for Smalltalk has continued with
other VisualAge tool family members.
Evolving Technology’s Internet applications work for pharmaceutical companies, which, Abudulezer said, are often
Oracle houses. The consultancy often links the Web server to the database using JDBC or JDBC with ODBC. Said Abudulezer
on the benefits of Java: "If I design applications properly, there’s very little re-writing [in a port], just
some changes in mapping and locations. But my SQL queries are still my SQL queries."
We asked Abudulezer about performance and compatibility. Isn’t Java still in knee pants? "Yes, there are real-world
issues you have to deal with, some are the result of Java, some are part of VisualAge itself," responded Abudulezer.
"But there are realistic work-arounds.
"In terms of Java, the virtual machine issue is a very real issue," he said, though he noted that JDK
1.1 and recent (December 1997) browser add-ons supply most of "the missing pieces" for solving some of
As for VisualAge: "It is an extremely powerful, industrial-strength product. But there is overhead associated
with that. At first, there is a fair amount to apprehend. You don’t design applications casually. But the pay-off
is worth it."
There is little doubt, admitted Abudulezer, that, with the advent of Java, Smalltalk took a hit. "Java is
considerably more mainstream," he commented, "But, really, Java validated the approach that Smalltalk
had been introducing all along." Moreover, the transition of Smalltalk developers to Java is easy, according