Monday, January 31, 2005

Compuware Improves the Quality of Enterprise Java Applications With DevPartner Java Edition 3.3

Compuware Improves the Quality of Enterprise Java Applications With DevPartner Java Edition 3.3
Compuware announced new support for Java with Compuware DevPartner Java Edition 3.3, a suite of productivity and profiling tools that speeds the deployment of reliable, high-performance Java applications and components. This new version provides new and improved detailed analysis capabilities helping to deliver the highest quality Java applications effectively and efficiently through several product updates and exclusive functionality.

DevPartner Java Edition bridges the communication gap between development and testing by resolving problems more quickly and ensuring quality up-front when an application is first developed. This is particularly important since it is many times more cost effective to fix application errors in development, rather than in production.

DevPartner Java Edition 3.3 includes Compuware-exclusive functionality for optimizing memory utilization and customizing transaction breakdown. Compuware DevPartner Java 3.3 also includes several other advancements, such as integration with the open source tool JUnit as well as a session comparison functionality that compares the results of multiple code sets after changes have been made. Additionally, support for Eclipse 3.0 has been included.


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Monday, January 24, 2005

Using Eclipse AspectJ: Your First Steps

Using Eclipse AspectJ: Your First Steps
This tutorial provides an introduction to the implementation of AspectJ, using a sample program for an insurance company.

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Friday, January 21, 2005

IBM Enhances Eclipse-Based Tools for Mobile Access to Enterprise Applications

IBM Enhances Eclipse-Based Tools for Mobile Access to Enterprise Applications
New Speech and Multimodal Tools Help Speed Mobile Development and Enable Access to Information via Wireless Devices

IBM today announced the availability of three new pervasive computing technologies for download via its alphaWorks emerging technology web site. The new software solutions -- IBM Voice Toolkit, Forms for Mobile Devices and Multimodal Toolkit Plus -- make it easier for companies to access enterprise applications via wireless data devices, untethered from their desks and offices. The three independent offerings also help to simplify the development and deployment of pervasive computing software using open, standards-based technology.

"The mobile workforce is predicted to triple between now and 2008, increasing the dependency on wireless. mobile device as well as alternative input methods such as speech and multimodality," said Marc Goubert, senior manager, IBM alphaWorks. "With these pervasive computing toolkits, IBM empowers customers to drive internal field and sales efficiencies by harnessing open standards-based technologies to access enterprise applications."

The Voice Toolkit Preview now offers voice application development capabilities to developers leveraging the IBM Software Development Platform. It provides an integrated development environment, enhanced Natural Language Understanding tools, and support for VoiceXML and the new Open Source Reusable Dialog components. These new features and functions help to simplify and speed the software development process and open it up to a larger group of people rather than limiting it to specialized speech application programmers.

The second offering, Multimodal Tools Plus, is an Eclipse-based tool designed to speed the development of browser-based applications on embedded devices requiring visual and speech interaction. This comprehensive software tools package, provides an easy to use interface for writing and testing voice-enabled Web applications on the desktop prior to deployment on handheld devices. It leverages the IBM Embedded ViaVoice speech engine and the X+V (xHTML and Voice) multimodal specification.

Finally, IBM Forms for Mobile Devices is a Java-based distributed software solution comprised of a set of Eclipse-based wizards. It enables developers to rapidly create applications for accessing, and completing business forms, such as an expense approval sheet, stored locally on mobile devices. When a mobile device user completes and submits a form, it is queued for delivery to the server for when connectivity is available. When the server receives a completed form, it dispatches it to the back-end application for final processing.

Developers can download these software tools via IBM alphaWorks, the leading resource for emerging technology www.alphaworks.ibm.com

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Thursday, January 20, 2005

Improving J2EE-based projects

Improving J2EE-based projects
Importance of Tools

Have you ever heard of a construction company attempting to build a house without a power saw, electric drill or a tool as fundamental as a hammer? True, a house could be built without today's newfangled equipment. However, construction would take much longer, and the same level of quality would prove nearly impossible to achieve. You could build a hut with your bare hands, but you could build a mansion with the right tools.

Today's developers are no different than a person attempting to build a house. The tools are essential to the developer, both for increasing productivity and for enhancing quality. The tools developers use must enable them to produce the highest-quality code possible in the shortest amount of time, which means that today's integrated development environment (IDE) is no longer simply a tool used to write, debug and compile code. Instead, an IDE must help developers identify whether they are following proper coding conventions and known design patterns, if they're in compliance with industry standards such as Web services, if their code adheres to its contract and if it performs per the requirements. In addition, when developers aren't given the environments necessary to achieve continuous builds and automated testing, an IDE's capabilities become even more important to ensuring the system's quality.

Enter the Eclipse IDE, which provides built-in capabilities that, when used with several plug-ins, can aid in increasing the quality of both the code base and the system. Eclipse is an open, extensible IDE built for anything and nothing in particular. Eclipse's Java development environment is open-source, free and fully customizable. Eclipse both enables and promotes the addition of capabilities via open-source and commercially available custom-built plug-ins. By utilizing Eclipse, along with a key set of plug-ins, it's possible for a developer, and a team, to measure the quality of any J2EE- or Java-based system.

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Thursday, January 13, 2005

Model-Driven Development with Visual Paradigm for UML

Model-Driven Development with Visual Paradigm for UML
Visual Paradigm is pleased to announce the release of the Smart Development Environment (SDE) for Eclipse 2.0, a plug-in of Eclipse for model-driven development with Unified Model Language (UML).

Visual Paradigm embeds itself to Eclipse to provide a unified modeling and development environment, dramatically increase the speed of requirement capturing, analysis, design, development, testing and deployment for software architects, analyst, designer and developers using Eclipse.

Smart Development Environment for Eclipse 2.0 is an all-in-one solution for model-driven development. SDE for Eclipse supports the latest standards of Java and UML 2.0 notations and provides the industry’s full round-trip code generation and code reverse engineering support for Java in a unified modeling and implementation environment with Eclipse. In addition, SDE for Eclipse features Team collaboration and requirement capturing. The transition from requirement capturing to analysis, analysis to design and then to implementation are seamlessly integrated within the CASE tool, thus significantly reducing efforts in all stages of the software development life cycle.

SDE for Eclipse is now Unified Modelling Language (UML) 2.0 ready! SDE for Eclipse users can now model applications with all the 13 UML diagrams and latest UML notations. New UML diagram types like Composite Structure Diagram, Timing Diagram and new notations such as Part, Port, Connector; State Entry/Exit Point and more are supported.

Real-time or on demand, Round-trip incremental model and source code synchronization is one of the main features in SDE for Eclipse. SDE for Eclipse helps transform Class models into Java source code and also support the reverse engineering from Java source code to UML Diagrams. The navigation between model and code is fast and simple. You don’t need to switch back and forth between Eclipse and the UML tool, which greatly increases the productivity of software development. SDE for Eclipse adopts the same user interface as Eclipse, which reduces the learning curve, and you can perform UML modeling in your familiar working environment.

When several team members work on the same project, version control is always a major concern. The time and effort spent on merging the works of each team member is very expensive, and is very risky that the previous works may be overwritten by the new changes. Visual Paradigm's Teamwork Server automates these complex development processes. Unlike some other teamwork system, you don't need to specify what you will change while checking out the project. All the changes made by different developers can be merged by the VP Teamwork Server automatically. Users can specify how to resolve the conflicts when it occurs.

Textual analysis is a useful and handy technique for capturing system requirement and identifying candidate classes. CRC card is a traditional way for identifying classes, responsibilities and collaborations of objects in an object-oriented system. SDE for Eclipse is the only UML CASE tool that supports the above facilities. Together with Use Case modeling facility, SDE for Eclipse’s superior requirement capturing facilities establish a stable basis for continuing the whole software development process.

SDE for Eclipse is available and well-tested in platforms including Windows, Linux and Java Desktop.

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Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Actuate Contributes Report Object Model to Eclipse BIRT Project

Actuate Contributes Report Object Model to Eclipse BIRT Project
Jan. 11, 2005--Actuate Corporation (Nasdaq:ACTU), the world leader in Enterprise Reporting Applications, today announced that is has contributed a proposal to specify the BIRT Report Object Model. The specifications, which have been made public on the Eclipse Foundation web site, are the first in a series of design documents that Actuate plans to submit in its capacity as project lead for BIRT, the industry's first Open Source Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools project. BIRT's Report Object Model proposes a schema for describing the elements that make up the design of a report in BIRT 1.0, scheduled for release in the first half of 2005, and subsequent releases.

Today, most vendor applications use a proprietary format for representing the definition of a report, making it very difficult for customers to standardize their report development and maximize productivity. In addition, this means that reports cannot be easily moved between different reporting implementations and that there are few options for choosing new tools without re-architecting existing reporting environments. The BIRT Report Object Model proposes an XML-based schema for report definition. The goal of the Report Object Model is to promote the interoperability of BIRT and commercial reporting offerings by defining a common schema that allows for the easy transfer of report definitions. This is the first specification to be published as part of the BIRT project, making it easier for those designing reports to migrate reports to BIRT.

"The knowledge gained from Actuate's ten years of BI and Enterprise Reporting experience is reflected in the proposal," said Mark Coggins, senior vice president of Engineering for Actuate Corporation and Eclipse Foundation Board Member. "We look forward to feedback from the Eclipse Community, since it is our goal to ensure that the Report Object Model is comprehensive and accounts for the needs of the Eclipse community and beyond."

"The BIRT Report Object Model will pave the way for BIRT to effectively serve the Business Intelligence and Reporting needs of developers, add-in providers and corporations that have adopted Eclipse as their chosen development environment," said Scott Rosenbaum, vice president at Innovent Solutions, a member of the BIRT Project Management Committee. "We hope that the proposed report schema provides the foundation for a standard report definition; one that covers the full range of reports from simple listing style reports through complex, highly formatted reports."

More Information

Those who wish to view the BIRT Report Object Model or wish to provide feedback to the BIRT newsgroup can do so by visiting http://www.eclipse.org/birt/index.html.

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Thursday, January 06, 2005

The Return of the Pig

The Return of the Pig
Summary
The key to building a distributed application successfully lies in a sensible partition of work across the different boundaries and devices. With a client/server program, one of the advantages it offers over a more traditional thin client is that for each task, instead of having to wait for the server to page the application back into memory, process the results of the display buffer, and prepare output, the PC is able to offload some of the validation and processing locally.

By Joe Winchester
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The key to building a distributed application successfully lies in a sensible partition of work across the different boundaries and devices. With a client/server program, one of the advantages it offers over a more traditional thin client is that for each task, instead of having to wait for the server to page the application back into memory, process the results of the display buffer, and prepare output, the PC is able to offload some of the validation and processing locally.

Not only is this more responsive to the user, but it makes sense to have a physical division of responsibilities in which code logic is executed closest to where relevant resources lie. Field-level validation, defaulting, and completion of values can all be done on the client. Even where such processing requires trips to the server, an atomic call to the server on a text field's focus-change event can easily validate an entry against a database. By scheduling the display thread this way the GUI can remain responsive. Another benefit of using the client's windowing subsystem fully is the ability to open multiple shells or dialogs simultaneously and have the user move, size, and arrange them to make the best use of the available space.

In a presentation to users or a sales pitch to potential customers, the eye-candy of a windows program will always win over a terminal-based application. In chapter one of the client/server wars, those with a lot of investment in back-end technology required a quick fix to counter the glitterati of the GUI, and one technique that arose is "screen scraping." This is where the data stream intended for the server's terminal is interpreted and re-presented on the desktop using a best guess set of controls and widgets. From the back of a dimmed room in a demo or on the noisy floor of a software booth at a conference, it looks pretty impressive. It's no more than a fool's shiny silver bullet, however, as all that it gains is the glitter of the GUI without any accompanying depth. The transactional mode of the application remains with logic being done on the server; simultaneous multiple windows don't occur as the workflow is restricted to merely coloring in the terminal's display, and an extra layer of processing has been added to the previously working program for very little perceived benefit.

One metaphor often used to describe screen scraping is "lipstick on a pig," perhaps loaded slightly unfairly with the implication being that the original application shares its characteristics with a snorting, mud-loving suidae beast. What is correct with the analogy is that skin-deep cosmetics don't change the true makeup of the underlying subject.

Screen scraping fortunately hasn't taken root in serious application development, instead the Web browser has become the modern terminal; HTML, the display format; and users have been delivered the graphical interface they yearned for. While true client/server developers were wrestling, solving issues such as systems management and distribution in a heterogeneous world, the Web filled in the software space created by the growth in the PC market and the availability of faster and cheaper networks.

Web applications still suffer from some of the problems that any page-based server GUI has, including the transactional nature of the screens, round-tripping for validation not delivering a highly responsible application, and the difficulty of working with multiple windows simultaneously. Most of the problems that plagued client/server development have been solved and several customers I talked to are reassessing the desktop because their applications have reached the physical boundaries of what a traditional J2EE program can deliver. There are more tools available now such as Java Web Start, better Swing libraries, and the Eclipse Rich Client Platform.

History has a habit of repeating itself, and in the past few months I've been alarmed to see demos of and read about several new ways to create a "rich desktop application" from within J2EE. All of these eloquently outline the current problems and limitations of the Web programming model from a user standpoint and preach the advantages of maximizing the power of the desktop. What is disturbing is that a lot of these then present a solution that is no more than 21st century screen scraping. Some of these offer solutions in which the same presentation markup can be rendered in a browser as a portlet or else in a desktop engine as the same GUI, but with native controls.

The debated advantages to this are that the investment in existing technology is preserved, and the same program can be deployed into a browser or to the user's desktop with the flick of a switch. My fear regarding these kinds of programs is that on the desktop they won't look and feel and behave as a true client program should, and because they falsely use adjectives such as "rich" or "desktop" to describe them, they'll somehow dilute these terms and make it hard for users to distinguish a dressed-up Web application from a true client one.

One of the advantages of having the browser shell is that every thing that lies within it is expected to operate in a certain way, and requests to the user to "press retry to refresh the page" or notifications that a "session time-out occurred" have become acceptable. Disguising the browser with native controls but not offering any of the advantages of a properly constructed client program offers a thin veneer that is no different from the screen scraping techniques of yore.

When the same server program can kick out a browser and rich GUI, is this an elegant solution that is going to meet the user's requirements, or is it just something that is technically elegant and demos well, but behind the robes is no more than lipstick on a browser?

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CA joins Eclipse Foundation

CA joins Eclipse Foundation
[Johannesburg, 5 January 2005] - Computer Associates International, Inc. and the Eclipse Foundation today announced that CA has joined the Eclipse Foundation and will contribute code to the Eclipse Test and Performance Tools Platform (TPTP) Top-Level Project. CA has also been appointed by the TPTP Project Management Committee (PMC) as the TPTP Monitoring Tools Project Lead.

“We are delighted to have CA contribute to the success of the Eclipse Platform and the TPTP Project,” said Mike Milinkovich, executive director of the Eclipse Foundation. “The commitment of global companies like CA demonstrates the momentum behind our initiatives and importance of our work for the IT community.”

The Eclipse TPTP Project extends the family of Eclipse technologies to provide an open development platform for supplying frameworks and services for software test and performance tools used throughout the lifecycle to support the full spectrum of computing systems – from standalone through highly-distributed, and from embedded to enterprise. As the Project Lead for TPTP Monitoring Tools Project, CA will play an important role in advancing and fulfilling the charter of TPTP.

“Joining the Eclipse Foundation underscores CA's commitment to embrace the open source paradigm,” said Yogesh Gupta, senior vice president and chief technology officer at CA. “CA will work closely with the Eclipse community to broaden the spectrum of the test and performance tools available on the Eclipse Platform.”

CA has worked closely with the Eclipse Project to fully integrate CA's AllFusion Harvest Change Manager with Eclipse 3.0. AllFusion Harvest Change Manager manages all stages of the software life cycle to improve the quality, reliability and auditability of both traditional and web-based applications to streamline the development process. Access and use of AllFusion Harvest Change Manager from any Eclipse environment provides a single point of control for changes, automates resource tracking, helps to satisfy audit and government requirements for record-keeping and management reporting, and increases programmer productivity.

For additional information on the Eclipse Test and Performance Tools Platform Project please visit http://www.eclipse.org/test-and-performance/index.html.

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Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Oracle Puts Integration At Its Core

Oracle Puts Integration At Its Core
JDEVELOPER

The JDeveloper environment sports an entirely new interface that’s based on the open-source JGoodies components and animation, which are available at Sun’s dev.java.net site.

“We targeted it to [JetBrains’] IntelliJ and Eclipse users,” said Ted Farrell, architect and director of strategy for application development tools.

Oracle also has released its Application Development Framework, which is a set of graphical user interface components that adhere to the JCP’s JavaServer Faces specification.

Oracle claims the tool has a 30 percent performance increase, due to enhancements in database access, caching and asynchronous batch processing.

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Java Year Focused on Tools

Java Year Focused on Tools
It was a year for tools, and nothing eclipsed the open-source platform underlying IBM’s WebSphere application development and deployment platform.

In February, Big Blue liberated the platform by turning it over to a separate nonprofit corporation with five membership levels. The new Eclipse Foundation would no longer be led by an IBM employee, nor by an employee of the other strategic developers, Intel and QNX. In June, it named Oracle’s former vice president Mike Milinkovich as executive director.

Having opened the foundation for its platform, IBM used the political capital it earned to demand that Sun open up Java itself. By year’s end, Sun had partially acquiesced, making the source code to the J2SE 6.0 libraries available for noncommercial use.

Eclipse itself received an upgrade, featuring a user interface that can manage more than 100 plug-ins. As a result, many smaller application vendors that build stand-alone applications, from testing tools to interface designers to full-fledged development environments, converted these to become Eclipse plug-ins.

Sun attempted to create its own star with the Java Tools Community, but it was a white dwarf compared to the Eclipse red giant. The group did not lay out a road map for its efforts, but said it intended to work with toolmakers and customers to make the Java platform easier for creating tools; it dubbed this capability “toolability.” It would take these efforts to the Java Community Process.

While Sun’s JTC did not shine, the Java owner did make progress with some of its own tools. In April, the company released a renamed version of its tools. In addition, it released a new tool called Java Studio Creator intended for business programmers not as experienced with the intricacies of Java development.

Hearing the same drumbeat of simplicity, Oracle released a version of JDeveloper with a graphical interface that the company claimed even nonprogrammers could use.

For its part, BEA tried to advance its tools platform by giving portions of it away. The company in January released a toolkit to help port Page Flows to other application servers and submitted its XML Beans to Apache.

In June, it followed up by launching what it called Project Beehive, an application framework that sits between the WebLogic application server and the application itself. So far, the server will work with the Apache Tomcat container and is scheduled to work with the Apache Geronimo server, but does not work with other application servers.

However, one significant project, called Pollinate, will enable the Beehive framework to work with the Eclipse framework. That way, developers would be able to use Eclipse tools to build applications that run on the WebLogic server.

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IBM Releases v1.1 of Reflexive User Interface

IBM Releases v1.1 of Reflexive User Interface

Version 1.1 of IBM's RIB (Reflexive User Interface) builder includes Eclipse SWT GUI validation, along with the ability to create Java source for GUIs made by RIB.

Recent updates to IBM's RIB (Reflexive User Interface) builder include the capacity to validate Eclipse SWT GUIs, create Java source for GUIs made by RIB, and embed Java source code in RIB documents.

The application creates and renders graphical user interfaces (GUIs) for Java Swing and Eclipse Standard Widget Toolkit (SWT) based on a descriptive XML document. IBM Reflexive User Interface Builder is a specification for a mark-up language in which to describe GUIs; and an engine for creating and, rendering them.

The application can be used as a stand-alone application for testing and evaluating basic GUI layout and functionality, or it can be used as a library within the context of a Java application for creating and rendering GUIs for that application.

IBM released the GUI rendering tool last July. It was designed to improve application developed by making coding of GUI's in Java easier and less error prone. Using RIB, developers can test and evaluate basic GUI layout and functionality, or to create and render GUIs for an application.

Before, hand coding was the only method that could be used. Using a markup language to specify GUIs provides another means of validating properties illustrating the relations between components.

Version 1.1 expands application development, in the process making Eclipse a more attractive platform. Moreover, more-sophisticated GUIs consisting of several panes in a javax.swing can be created.

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Related links:
http://www.alphaworks.ibm.com/tech/rib
http://today.java.net/pub/n/RUIBUpdate
http://www.theserverside.com/news/thread.tss?thread_id=30772




Saturday, January 01, 2005

Ways to help with tsunami relief

Tsunami Relief
The link above will take you to the resources page created by Google.

New look for 2005!

EclipseTracker now has a new look. If subscribers experience usability issues, or have any suggestions, please email blog coordinator at eclipsetracker at gmail dot com