Instantiations acquires SWT Designer, and signs on its author

Portland, Ore.-based Instantiations Inc. has acquired SWT Designer, a design tool that is said to help software developers create rich client user interfaces for Java applications, from Eclipse Plugins Lab for an undisclosed sum.

In addition to acquiring exclusive title of the product and all related technology from Eclipse Plugins Lab, Instantiations has entered an ongoing technical relationship with the product author, Konstantin Scheglov, to assist in designing and implementing future GUI building products.

Built as a plug-in to Eclipse and the various WebSphere Studio IDEs, SWT Designer generates Java code and allows developers to add any control to a composite by using drag-and-drop; to add an event handler to controls; and to change various properties of controls, said Mike Taylor, Instantiations president and CEO.

It competes with tools that use SWING/AWT for constructing Java GUIs. The main difference between the two is that SWT uses native operating system widgets in creating the user interface, where SWING uses emulated widgets, Taylor said. Another difference is that SWT in a Windows environment will produce an interface that is a Windows interface. SWING uses a set of emulated Windows widgets that produce a "Windows-like" look that is not the same in all respects, he added.

Instantiations plans to offer both an SWT and a SWING version of its GUI building product in the near future. "It is our plan to offer Java developers powerful GUI building tools for both environments so that they can choose the one they want to use," Taylor said.

The acquisition, according to Taylor, gives Instantiations a solid technology base from which to expand and accelerates its time to market. "Our ongoing relationship with Konstantin Scheglov gives us another very creative, innovative senior technologist to aid in that effort," he added.

Priced at $199 per developer, SWT Designer runs on Windows 2000/XP and Linux/GTK2.

About the Author

Lana Gates is a freelance writer based in Mesa, Arizona. She can be reached via e-mail at


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