Feeds

JBuilder 2008: Bold vision, rough edges

No assembly required

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Review What is the point of JBuilder, when you can simply use Eclipse? That has been the marketing challenge for CodeGear ever since it decided to scrap its home-grown Java integrated development environment and replace it with a new product based on the open-source Eclipse tools platform.

JBuilder 2007, released in May 2007, was the first of this new breed, and it has now been followed by JBuilder 2008. There are, I guess, three ways in which JBuilder adds value.

First, it is a turnkey installation, whereas making sense of the myriad plug ins and dependencies in Eclipse can be a challenge. JBuilder includes a large number of Eclipse add ons, including reporting tools, data tools, web tools, test and performance tools, and third-party additions such as the Spring IDE. The setup can also install servers like JBoss and Apache for development.

Next, the Enterprise edition includes ProjectAssist and TeamInsight, which takes a wizard-driven approach to installing a bunch of open source team development tools. These are Subversion or CVS for source code managements, Bugzilla for bug tracking, Continuum for continuous integration, XPlanner for project planning, and the Liferay portal that brings these pieces together.

These are great tools, and there is real value in having a simple install, but there are downsides. You have to use Windows Server 2003 or XP as the server, and in some cases you get old versions with no easy way to update them without stepping outside the easy ProjectAssist management tools. For example, Liferay 4.0.0 is supplied, yet the latest is 5.0.1.

Finally, JBuilder 2008 comes with proprietary plug ins from CodeGear's parent Borland Software. The main features are the OptimizeIt profiler, the Together modelling and code visualization tool, along with a brand new thing called Application Factories. There's also a new Swing designer, which turns out to be the Instantiations WindowBuilder product. A smart move, given that the Eclipse Visual Editor project is sadly moribund, and that the old JBuilder Swing designer is still much missed. WindowBuilder meets the need nicely.

Factory code generation

The big new feature is Application Factories, which CodeGear is touting as a significant innovation. It has far-reaching goals, including generating code, and capturing developer intent in order to speed learning for new team members. JBuilder's principal architect Ravi Kumar said: "No other IDE is even attempting to do what we're doing... the IDE is application aware, that is our innovation."

Java and open source developer Matt Raible of AppFuse fame is also enthusiastic. "I believe it's very valuable, from the demos I've seen" he told us. But what does the feature really do?

There are two core elements here. First, there is a tagging and diagramming tool that lets you tag application resources and populate a diagram with hierarchical labels that link to the tags.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Next page: Basic omissions

More from The Register

next story
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
Sway: Microsoft's new Office app doesn't have an Undo function
Content aggregation, meet the workplace ... oh
Sign off my IT project or I’ll PHONE your MUM
Honestly, it’s a piece of piss
Return of the Jedi – Apache reclaims web server crown
.london, .hamburg and .公司 - that's .com in Chinese - storm the web server charts
NetWare sales revive in China thanks to that man Snowden
If it ain't Microsoft, it's in fashion behind the Great Firewall
Chrome 38's new HTML tag support makes fatties FIT and SKINNIER
First browser to protect networks' bandwith using official spec
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.