Inprise Updates JBuilder/, Delphi/400

When Borland changed its name to Inprise earlier this year, the move was supposed to reflect the company’s focus on application development, deployment, integration and management throughout the enterprise.

Inprise (Scotts Valley, Calif.) has maintained that commitment to the AS/400, extending its latest client/server and Java application development capabilities to the AS/400 in new releases of Delphi/400 and JBuilder/400.

“We’re starting to see a market push for the AS/400 as an e-business server,” says Mike Destein, business development manager for enterprise integration products at Inprise. “So we’re developing tools that build front-end applications to those back-end servers, both on the Windows-side [Delphi/400] and the Java-side. [JBuilder/400].”

Delphi/400 Version 4, used to develop client/server AS/400 applications, features CORBA support and improved project management, enabling it to handle multiple projects for multiple targets, such as Web browsers, laptops, servers and workstations. Time to market is faster in this version thanks to simplified reading, writing, managing and debugging of code.

The built-in WebBroker technologies enable users to create high-speed, high-throughput Web-based data applications while Delphi binds directly to ISAPI and NSAPI Web servers.

And this version of Delphi/400 includes Windows 98 controls such as support for Toolbar and Windows Docking integration, Control Bar and Action Lists. Windows 98 features such as MonthCalendar, PageScroller and Flat Scrollbars are also supported.

There are some AS/400-specific improvements as well.

“Delphi/400 now accesses DB2 stored procedures as stored procedures, not as RPG programs,” says Destein. “It takes the database driver route rather than the RPG route. You save steps and have reasonably quicker access in a more standardized way.”

The new version of JBuilder/400 integrates IBM’s AS/400 Toolbox for Java for OS/400 V4R3 and has a Record-level Access Wizard to retrieve the record format for an AS/400 file. This wizard generates two class files developers can use to read and write records in an AS/400 file from a Java application.

Version 2 also includes an AS/400 Connections Manager that lets users define and manage connections to AS/400 machines from within JBuilder/400. And VisiBroker for Java, Inprise’s CORBA technology, has been certified for use on the AS/400 in this release.

With this version, Inprise is taking steps to encourage AS/400 shops to try JBuilder/400. The company has released a scaled-down introductory version of the product for $995, compared to $2,995 for the full-featured version.

“In the discussions we’ve had with IBM and AS/400 customers, we’ve found that most of the customers are just getting into Java and don’t need all the JBuilder features,” says Destein. “Many customers are just beginning to learn about Java and do simpler projects, so we’ve created this introductory version of JBuilder/400 for them.”

This scaled-down version of JBuilder/400 does not include CORBA, Visibroker or RMI Wizards, though customers are expected to move up to the full-featured version as their knowledge and use of Java grows.

“We want to get people using the introductory version, then once they use it and see the value JBuilder/400 provides, they’ll move up,” says Destein.