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Coming in 2005

Over at Macromedia

While some may believe that ColdFusion is past its prime, those at Macromedia would most likely argue the point, as would a number of independent developers. With the release of a public beta at the end of 2004, it is expected that the next release of ColdFusion, code-named “Blackstone,” will release in 2005.

Blackstone will have a number of big enhancements. This includes new tags for data entry, printing, and reporting, as well as new capabilities. With the new extensions to the CFFORM tag, developers will be able to easily build reskinable, reusable forms that can be delivered using Flash or Xforms—without the need for Flash MX or any other design tool.

For printing, new functionality has been added so that developers can have Web pages print without worrying about graphics and text getting cut off or broken as well as removing worry of printing a single Web page to multiple paper pages. In the area of reporting, dynamic reporting will be accessible within the context of your application and these dynamic reports will be able to include charting and graphing. Additionally, structured repeating reports become much easier to create without the need of third-party reporting programs.

One big enhancement in Blackstone will be in the area of distribution. You now will be able to distribute an application without including CFML source; you will be able to distribute it as compiled code. You also will be able to build a single EAR or WAR file that can contain both your application and ColdFusion. This had to be done separately in previous versions.

Over at Borland

Borland is not sleeping in 2005 either. It is pushing forward with its Software Delivery Optimization (SDO) and “Themis.” In short, this is the first iteration of its platform strategy for aligning business methodologies and software development/delivery across the multiple roles that are involved in an application’s lifecycle. This puts a focus on the tasks and roles, thus allowing there to be more focus on issues such as risk, quality, and scope.

Another notable item coming from Borland in 2005 for developers should be a new version of C++Builder. With the last major revision having been in 2002, a new version is certainly due. The new version of C++Builder is expected to use the Delphi IDE. Thus, you should be able to use Borland Developer Studio regardless of whether you are using C++ or Delphi/Pascal.

Over at MySQL AB

Like many other products, MySQL is continuing to evolve as well. 2005 may see the release of MySQL 5.0. This new version will contain a number of important database features, including support for stored procedures, updateable views, cursors, and rudimentary triggers.

Over at CompuWare

CompuWare has already started 2005 with a bang by releasing several products. The first notable product is OptimalJ 3.3, which includes several improvements to enable the quicker deliver of SOA. Changes include a new UI designer that extends automation to the presentation layer, integrated mainframe connectors to enable enterprise developers to tap into and leverage legacy applications, and role-based functionality that now includes requirements management.

Also released from CompuWare were DevPartner 3.3 and Vantage Analyzer for J2EE. DevParnter 3.3 is a suite of productivity and profiling tools for building Java applications. Vantage Analyzer for J2EE provides service management for complex production environments.

Over at Sun

Sun released Java server Enterprise 7 in December, so they ended 2004 with a big release. Not to be outdone by IBM, Sun started 2005 off by releasing 1,600 patents to the open source community under their Common Development and Distribution License (CDDL). This release, just announced, gives open source developers free access to Sun OpenSolaris-related patents.

Sun expects to continue its tradition of releasing updates quarterly for some of their key products. You can expect this for Java Studio Creator, Java Studio Enterprise, and Sun Studio.

Additionally, NetBeans, the Open Source Java IDE, is expecting to have a beta and full release of version 4.1 this year. This follows the release of 4.0 that occurred just last month. New features of 4.1 can be found at

Change Is in the Air

In looking across the many companies developing tools and products for application developers, one thing is clear. Change is in the air. The focus is turning from building tools for the various tasks in the application life cycle and is now moving towards providing tools for the different roles for building business solutions. It is a subtle difference, but a difference nonetheless.

In Conclusion…

This article has covered just a few of the companies in the industry. When you start adding in the other big companies, you can quickly see that there is a lot planned for 2005. Additionally, for many of the companies in this article, what is presented barely scratches the surface of what they have planned. There is a lot coming. Let’s hope that most of it makes its dates in 2005.

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