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By: Bob Arnson

Abstract: Daily news summary for 15 November 1999. By Bob Arnson.

Distributed computing, the next generation

Application service providers -- companies that provide applications over the Internet -- are a significantly growing segment in the IT industry. Inprise Corp. is poised to be in the thick of things with a strategy announced by interim president and CEO Dale Fuller at this week's American Electronics Association conference and relayed to company customers at the 1999 Borland Conference in Brisbane, Queensland.

According to market analysts at International Data Corp., worldwide spending for ASPs will increase from US$150 million in 1999 to more than US$2 billion by 2003.

According to Fuller, Inprise's strategy for serving application service providers consists of three layers. The first -- the user layer -- gives users a single point of entry and a universal registration system from which to access applications from various ASPs. The transport layer lets users access ASP-hosted applications on different types of devices. Finally, a messaging layer allows different applications, including applications from different ASPs, to communicate with one another.

Execs down under: VP of developer relations David Intersimone, VP of sales & marketing for Asia Ray Bradbery, and interim president and CEO Dale Fuller at the 1999 Borland Conference in Australia. Photo by Danny Thorpe.

Fuller also announced plans for Inprise AppServices, a service to build and host solutions that integrate software and services from multiple ASPs through a Web-based portal. "AppServices will enable end-users to access their applications and desktop via any networked device, operating system or protocol, using a standard browser interface," the company said.

A leg up on XML

If you're ready to jump head-first into XML for your C++ business-to-business applications, South Wind Design Inc. has the answer in its xmlFX Developer Toolkit for C++. xmlFX is a C++ class library designed for transactional documents -- data packets usually intended for machine-to-machine communication. The product supports its own Simple XML Query Language for querying XML documents.

xmlFX Developer Toolkit for C++ is available in both object code and source code, starting at US$495.

The ties that bound

The granddaddy of all memory- and resource-leak detectors proves that maturity is something to be respected. NuMega BoundsChecker, from Compuware Corp., is now available in version 6.2, with support for Windows 2000, Release Candidate 2. Compuware states that "[s]upport for the final released version of Windows 2000 will be available immediately upon that product's release."

BoundsChecker 6.2's new features include:

  • event and error roll-ups, which combine duplicate events and errors to provide a better overview.

  • a memory viewer to examine memory that a program has allocated and help diagnose leaks.

  • an API to control error reporting and the memory viewer.

BoundsChecker 6.2 supports Delphi 5 and Borland C++Builder 4.0. BoundsChecker is also available in a Visual C++ Edition that supports Visual C++ 6.0. For Visual Basic, Compuware offers BoundsChecker cousin SmartCheck 6.2.

Squeaky-clean updates

Have you ever had to roll out large updates or even -- maybe especially -- small updates to applications or system configurations on hundreds or thousands of machines? If so, you might appreciate LANovation's newest release: PC Updater v. 2.2.

PC Updater helps developers package software updates into self-installing executables that requires no user or administrator intervention. No scripts are required, and because PC Updater creates self-installing executables, administrators can sign them to reassure users that they're virus-free.

PC Updater includes an expert that monitors your system for any changes you might want to distribute, including registry changes, driver installations, and application installations.

Satiating the alpha geek

If you can't wait to start using Wireless Application Protocol-based devices, talk your company into springing for Nokia's WAP Server. Claiming a successful beta test of thousands of companies and developers, Nokia says it will release WAP Server 1.0 on 15 Dec.

Nokia claims WAP 1.1 spec compatibility for WAP Server 1.0, and lays title to the first commercially available implementation of the Wireless Transportation Layer Security.

A trial version of WAP Server and a new version of the Nokia WAP Toolkit will both be available in December on Nokia's Web site.

Pricing for Nokia WAP Server for corporate use starts at US$10K.

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