JavaOne Wrap-Up: New Products from dotFX, Canoo, Coverity, Infragistics, More

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF. -- This year's JavaOne Conference ended on a queasy note last Friday when the local Department of Public Health warned attendees that a virus -- the biological kind -- had gotten loose in San Francisco's Moscone Center. The Associated Press reported that 67 Moscone staffers and three attendees caught the highly contagious norovirus, which causes violent outbreaks of diarrhea and vomiting and lasts 24 to 48 hours.

But that shouldn't be the last thing we remember from the 13th annual gathering of the Java faithful. The vendors were out in force at this year's show, with 137 exhibits and lots of product news. Here are a few under-reported vendor announcements that you should catch (no pun intended):

  • dotFX launched both a company and a new software solution at this year's show. The Menlo Park, Calif.-based startup unveiled its ServerFX product during co-founder Mark Chen's "lightning talk" at the CommunityOne pre-conference event. ServerFX is part of a "transparent runtime" service designed to enable deployment of fully functional and secure Internet applications based on Java. According to co-founder Phil Straw, the product provides "a set of runtime services, including click-to-run execution, incremental installation and update, a security model, online and offline execution modes, and the ability to run any part of the application on any local or remote device." The company's other products include ClientFX, AdminFX and InstallFX, all of which are currently available as free downloads during the beta release period.
  • Veteran code analysis tools maker Parasoft rolled out a new app security solution at this year's show. The literally named Parasoft Application Security Solutions is designed to make sure that security verification and remediation tasks are "ingrained" in the workflow across every stage of the software development lifecycle. Developers secure code by simply responding to the reported tasks. "True success in application security requires an in-line process to prevent security vulnerabilities and ensure that the application adheres to the organization's security policy," said Wayne Ariola, Parasoft's VP of strategy, in a statement.
  • Representatives of Canoo flew all the way from Switzerland to staff a booth at this year's show, where it demoed the new release of the company's rich Internet application library. Called the UltraLightClient, the library "focuses on making the development and deployment of Web applications faster and easier," the company said. The library is designed to bridge the gap between Java Swing user interface components and a Web architecture. The company bills that bridge as "a cost-efficient, single-technology and mature approach to AJAX." Among the notable new features in this release are a project setup wizard for Eclipse, the ability to generate an end-to-end app skeleton from a predefined data structure, a forms development component, and sortable ULC tables by default. A milestone release is available for download now; the final release is expected near the end of June or the beginning of July 2008.
  • Validy showed off its SoftNaos for Java at the show. Headquarter in Romans-sur-Isère, France, with offices in Portland, Ore., the company developed its patented "Validity Technology" to protect software against piracy and sabotage. SoftNaos is the first commercial implementation of the Validy Technology. As the company explains it, SoftNaos is designed to "prevent software piracy and guarantee the integrity of software execution by simultaneously using a software transformation and a secure electronic component. The protected software transformation is generated by the Validy SoftNaos post-compiler." The company said it is planning to use the technology to develop security solutions for C, C++ and C# applications.
  • Coverity drew a fair crowd on the show floor for demos of its new Thread Analyzer for Java. The tool is aimed at the newest pain point for developers: multi-core processors and the inherent potential for concurrency defects in multi-threaded apps. The Thread Analyzer for Java "observes" code as it's executed and automatically identifies race conditions and deadlocks. The San Francisco-based company calls the product "unique in the field of dynamic analysis" because it detects not only problems in limited testing environments, but also those with the potential to occur over extended operations in field environments. "This distinction is particularly important for multi-threaded applications that, due to their complexity, may run without failure for extremely long periods of time before a 'perfect storm' of system events triggers a concurrency defect," the company says.
  • Infragistics unveiled a new package of AJAX-enabled tools at the show. The Princeton, N.J.-based company makes presentation-layer development tools, and its new offering, NetAdvantage for JSF 2008 Volume 1, targets Web developers who want to leverage JavaServer Faces for quick and easy UI development. This new release bundles an AJAX-enabled JSF UI components for building commercial Web 2.0 apps in J2EE environments. "With the ability to create re-useable components," the company said, "[the tools] help Java enterprise developers create consistent experiences with less code in less time." The new version of NetAdvantage for JSF comes with IBM WebSphere, JBoss and Weblogic portal support; improved Editable DataTables; and a Dialog Window feature to integrate design-time capabilities with common dialog window behaviors.
  • Another hometown company, San Francisco-based Isomorphic Software, introduced version 6.5 of its AJAX RIA platform at this year's show. The 10-year-old company bases all its products on its flagship SmartClient technology, an AJAX framework designed to "combine the productivity and performance of traditional desktop software with the simplicity and reach of an open Web platform." SmartClient combines an open DHTML-AJAX client engine, rich user interface components and metadata-driven client-server databinding systems. The list of new features in version 6.5 of the AJAX RIA platform includes new "skinning" features, including TreeFrog skin; dynamic frozen columns support for all ListGrids and TreeGrids; dynamic group-by-field-value support for all ListGrids; new client- and server-side support for file upload; in-line editing and expanded APIs for data cubes/OLAP grids; and support for Adobe AIR, Firefox 3 (beta), Internet Explorer 8 (beta) and Windows Safari 3.1, among others.
  • Layer 7 Technologies didn't roll out anything new at the show, but the Washington, D.C.-based company was boasting its recent "Cool Vendor" nod from industry analysts at Gartner. Layer 7 provides SOA security and governance infrastructure for next-gen service-oriented and Web-oriented integrations. The company demoed its SecureSpan family of XML appliances and gateway software at its show-floor booth. Layer 7 co-authored the WS-Policy. Its family of SOA gateways is designed to provide end users with centralized monitoring and management of production SOA preferences, such as service access, message security, availability, SLA conformance, virtualization and data validation.
  • Beverly, Mass.-based Altova announced the availability of a new release of its XMLSpy. Version 2008 Release 2 of the company's flagship XML editor comes with enhancements aimed at helping users optimize their XML development processes. Among those enhancements are support for very large files (four to five times larger than those supported in past versions); support for Java, C#, JavaScript and VBScript in the company's XSLT engines; integration with Visual Studio 2008; new XSLT Information Windows; and advanced Find & Replace in XML Schema Editor, among others.

About the Author

John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached at [email protected].