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Show of Unity Breaks Down on Java Tools Community.

By Gavin Clarke

Despite an organized show of unity, Java platform providers and ISVs remain divided over an initiative for interoperability between rivals' Java development tools which is still missing two of the industry's most influential companies from its ranks.

Borland Software Corp, absent from the Java Tools Community (JTC) since its launch in January, yesterday repeated its concerns over the group's structure and potential relationship to the older Java Community Process (JCP).

Speaking at a Sun Microsystems Inc-organized panel to talk-up the strengths of the latest specification for server-side Java, J2EE 1.4, Borland vice president and general manager of developer tools George Paolini said for the interests of tools vendors to be properly represented at the JCP, a formalized process must be established. Paloini is concerned a structural relationship has not been established.

Eric Naiburg, group manager for desktop products at fellow JTC hold-out IBM, said IBM is committed to Eclipse as a framework.

Division over JTC came in the middle of a press event organized by Sun for Java 2 Enterprise Edition 1.4, the third version of the server-side Java specification, which was completed last November. Sun rallied BEA Systems and Oracle Corp with Borland, IBM and its own representative to discuss the impact of J2EE 1.4 on developers and tools at the San Francisco, California-event.

BEA, Oracle and Sun are JTC founder members, and are companies whose Java application development tools market share lag products from Borland and IBM. The trio of companies arguably has a greater incentive to band together in JTC than IBM and Borland.

Speaking at Sun's event yesterday, Borland repeated its earlier concerns that the JTC's relationship to the JCP requires proper definition. Borland believes the JTC offers the potential to represent the interests of application tools vendors inside the JTC, whose J2EE work is dominated by the interests of larger enterprise software vendors.

Paloini said one JCP weakness is the lack of requirements gathering from sectional interests, like tools vendors or financial institutions, who can potentially help input their requirements into the group's work, providing a degree of market feedback. The JTC could, he said, help take into account "voices outside the community."

Defending the JTC, Sun vice president of Java Mark Bauhaus said the group is still in its formalization stages, adding "there is a lot of discussion about how to make it impactful." A JTC roadmap was promised during the "coming weeks".
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Author:Clarke, Gavin
Publication:Computergram International
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 27, 2004
Words:405
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