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On the brink of the next release
of JBuilder, drbob42.com is allowed to publish sneak previews of the new product.
Version 3 of JBuilder is set out to be Borland.com's response to Java 2 and more ...
JBuilder and CORBA
From the first (C/S) release onwards, JBuilder has featured CORBA development. The already good support in JBuilder 2 has been extended significantly in JBuilder for Application Server.
JBuilder 3 has all this and builds upon this with an even better integration of IDL files, better integration of the Visibroker for Java tools with the IDE, support for another vendor's ORB and remote CORBA debugging.
In this preview the Enterprise version of JBuilder 3 was used. Don't let the name fool you though: there won't be a client/server version, and the pricing will be comparable to the former client/server edition. As always, Borland.com will offer an upgrade (from C/S) for a reduced price.
JBuilder includes a new version of the Visibroker for Java software, version 3.4. This new version is needed to work with Java 2. More exciting is the inclusion of the Naming and Event Services. Although present in JBuilder for Application Server (or maybe just in the AppServer), at the moment they have to be purchased as seperate products. Especially the Naming Service, which of course provides the standard way for locating CORBA servers in a transparent manner, is practically indispensable for developing a serious distributed application.
Better IDL support
CORBA Interface Definition Language (IDL) files are now fully recognized and supported by the IDE. The client/server edition of JBuilder 2 recognized IDL files as a separate file type with its own set operations (see picture below). JBuilder 2 for Application Server added syntax highlighting.
In JBuilder 3 the structure pane displays the hierarchy of the IDL file, complete with new icons for every IDL construct.
An IDL file in JBuilder 2
IDL files are syntax highlighted and can be examined using the structure pane.
Furthermore the integration of the idl2java compiler has been somewhat extended. The picture below shows more idl2java compiler flags that can be set from within the IDE...
Support for OrbixWeb
Iona's Orbix is one of the top ORBs on the market and my experiences with Orbix and OrbixWeb, the Java implementation of Orbix, have always been
very positive. So I was very pleased to see support for OrbixWeb included in JBuilder3. In view of the fact that Orbix is a direct competitor of Inprise's flagship product Visibroker, it is good to see Borland.com taking the openness of CORBA and JBuilder so seriously.
Of course, you'll get the Visibroker ORB included in JBuilder C/S, and the Visibroker tools will be the only ones available from within JBuilder. However, if you want or need to use OrbixWeb, frequent tasks as IDL to Java compilation but above all the management of the generated Java code can be done just as well as using Visibroker.
IDL tab of the project properties dialog:
fill in the path to Orbix' IDL compiler and you're done
Remote debugging of CORBA objects
JBuilder 3 provides a new distributed debugger which makes it possible to debug the multiple processes of a distributed application. Furthermore, remotely running Java components can be debugged from one machine using the new debug handles of the Java 2 virtual machine.
And there's more ...
Like automated application generation from IDL files or databases to full fledged 2 or 3 tier CORBA applications. Like automatic generation of HTML front ends to CORBA servers. Like an ORB explorer to manage CORBA services.
All of which will be discussed on this page in the very near future ...