Java will surpass ActiveX as the core language for component-based development (CBD) by 2000, according to International Data Corporation (IDC) research released at Progress Software's recent users conference and expo here.
But while IDC predicts the use of Java beans to grow faster than ActiveX over the next five years, Stephen Garone, IDC's research director for components, objects and development environments, maintains "Java is not going to take over the world". Instead, the two platforms will co-exist, necessitating the development of "bridges" between the two technologies, Garone said.
CBD is one of three areas IDC has identified as primary drivers of growth in the software development tools market. According to Garone, "developers need to get a better idea of what CBD is and what it can do for them".
Unlike object-based technologies, which he concedes have not met analyst expectations, Garone claims adoption of CBD will be more rapid because "components can more easily be related to specific business functions".
Vendors in the space will also contribute to the "very robust growth rate" predicted for CBD once they start more sagaciously evangelising their products, Garone said.
The Internet and Java are the other two technologies IDC predicts will boost the software development tools market. The migration of applications to the Web is reflected in preliminary IDC figures which indicate both the Web application server and Internet-centric development environment sectors are growing at more than 30 per cent annually.
As for Java, Garone said large companies are ahead of small and mid-size businesses in adopting the platform. Although the hype surrounding the language "has far exceeded adoption", Garone claims a lack of knowledge about Java and concerns surrounding its capacity to integrate with legacy environments have also hindered its uptake in many industries.
Progress Software is hoping IDC's crystal ball proves to be accurate. The company has also announced its Apptivity Java-based application server and development tool now supports IBM's Network Station Series 1000 network computer range.
Jennifer Bergantino, Progress' vice president of marketing and strategic planning, told delegates the company is condensing its server offerings. Later this year, Progress will release a Corba-based version of the Apptivity server and it also plans to unify its application server and WebSpeed transaction server into a single release, which it is code-naming Skywalker.
The Apptivity and Skywalker releases will then be rolled into the single open transaction server product planned for next year.
Until that time, Dennis Moore, vice president of Apptivity product unit marketing, said enhancements to Apptivity will centre around the application logic tier of the server.
Naomi Jackson flew to Dallas as a guest of Progress Software