Cupertino, Calif --July 28, 1998-- Building on its history as an innovator in Java development solutions, Symantec Corporation (Nasdaq: SYMC) today announced Visual Café for Java, Enterprise Suite, the first of a new generation of software tools for enterprise rapid application development (ERAD) using Java. ERAD technology makes developing distributed applications - so-called because they run on multiple, often geographically dispersed computers - as easy as developing software for one machine.
In addition to being the first ERAD tool, Visual Café for Java, Enterprise Suite also represents a major foray into the market for tools for building Java applications that run in large networks, or "enterprises" as they are sometimes known - a market in which Symantec has made significant progress. Recent reports show that about 40 percent of all of the company's software sales are for building or maintaining software for enterprises.
"Considering the global nature of markets today, distributed software applications are a requirement for doing business," said Gordon Eubanks, president and chief executive officer of Symantec Corp. "In fact, most people are exposed to the most common distributed application everyday - a program that authorizes a retailer to charge a credit card. Visual Café for Java, Enterprise Suite makes it practical for the first time to build these applications in Java."
ERAD - the next generation of Java development tools Enterprise Rapid Application Development (ERAD) builds on a history of innovations from Symantec in Java software tools. Symantec introduced the first and still most popular Java development tool, Visual Café, in late 1995. Visual Café for Java, Enterprise Suite builds on the features first introduced by Visual Café to provide the technology breakthrough that characterizes ERAD: a single image that makes the normally complex distributed development process look and feel like developing on one machine.
Using earlier-generation tools, developers individually track and build each piece of their distributed applications by physically going from computer to computer, making the process difficult under even the best conditions and creating a nightmare when debugging is required. Working on multiple computers to diagnose and fix a bug can easily take days. Visual Café for Java, Enterprise Suite solves this problem by tracking each piece of a distributed application as it is built automatically, and doing that tracking from one location so that the developer sees the application as a whole instead of fragmented parts. This feature provides important benefits, including reducing the time for debugging applications from days to hours or even minutes.
"The Visual Café for Java, Enterprise Suite approach to making distributed application development look the same as developing for a single machine enables businesses to rapidly develop critical applications in Java," said Evan Quinn, director of Java Research at International Data Corporation. Continued Quinn, "Businesses no longer need to sacrifice ease-of-development when building complex applications such as payment systems and inventory control software."
As the first true ERAD tool, Visual Café for Java, Enterprise Suite also provides other key features for distributed development in addition to a single system image and distributed debugging:
100 percent Java
Visual Café for Java, Enterprise Suite lets developers write their applications, even database applications, entirely in Java. Today developers write Java database applications in both Java and a database-specific language called Structured Query Language (SQL).
Deployment platform independence
Visual Café for Java, Enterprise Suite provides deployment platform independence, so that developers can write Java applications that can be deployed on virtually any application server platform. This platform independence allows debugging across multiple platforms and virtual machines, including Sun's Solaris, Hewlett-Packard's HP/UX, IBM's AIX, and Windows NT. It also allows full interoperability between different applications, without regard for the language their logic or objects are written in, whether Java, C++, Cobol, or other development languages.
To achieve platform independence, Visual Café for Java, Enterprise Suite is the only application development environment based on an open platform that supports a wide variety of middle-tier application servers and Object Request Brokers (ORBs) for deploying distributed applications. Unlike Microsoft's Visual J++, which is primarily for developing applications for the Windows platform, Visual Café for Java, Enterprise Suite lets developers leverage their existing investments in tools and target the server platform -- hardware, operating system, and enterprise application -- of their choice.
This is an important development according to Tim Jones, Senior Web Architect for NationsBanc Montgomery Securities LLC. Says Jones, "In our enterprise environment, the ability to access the middle tiers is critical for integrating different technologies. We expect that Visual Café for Java, Enterprise Suite will be able to play this central role."
Advanced visual development features
The easy-to-use, intuitive, drag-and-drop environment of Visual Café for Java, Enterprise Suite simplifies the development of complex Java applications, and helps developers work fast and productively. Key tools include wizards, class browsers, and a sophisticated interaction editor that lets developers create applications quickly and easily using JavaBeans components. JavaBeans are small software programs that can be combined and distributed over many computers on a network, making them a requirement for distributed applications development.
"In bringing true Enterprise Rapid Application Development to life for Java developers, Symantec is helping to fulfill our development needs as a customer," said Scott Mangol, manager, EDI Systems at Highmark Inc. "Based on our early evaluations of it, Visual Café for Java, Enterprise Suite has the environment best-suited for creating server -based distributed systems in Java."
Leveraging distributed object technologies
Visual Café for Java, Enterprise Suite provides a rich environment for quickly and easily building, deploying and managing distributed systems based on the leading software architectures for distributed computing: the Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA) standard developed by the Object Management Group industry consortium, and the Remote Method Invocation (RMI) technology from Sun Microsystems. Symantec will support best-of-breed CORBA and RMI tools, including Iona's OrbixWeb Java object request broker and Sun's JavaIDL. In addition Symantec will support Inprise's VisiBroker for Java, as well as other technologies as they become available.
Through its open interfaces, Visual Café for Java, Enterprise Suite will also support the transition to the latest Java technology provided in Sun's Java Developers Kit (JDK), including support for Enterprise JavaBeans as it becomes available.
"Java technology provides the foundation for enabling Enterprise Rapid Application Development to be possible, said Jonathan Schwartz, director of Java enterprise products at Sun Microsystems, Inc.'s Java Software. "Symantec's Visual Café for Java, Enterprise Suite allows developers to write their applications, including distributed applications, entirely in Java software. We applaud Symantec's efforts to provide their users with a path to Enterprise JavaBeans technology through Visual Café's open interfaces."
A live webcast and a full list of the Visual Café for Java, Enterprise Suite features can be found at http://Café.symantec.com.
Pricing and Availability
Pricing for Visual Café for Java, Enterprise Suite will be announced when it ships in the fourth quarter of 1998.
Symantec is the world leader in utility software for business and personal computing. Symantec products and solutions help 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. Symantec is traded on Nasdaq under the symbol SYMC. More information on the company and its products can be obtained at www.symantec.com.
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. Symantec's suite of Java development tools include Visual Café for Java, Enterprise Suite, Visual Café for Java 2.5 Database Development Edition, Visual Café for Java 2.5 Professional Development Edition Visual Page, Visual Café for Java 2.0 Web Development Edition and Visual Page.
NOTE TO EDITORS: If you would like additional information on Symantec Corporation and its products, view the Symantec Press Center at www.symantec.com/PressCenter/ on Symantec's Website.