The application server market is flooded, but GemStone Systems offers a different twist: a built-in object database that is well suited to the Java programming model.
Now that the GemStone J 2.0 application server - announced recently - supports the Enterprise JavaBeans specification, developers won't have to write middleware code that starts and stops transactions, checks security, stores data in the database and manages the user session.
They just have to write Enterprise JavaBeans-compliant interfaces for applications designed to run in a distributed environment over the Internet or a private network.
For example, the Federal Aviation Administration's telecommunications division is working on Java applications that will let employees order telephone services and track maintenance activities.
In building the Java application, the FAA had to write five layers of software, including a layer of objects that define the properties and business functions that need to take place.
But GemStone's Enterprise JavaBeans support will eliminate the need for the FAA to write that layer of code.
GemStone's application server stores data in its "native-business-object" form, so a devel-oper doesn't have to write the code that extracts the data from the object in order to store the data in a relational database, said Anne Thomas, an analyst at Patricia Seybold Group in Boston.
"It not only saves time, it reduces the number of errors that occur when you try to convert business objects into relational data," Thomas said.
Scale to thousands
Meanwhile, Systems and Computer Technology (SCT), in Pennsylvania, is using GemStone's product to help its application scale for thousands of users.
The application server acts as the underlying technology for specifying the location of Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA) objects and handling workflow and transaction services, said Frank Tait, vice president of business development and strategy at SCT.