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IBM adds new Java technologies to alphaWorks menu

Java developers who are not frequent visitors to IBM's alphaWorks Web site might want to give it a try, as the firm has been adding as many as 10 new technologies -- many of them Java-based -- a month for free trial download in recent days.

That's the word from Jim Chao, emerging technologies strategist at IBM, who is responsible for visiting Big Blue's research facilities and finding new tools and technologies for alphaWorks. While it's not all Java, he estimates that of the 80 or so downloads that go on alphaWorks in a year, between one-third and one-half are Java. But even the rest -- relating to XML, Grid, IBM's e-business on-demand initiative and other emerging technologies -- may be of interest and/or use to Java developers.

Chao pointed out that IBM previewed four Java technologies available on alphaWorks during Sun Microsystems' recent JavaOne 2004 conference in San Francisco. Asynchronous IO for Java (AJava) was one that Chao found stirred a lot of interest at the annual Java conference.

'There was a lot of activity about doing asynchronous IO in the Java area,' he told JDT. 'And that's something Sun has not been extremely receptive to. We've been working on this for a couple of years. We've debuted a solution for being able to provide Web-based content to the scores of people using asynchronous IO techniques. That turned out to be a very popular technology for us.'

Chao went on to explain that the significance of AJava is that it provides greater scalability for Java-based Web applications by solving what is called the 'C10K' problem. This is important in cases where Java server applications need to be able to scale to tens of thousands of client connections by providing a mechanism so that a Java server's application threads can move IO operations to subsystems while continuing to process additional requests.

'Asynchronous IO basically allows us to provide for the distribution of Web content and to scale it up to provide information to the thousands of people who might want to download something from a server concurrently,' he said.

Additional Java technologies from alphaWork previewed at JavaOne 2004 included: 

  • Method Scheduler for Java (MS4J), which Chao said allows developers to execute methods on Java objects asynchronously and repeatedly to keep the data cache fresh and to reduce response times. 
  • Application Privacy Monitoring for JDBC (APM4JDBC), which is a Java/SQL library that works with IBM's Tivoli Privacy Manager to bring privacy monitoring to the application level. 
  • Development Tool for Java-COM Bridge, which is an Eclipse-based tool that provides communications between Java and Microsoft-based applications.

More information and downloads are available at the IBM alphaWorks Java technology Zone at http://alphaworks.ibm.com/java .

About the Author

Rich Seeley is Web Editor for Campus Technology.

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