Sun signs pact for UML tool

Sun Microsystems Inc. ( today disclosed plans to bundle a new version of the Describe UML modeling tool from Embarcadero Technologies ( with the SunONE Studio Integrated Development Environment.

The non-exclusive pact follows an earlier joint development agreement that led to the creation of a SunONE version of the tool. Craig Keller, director of design and modeling tools at San Francisco-based Embarcadero, said the initial agreement calls for Sun to recommend the UML tool to customers, but to quickly begin distributing an evaluation CD of Describe with each shipment of the SunONE development tools.

Keller said the new SunONE toolset is the first implementation of Release 6.0 of Describe, which he depicted as a fully rearchitected, UML-driven, integrated modeling development environment leveraging common standards and ''progressive'' graphics. He noted that the new version also incorporates the UML 2.0 specifications set by the OMG ( standards body and supports the OMG's XML Metadata Interchange (XMI) standard.

Implementations of the new version for IBM's WebSphere Studio and Borland Corp.'s JBuilder toolsets will ship soon, Keller said, though he would not disclose specific release dates.

Keller said he expects Embarcadero to maintain a cordial relationship with IBM even after the finalization of its acquisition of Rational Software, the father of UML and maker of the market-leading UML toolset, later this year. Industry observers also expect Embarcadero to open discussions with Microsoft Corp. on expanding Describe sales to Windows-based systems. Keller declined to discuss plans for the Windows market, though observers do note that Microsoft has long had a close relationship with Rational, which observers expect will change markedly after the IBM acquisition.

About the Author

Mike Bucken is former Editor-in-Chief of Application Development Trends magazine.


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