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BEA, Compuware join to simplify Java

Seeking to expand the ranks of Java programmers, BEA Systems, Inc., San Jose, Calif., and Compuware Corp., Detroit, last month disclosed plans to integrate their respective Java development toolsets.

The first phase of the agreement calls for linking Compuware's OptimalJ model-driven J2EE development environment with BEA's WebLogic Workshop visual development environment and runtime framework by, officials said. Further integration efforts will continue with officials promising additional results by mid-2004.

''What we're planning to do in this first phases is integrate the two complementary approaches so we can make the business components that are generated out of OptimalJ available as Java Controls in the BEA Workshop environment,'' said Paul Styles, technical alliance manager for Compuware.

As an example of how the two tools will work together with modeling leading to the creation of Java applications, he said: ''Somebody would generate a J2EE application by first using the modeling aspect of OptimalJ and then through the patterns actually generate the artifacts -- the three different layers of artifacts that are created, the Web, the EJB and the database tiers -- those business tier artifacts, the EJBs, would then be taken as controls -- customized Java controls -- to the WebLogic Workshop environment and be available for those developers.''

This model-driven approach to building applications will make it possible for non-Java programmers to move into the J2EE world, said Dave Cotter, director of developer marketing for BEA.

Industry experts said the integration project should help in industry efforts to expand Java skills beyond the elite programmer levels.

''It really expands fundamentally the number of Java developers that can create and model applications,'' said Cotter. ''Clearly there are other tools that offer similar capabilities but they may be very much targeted toward a senior developer or somebody who has a very intimate knowledge of the J2EE API set. This particular relationship [BEA and Compuware] is one of the first that we've seen that fundamentally allows not only architects but also those people who are new to Java or may be working in other procedural languages to finally jump into the Java fray. It's very unique in that it expands greatly the number of people who can develop Java apps.''

About the Author

Rich Seeley is Web Editor for Campus Technology.

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