Inprise - Borland renamed - said it will launch an Enterprise Application Server, bringing the company in direct competition with Oracle, Netscape, Microsoft and Sybase.
The new product, referred to as Inprise Application Server in some documents, will be an integrated toolset for the development, deployment and management of distributed, object oriented applications. The central component will be Visibroker, the object request broker from Visigenics, which Borland acquired in a deal announced last November.
On top of Visibroker, Inprise is developing a transaction processing system, which is currently in beta. Other components of Inprise Application Server will be Appcenter, the recently launched application management environment, and new "enterprise" versions of the development tools Delphi and JBuilder. Inprise will also add security services, Web services and links to legacy systems such as IBM Cics.
These various components will be announced over the next few months, Inprise senior vice president of R&D Rick LeFaivre said. At the company?s developers? conference in July, most components will be either in alpha, beta or shipping stages, LeFaivre told 'VNU Newswire'.
One of the components will be an Enterprise edition of Delphi. It will include a 'push-button' way of generating an application as either a distributed application based on the Distributed Computing Environment standard, or an object supporting the Microsoft Dcom model or the Object Management Group Corba specification. It will be integrated with Appcenter.
LeFaivre said the Application Server environment will also work with other programming languages, such as C++ and Visual Basic. However, it will be strongly geared towards Enterprise Java Beans from Sun.
The new Inprise strategy will bring the company in competition with some of its key partners. Oracle currently licenses Visibroker for its own Oracle Application Server, as well as reselling a version of JBuilder. Netscape resells Visibroker as a part of Netscape Enterprise Server.
However, LeFaivre told 'VNU Newswire' he doesn?t believe the company?s plans will interfere with its current licensing deals. ?Visibroker is the best object request broker on the market. So we think people who want to integrate a broker will continue to license it.?
Microsoft is also eyeing the application server market, with its Transaction Server and Dcom technologies. So are Sybase and IBM. Other potential competitors are coming from the Web (such as Net Dynamics) or the middleware market (Bea and Iona).
Inprise chairman and CEO Del Yocam, in an interview with 'VNU Newswire', described the benefits of an integrated enterprise application. ?It really allows corporations to develop applications at a much faster pace and at a lower cost. With object technology, they can reuse a lot of components instead of having to recreate everything from scratch each time they develop a different application. Only the unique features would have to be developed.?
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