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Oracle releases JDeveloper 10g

Oracle Corp. last week unveiled the first production release of the latest version of its Java and Web services development environment, Oracle JDeveloper 10g. The new version previewed at last June's JavaOne conference and was later issued as a developer preview dubbed Version 9.0.5.

Oracle officials said JDeveloper 10g emphasizes ease-of-use features and includes the new Application Development Framework (ADF) that is designed for programmers lacking the high-level skills of systems programmers -- the same audience targeted by rival Sun Microsystems with its Java Studio Creator (aka Project Rave) toolset, which also previewed last year at JavaOne.

The new Oracle IDE can generate low-level infrastructure code for tying applications to databases and for passing data between user interfaces and business objects; it also includes more sophisticated features preferred by advanced coders, officials said.

"With this release we've really focused on expanding the audience and increasing the accessibility of J2EE," Rob Cheng, Oracle product marketing director, told eADT. "Java has grown quite a bit over the past few years. I think there are about 2.5 million Java developers out there. But even with that growth, that's no more than 20% of the entire professional developer community. With JDeveloper 10g, we're providing the tools and technologies to make Java much more accessible to the rest of the enterprise developer population."

Based on the Model-View-Controller (MVC) architecture, ADF is designed to allow developers to focus on business logic rather than on underlying technologies. It can provide users who have less than an expert's command of J2EE with visual, declarative and guided-coding features. Developers manipulate the application's meta data using visual tools, while the framework executes the application in the most efficient manner using industry-standard J2EE design patterns. Those visual tools include UML tools to model and generate business logic, visual editors to lay out client user interfaces, page flow modeling to define and control navigation between pages, and drag-and-drop data binding into user interfaces.

"The model and the code are always in synch," Cheng explained. "That makes it easy for the less experienced Java coders, who are used to working with the visual editors, and the more experienced Java geeks, who are more accustomed to actually looking at the code, to work together."

The new tool also reflects the company's bet on the emerging enterprise grid computing model. Oracle expects the model to proliferate, and has designed its new toolset to support developers coping with the challenge of building applications that must function across a distributed network of devices. And it is designed to help developers use the latest Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) development methodologies to assemble applications from a set of shared business services, Cheng said.

Mark Driver, vice president and research director at Gartner Group, said the spread of SOAs and grid computing is essential if the agile enterprise is to become a reality.

Oracle's tools strategy is closely linked with its market-leading database and applications business. Concurrent with the tools release, the company announced what it called a key milestone in the growth of its application server business: It now claims more than 20,000 Oracle Application Server customers.

Oracle JDeveloper 10g is priced at $995 per named user. An evaluation version is available as a free download from the Oracle developer community Web site at http://otn.oracle.com.

About the Author

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

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