Oracle opens its toolbox to updates

Oracle opens its toolbox to updates

Oracle has rolled out a new edition of its JDeveloper toolbox, with a focus on Java, performance and Web services.

The tools complete the trio of products that Oracle categorises as 9i. The other two are the database and application server.

"This is a major rewrite of our developer tools. It's been completely rewritten in Java," said John Magee, director of 9i marketing at Oracle.

Oracle is placing considerable emphasis on its tools for the Java side, much the way Microsoft does for .Net, Magee said.

This latest incarnation of JDeveloper includes features for better performance, Web services and tighter integration with Oracle's application server.

To increase developer performance, Oracle included built-in profiling, which enables programmers to measure execution and code they've written, and a Code Coach feature that can give users feedback on performance problems and suggest replacement code in certain instances. Code Coach works in a manner similar to the spelling checker in Microsoft Word.

As one of the players driving Web services, Oracle already supports SOAP (simple object access protocol) on the server side. The new tools bring support for SOAP, UDDI (universal description and discovery), and WSDL (Web services description language) to developers' bag of tricks. Additionally, JDeveloper includes wizards that make transforming existing systems and applications into Web services easier.

"Developers don't necessarily have to learn everything about SOAP. For us it is another deployment option," Magee said.

Most of the tools vendors are working to ease deployment of Web services as well. In May, tools vendor Borland issued a new version of its Delphi tools, which enables programmers to Web services-enable their existing applications without rewriting a lot of extra code. Delphi 6.0, in fact, includes compiler-level support for SOAP and WSDL so that users essentially can deploy an application as a Web service by selecting an option from a pull-down menu. Other tools players, such as WebGain with Application Composer and Rational Software with DevelopmentStudio, are also equipping their software to help developers create and deploy Web services.

Magee said that another benefit the new toolset brings is tighter integration with the application server, including BI (business intelligence) and modelling.

By integrating its tool set with its application server, Oracle joins the ranks of IBM, Microsoft and Sun Microsystems.

JDeveloper will be available in December as a free download from Oracle's Technology Network.

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