Apple unveils Web services support in app tool

[PROGRAMMERS REPORT, November 19, 2002] -- Apple has unveiled a new version of its Web application development tool suite. WebObjects 5.2 now supports Web services standards, such as XML, SOAP and WSDL, providing Apple with yet another opportunity to attract business developers.

Apple obtained the WebObjects technology with its 1997 acquisition of Next Software. Apple CEO Steve Jobs was the chief executive at Next at the time.

The latest version adds a number of features for enterprise developers, including rapid application development modules that generate code-free prototypes in minutes, and dynamic service development -- that integrates easily with services written in Java, AppleScript, Perl and .NET -- which helps developers create Web services based on SOAP, XML and WSDL.

Other enhancements include improved J2EE integration. WebObjects applications can now be packaged in a single directory that makes it easier to deploy to a J2EE servlet container.

WebObjects 5.2 includes visual tools that can reverse-engineer JDBC or JNDI data sources, company reps said, as well as object-oriented frameworks that transparently handle data persistence. Built on a three-tier architecture with intrinsic clustering support, WebObjects allows users to deliver ''maintainable, scalable applications.''

The toolset includes support for J2EE technologies, including Servlet integration, an Object Request Broker (ORB) and an Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB) container, so users can mix and match technologies. JSP programmers can use the automated data persistence of WebObjects as an alternative to complex EJBs.

WebObjects 5.2 is priced at $699.

''A how-to for Cocoa developers'' by John K. Waters at

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About the Author

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


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