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IBM Expertise Advances Development of the Java Platform

Contributions Made to Enterprise, NC, Speech, JFCs and SmartCard Technologies

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SAN FRANCISCO - 24 Mar 1998: . . . Java** technology is continuing to make rapid advances in key areas such as enterprise computing due to the expertise of IBM's world-class research and development teams.

At the JavaOne** Worldwide Developer Conference, IBM highlighted its contributions to the development of Java transaction and component technologies. IBM was instrumental in the design of the Enterprise Java Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), including Enterprise JavaBeans**,Java Messaging Service (JMS) and Java Transaction Service (JTS).

In addition, IBM is providing valuable resources to the development of the Mobile Network Computer Reference Specification and OpenCard Framework. IBM is also showcasing the first JavaCard** and Java Speech API implementations.

Enterprise Java

IBM has participated extensively in Sun Microsystems' industry review process that has culminated in the Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB) 1.0 specification being announced at JavaOne. In addition to the concept of "sessions beans", which support transactions written in the style predominantly used for IBM's proven CICS* transactional technology today, IBM has contributed "entity beans", which maintain persistent state and can be recovered in the event of a system crash. This is a significant step forward for Java, which is derived from IBM's experience in developing Component Broker* and San Francisco*.

At JavaOne, Ian Brackenbury, chief technologist at IBM's Center for Java Technology in Hursley, England, and leader of the team that jointly developed EJB with Sun, will participate in the EJB Press Birds of a Feather session at 2:30 p.m. on March 25 in press room 130-131. He will also lead a conference session on Enterprise JavaBeans titled "Java Meets Middleware: Integrating Components, Transactions and the Web" at 1:30 p.m. on March 25 in room 120-125.

IBM has worked closely with Sun on the design of the JMS, which will add support for asynchronous, reliable message delivery to the Java Platform for the Enterprise. Enterprise messaging products are becoming an essential component for integrating intra-company or business-to-business operations. They allow separate business components to be combined into a reliable and flexible system.

Java language clients and Java language middle tier servers must be capable of using these messaging systems. JMS provides a common way for Java language programmers to access these systems. IBM has completed a prototype of JMS on the popular IBM MQSeries* product, which will be demonstrated at the Enterprise Pod in the Sun Pavilion, Booth 618.24 at JavaOne.

IBM recently completed the reference implementation of the JTS, which Sun and others have licensed. JTS adds transaction management capabilities to the Java platform, which guarantees that Java objects are maintained in a consistent state across multiple servers.

JTS is surfaced through the EJB specification, which allows developers to take advantage of enterprise-strength transaction software without having to write a line of transaction processing code. JTS is based on the CORBA Object Transaction Service --a specification to which IBM also contributed -- thus extending the strength of the CORBA open industry standard for distributed computing.

JavaCard

At JavaOne, IBM is demonstrating the first integrated JavaCard application development environment, which allows for the linking of smartcard applications to enterprise data. Using an integrated development environment like VisualAge* for Java, developers can incorporate all elements of the application, including enterprise database and transaction systems, to create Java applications that will run in both on-and-off card environments.

Part of the technology demonstration is a scalable and portable JavaCard Virtual Machine compliant to the JavaCard 2.0 specification. IBM's Walter Haenel, team leader, Smart Card for Java, will be demonstrating this technology in the Hackers Lounge during the duration of JavaOne.

OpenCard Framework

At JavaOne, IBM's Frank Seliger, Smart Card Solutions architect, will be previewing version 1.0 of the OpenCard Framework at a Birds of a Feather session at 7 p.m. March 24. A reference implementation demonstration created by IBM will be shown.

OpenCard is a standard framework announced by IBM, Netscape, NCI, and Sun Microsystems Inc. that provides for inter-operable smart cards solutions across many hardware and software platforms. The OpenCard framework is an open standard providing an architecture and a set of APIs that enable application developers and service providers to build and deploy smart-card-aware solutions in any OpenCard-compliant environment.

OpenCard leverages the advantages of the Java language and the Java platform for network computing solutions. An application developed on OpenCard and Java will run on any OpenCard-compliant computer. Changes and new cards can efficiently be managed using dynamic program loading from the net.

Mobile Network Computer Reference Specification

IBM played a leadership role in the development of the Mobile Network Computer Reference Specification (MNCRS) that was announced March 17. MNCRS is a set of guidelines, standards and APIs targeted at mobile network computers. It will be formally introduced at the JavaOne panel session titled "Java Technology in Mobility: An Introduction to the MNCRS" at 4 p.m. on March 26 in room 134. IBM's Henry Chang, co-chair of the Data Synchronization Group, will be presenting.

In April 1997, IBM approached Sun with the idea of creating a common set of standards for building mobile network computers, a new class of mobile Java devices, that range from "smart" phones to lightweight, hand-held mobile devices with easy access to the Internet or corporate networks.

The first release of the MNCRS is now available for public comment and review at http://www.oadg.or.jp/activity/mncrs or http://www.mncrs.org/.

IBM and Java Speech

IBM will demonstrate at JavaOne the first implementation of the Java Speech API. The demonstration will feature spreadsheet and dictation applications written in Java that will be integrated into the eSuite* WorkPlace. Bruce Lucas, IBM Research technologist, will be showcasing this technology at The Java Speech API technical track at 12:45p.m on March 24.

Also on March 24, IBM will release a no-charge speech technology that allows developers to incorporate speech capability into the user interfaces of Java applications. Speech for Java will be available for download from the alphaWorks web site at http://www.alphaworks.ibm.com.

Speech for Java is the first implementation of the Java Speech API. Specifically, it is an alpha release that implements a core subset of the beta Java Speech API, developed by IBM Research. Speech for Java is a Java programming interface for
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speech that gives Java application developers access to the IBM ViaVoice* speech technology. Speech for Java supports voice command recognition, dictation, and text-to-speech synthesis, based on the IBM ViaVoice technology.

Java Foundation Classes

The Visible Properties and Actions (VPA) framework extends the action class in the Java Foundation Classes (JFCs). Most graphical user interface (GUI)-based applications can be broken down into some core functionality "surrounded" by properties and actions. A property is an item of application data that can be directly viewed and changed by the end user. An action is an application function that can be directly invoked by the end user.

VPA provides a way for applications to unify an item of data or a function with the GUI information controlling how that data item or function can be accessed by the end user. This extension will allow developers or end-users to interactively add, remove, rearrange and modify the contents of menus, toolbars and other parts of the application's GUI using drag and drop. Visible Properties lets developers, with one line of code, define a data item that has built-in, synchronized GUI views, automatic persistence and is accessible anywhere in the code without the need to pass around a reference. As a result, building property pages has never been easier.

At JavaOne, Art Jolin from IBM Research will be hosting the Visual Properties and Action Birds of a Feather session at 2:00 March 24 in room 212.

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*Indicates trademark or registered trademark of International Business Machines Corporation. eSuite is a trademark of Lotus Development Corporation.

**Java and all Java-based trademarks and logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the United States and other countries.

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