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Symantec Announces Version 2.5 of Visual Café for Java Professional Development Edition

Fully Customizable User Interface and Open API Architecture Boosts User Productivity and Enables Third Parties to Tightly Integrate External Applications

Cupertino, Calif. --February 9, 1998-- Symantec Corporation (Nasdaq:SYMC), the leading provider of Internet development tools, announced today the availability of Visual Café for Java 2.5 Professional Development Edition, a comprehensive set of advanced tools for the serious Java developer that adheres to established Java standards. Professional developers will get the most innovative power features and fastest compilers available to dramatically shorten their Java development cycle.

Symantec's Internet Tools Division is committed to providing Java developers with the latest advancements in Java technology including: Debugging from within Netscape and Microsoft web browsers; Customizable user interface; Open API architecture; RAD on/off switch; Native compilation; Year 2000 compliance; and Symantec's Just-in-Time Compiler (JIT) 3.0. These features are some of the leading edge technologies currently available.

With Version 2.5, Visual Café for Java Professional Development Edition introduces a new Open API model, making it possible for corporate developers, VARs and independent software vendors (ISVs) to create applications and tools that can work directly within, or tightly integrate with, Visual Café for Java. This Open API approach opens the door to an essentially limitless set of ways to extend the capabilities and functionality of Visual Café for Java.

"We believe that our open API architecture is a critical ingredient for defining industry standards," said Mansour Safai, vice president of Symantec's Internet Tools division. "As the accepted industry standard in Java development tools, Visual Café for Java 2.5 Professional Development Edition gives users more control over the look and feel of their development environment. It also gives corporate developers, VARs and ISVs open access to the way Visual Café for Java interacts with external tools and applications, enabling them to blend their tools and applications with this powerful Java IDE, and providing end users with enhanced functionality."

"Symantec's willingness to listen and respond to the needs of developers is apparent in version 2.5 of Visual Café for Java," said Evan Quinn, Director of Java research at International Data Corporation. "In addition, 2.5 provides corporate Java adopters the features necessary to deploy Java beyond the workgroup."

To boost developer productivity, Visual Café for Java 2.5 includes a new, fully customizable user interface that enables users to tailor the Visual Café development environment to their preferences. Developers can switch between Multiple Document Interface (MDI) and Single Document Interface (SDI) mode, and manipulate open windows by using the new Cascade, Tile Vertically or Tile Horizontally commands. A new Workbook Tabs option allows them to view all of the currently open docking windows when using the MDI mode. If the developer prefers working in a 3GL environment, but wants the advantages of using a RAD development tools, Symantec's RAD on/off switch allows them to turn off automatic code generation on selected projects, or on phases of projects until the user is ready to turn it back on.

Keith Larman, technical director at Psychometrics Inc., a test development and research organization that specializes in tests designed for the selection and evaluation of high level technical personnel, is finding that Visual Café for Java 2.5 Professional Development Edition is enabling him to quickly prototype Java-based applications. "We evaluate many of the latest application development tools and we really like Visual Café for Java's flexible, customizable user interface," states Larman. "I've found that Visual Café for Java provides me with a lot of control over the way my Java application will look and behave, and this has cut in half the time to prototype applications. Also, the Java code Visual Café creates is very clean providing an ideal starting point for the integration of more code and functionality."

Visual Café for Java 2.5 Professional Development Edition is rich in features that focus on making developers more productive, and provides them with ways to seamlessly integrate Visual Café for Java into their corporate application development and deployment fabric. In addition to providing compatibility with JDK (1.1.5), Version 2.5 offers developers flexible user interface options to customize their work environment, as well as, through new APIs, tight integration of Visual Café for Java with third party applications. Key features in this new release include:

  1. Customizable User Interface. Symantec's Customizable User Interface gives developers more control over their work environment by allowing them to customize the user interface with their personal preferences. Developers can easily switch between Multiple Document Interface (MDI) and Single Document Interface (SDI) mode; manipulate open windows with the new Cascade, Tile Vertically or Tile Horizontally commands; and view all of the currently open docking windows in MDI mode with the new Workbook Tabs option to bring any window to the forefront.
    Window Docking: Visual Café for Java now fully implements both Multiple Document Interface (MDI) and Single Document Interface (SDI) environments. With MDI enabled, a workspace frame is created within Visual Café, with which users can dock up to 10 windows for fast access to any window. A toggle provides a way to switch between MDI and SDI.
    Workbook Tabs: Used in conjunction with the MDI dockable window feature, Workbook Tabs enable developers to quickly bring any window to the front.
    View Menu: The View menu replaces the Window menu as the location of the window shortcuts. In addition, the View menu allows the developers to turn on/off the Workbook tabs and the Status Bar, providing the means to instantly free up valuable frame space.
    Window Clean-Up Commands: To provide fast clean up of cluttered workspaces, the standard Cascade, Tile Horizontally and Tile Vertically commands have been added to the Window menu.
  2. RAD On/Off Switch: Visual Café was one of the first Java development environments to offer developers form-centric rapid application development (RAD), whereby programming is achieved through manipulation of visual objects, with the application automatically generating corresponding Java code in a separate window. For developers who prefer to work in a 3GL (file-centric) environment, but want the advantages using a RAD (4GL) development tool, they can simply turn off automatic code generation on selected projects, or on phases of projects until they are ready to turn it back on with Symantec's new RAD on/off switch.
  3. Open API Architecture. In order to give developers the ability to completely integrate Visual Café for Java into any development environment or user application, Symantec has published its key Application Programming Interface (API) specifications. By using the following APIs, software vendors can create applications and tools that are more tightly integrated with — or even work within — Visual Café for Java:
    Menu Hooks API — provides a way of adding menu items to the Visual Café Menu bar, enabling third party vendors to tightly integrate their product with Visual Café for Java;
    Project Templates API — provides a way for third party vendors to add new project templates which can then interact directly with their own code to create application-specific Java projects. This enables third parties to spawn a number of project templates that can make development of Java applications and controls very simple. For example, a systems integrator specializing in a niche application area such as sales automation can now create project wizards that they can then reuse to build solutions for their customers;
    Project Windows Extension API — enables third party vendors to enhance the projects window, and to notify the owner or user of specific events. For example, software companies with version control software could add controls that would show the development team which software modules have been checked out for modification;
    CASE API — third parties can take advantage of this API to receive notification of project level events, as well as to query and set component property values. By seamlessly integrating with the project system, developers will be able to use popular CASE tools in conjunction with Visual Cafe, relieving them of the worry about synchronizing files and projects, and enabling them to focus on completing their project;
    Source Code Manipulation and Integration API — enables third party vendors to add their own classes and components for Visual Café users. This ensures that when the user accesses any of the classes provided by a third party vendor, any change made in the source code gets propagated across all the files, including the project files;
    Symantec BeanInfo Extensions — provide visual development environments with information missing from the BeanInfo Specification. This provides information for the placement and attributes of JavaBeans within the development environment, and provides code generation between objects within the development environment;
Visual Café for Java Product Line
Symantec's suite of Java development tools include both HTML and Java authoring products, designed to address the complete range of Internet development needs. Internet development tools offered by Symantec include Visual Page, Visual Café for Java 2.0 Web Development Edition, Visual Café for Java 2.5

Professional Development Edition and Visual Café for Java 2.5 Database Development Edition (EDITOR'S NOTE: see today's separate release, Symantec Releases Version 2.5 of Visual Café for Java Database Development Edition.)

Symantec Visual Café has won virtually every award available for Java development tools, including InfoWorld's Product of the Year Award, PC Magazine Award for Technical Excellence 1997, JavaWorld Editor's Choice Award, PC Computing MVP Winner, Java Developer's Journal World Class Award, the InfoWorld Best of the Test Center, InternetWorld Best of Test, Byte Editor's Choice Award, User's Choice award, ZD Internet Net Best, Software Development Jolt Award, Byte Best of Comdex, PC Magazine Editor's Choice, c|net Best of the Net Award, Web Techniques Best Java Tool of the Year Award, among others.

Pricing and Availability
Symantec's Visual Café for Java 2.5, Professional Development Edition will be available in March for Windows 95/NT and is expected to sell for an Estimated Retail Price (ERP) of $299.95. Version 2.0 and 2.1 customers should use the LiveUpdate feature to download a free upgrade from the Symantec Web site. Upgrades from Symantec Visual Café are also available from Symantec for $99. For more information, customers should call 1-800-453-1059, or visit

About Java
Java is a programming language developed by Sun Microsystems for developing cross-platform applications across the public Internet and corporate intranets. Sun Microsystems, Inc.'s Java, is the de facto standard platform for network computing.

About Symantec's Internet Tools Division
The Symantec Internet Tools Division pioneered the Java development tools market by delivering the first development product for Java in March, 1996. Since then, the division has continued to develop, market and support a complete line of Java development tools worldwide, bringing the latest advances in Java technology to Internet developers

About Symantec
Symantec Corporation helps make users productive and keep their computers safe and reliable anywhere and anytime. Symantec offers a broad range of solutions and is acclaimed as a leader in both customer satisfaction and product brand recognition. The company is focused on addressing customer needs in three main application areas: the Norton product line of anti-virus and PC-assistance products; the pcANYWHERE, WinFax and ACT! product lines that cater to remote user productivity; and the Cafe product lines in Internet development tools.

Founded in 1982, the company's global operations span North America, Europe, Japan and several fast growing markets throughout Asia Pacific and Latin America. Traded on Nasdaq under the symbol SYMC, Symantec Corporation is based in Cupertino, California and employs more than 2,000 people. Information on the company and its products can be obtained by calling (800) 441-7234 toll free, (541) 334-6054 or accessed on the World Wide Web at

NOTE TO EDITORS: If you would like additional information on Symantec Corporation and its products, please view the Symantec Press Center at on Symantec's web site.

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