Alan Baratz, president of Sun Microsystems' Javasoft division, has shown Java running enterprise applications on top of MS-Dos, following a series of product launches.
In a keynote speech at Internet World, Baratz prepared for Sun's push to show corporates that they can run Java applications now without having to ditch their legacy hardware or operating systems.
"This is not a pie in the sky vision... it's today," he said. Businesses face two problems; discarding systems, and users that upgrade their own PCs because upgrading hardware and software takes too long.
Rather than offer the "complete replacement solution" as other vendors do, Baratz said, Sun offers the chance to "wrap and embrace" - combine existing software with Java and add to their installed systems by using Java applications on top of existing technology.
Using a 66MHz PC running Dos with Java Jumpstart on top, he demonstrated six Java applications from various Java developers to cover tasks such as expenses and purchasing.
He claimed the next Java Development Kit release, code-named Hotspot, will run as fast as native C++. Baratz also demonstrated a beta version of Swing Set, a developers' tool that offers the look and feel of Windows, Motif, Java or any custom design.
The Javasoft unit also announced another raft of Java products at Internet World, intended to turn some of Java's promise into useful business products.
The company introduced Java Jumpstart for the Enterprise, Java Activator and the delayed Enterprise Javabeans draft specification, to show that companies can begin using Java by running Java applications on top of other OSs, including Unix and Windows/Dos.
At a Javasoft product launch, Javasoft product marketing director David Spenhoff said: "You can deploy Java on your existing infrastructure to begin using Java-based network computing. There is no need to toss out existing systems to gain the benefits of Java platform independence, safe network delivery and scalability."
Jumpstart, which will be launched during Sun's Jump To Java seminars in early 1998, is a product suite for corporates which want to begin using Java. It includes: Java Runtime Environment, the standard Java platform; JavaPC, DOS-based software that turns existing 486 or Pentium PCs running any OS into Java-based network computers; Java Activator, software that allows Internet Explorer users to run a 100 per cent Java Virtual Machine; Hot Java Views, the Webtop environment; Webtop Server, Views' back end support; services such as Java Web Server; and development tools.
Activator appears to sidestep Microsoft's alleged breach of contract over Java but Baratz said it does not solve the dispute. "It just means developers can use our 100 per cent Java Virtual Machine for apps running on Internet Explorer 4.0," he said.
The Enterprise Javabeans specification defines an application programming interface (API) so developers can build blocks of software to form re-usable components of applications - for example, a Javabean to handle inventory tracking. 1112com1
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