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Borland targets ease of use in next JBuilder Java IDE

Borland Software Corp. is setting the stage for next month’s release of JBuilder X, a release that seeks to simplify the usually complex deployment of J2EE. Ease of Java deployment, an objective of recent IDEs from Sun, BEA and IBM, would better position Borland's widely used JBuilder Java IDE for use by an even wider group of developers. "Drag and drop" are the watch words.

According to Bill Pataky, director of product management for Borland’s Java business unit, “Borland has taken Struts support, introduced in JBuilder X, to the next level." Struts is a key means of wrapping up Java components for runtime. The Struts framework is part of the Apache Jakarta Project.

“We’ve built a visual Struts designer,” Pataky said.

“It simplifies things for the developer,” added Jackie Luu, product manager. “What the Struts designer does is visualize how this application should flow. It guides you through the process to drag components into this designer, then shows you what the [next step should be.]”

The IDE does not claim to hide all Struts-J2EE complexity from users, “but it really makes it more mainstream,” said Luu. “You don’t have to be a Java guru."

JBuilder X also aims to make Web services more mainstream, said Luu.

“We had Web services functionality as a separate toolkit in JBuilder 6. Now we have an integrated design surface for Web services where people can implement, design and deploy all Web services," said Luu. "It’s a drag-and-drop approach. We’re trying to make technologies and standards more accessible and more usable; we’re guiding people along the process, not hiding it as a black-box approach.”

Each application server has unique features, noted Borland’s Pataky, and that has often been a pain point in development. JBuilder X has a visual deployment descriptor editor that “empowers developers to deploy to different application servers and extract the most value from that server,” he said.

JBuilder X is shipping mid-November. Pricing has not been disclosed.

Borland also made some changes to its free version, JBuilder Personal, renaming it JBuilder Foundation and changing the licensing from personal use only to commercial use; it is also redistributable. It does not include support for Web application development or J2EE.

About the Author

Colleen Frye is a freelance writer based in Bridgewater, Mass.

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