JBuilder X Quick Tour - Part 2

By: Tim Del Chiaro

Abstract: An overview of key features of JBuilder X for building and deploying Web, database, mobile, XML, and Web Services applications

Developing web applications

Web Development is a feature of JBuilder Developer and Enterprise. Applet development is a feature of all editions of JBuilder.

JBuilder provides many tools that make web application development simple:

  • Wizards make creating web modules, applets, servlets, JavaServer Pages (JSP), Struts-enabled web modules, and JNLP files and Homepages for Java Web Start applications easy.
  • Framework and JSP tag library support allows you to easily add support for various frameworks and tag libraries to your web module or JSP.
  • Popular frameworks and tag libraries, such as Struts, JSTL (JavaServer Pages Standard Tag Library), and InternetBeans Express are included with JBuilder.
  • Automatic WAR file generation helps you create an archive file for your web module.
  • The Archive Builder helps you create JAR files for an applet, a Java Web Start applet, or a Java Web Start application.
  • The Web Module DD Editor provides a graphical user interface (GUI) for editing the web.xml deployment descriptor file.
  • The Struts Config Editor provides visual designers for Actions, Form Beans and Tiles elements, as well as a form-based editor for editing other elements in the struts-config.xml deployment descriptor file.
  • JSP TagInsight provides lists of available tag library tags, elements, attributes, and entities when editing a JSP.

Struts Action Designer

Struts Action Designer

Developing Enterprise JavaBeans

This is a feature of JBuilder Enterprise.

The EJB Designer is a true Two-Way ToolTM that allows you to design your EJB 2.0 and 1.1 components visually as JBuilder generates the code from your design. You can make changes to your design either through the EJB Designer, or by editing the generated source code directly. Your source code and your design remain synchronized. As you work with the EJB Designer, your deployment descriptors are being created for you, preparing your bean for deployment to your selected application server. You can edit those deployment descriptors using the EJB Module DD Editor. When you are done developing your enterprise beans, JBuilder has wizards and tools to help you deploy them to your target server.

Developing applications using XML

JBuilder provides several features and tools to support development of applications using the Extensible Markup Language (XML). XML, a platform-independent method of structuring information, separates the content of a document from its structure. XML can be used to exchange data between databases and Java programs. XML support features vary by JBuilder edition.

Some of the XML features include:

These are features of JBuilder Developer and Enterprise
  • Creating XML-related documents.
  • Automatically completing XML code with TagInsight.
  • Validating XML documents.
  • Remapping of DTDs and schemas to local files and adding OASIS catalog files.
  • Transforming XML using XSL stylesheets.
  • Marshalling and unmarshalling data with BorlandXML and Castor.
These are features of JBuilder Enterprise
  • Presenting XML in a Cocoon framework.
  • Creating a SAX handler to parse XML.
  • Using XML database components to transfer data between an XML structure and a database.

You can view an XML document in JBuilder by opening the XML document and selecting the View tab in the content pane. If the View tab is not available, you need to enable it on the XML page of the Preferences dialog box (Tools|Preferences|XML).

XML viewer

Developing Web Services

This is a feature of JBuilder Enterprise

Although it's useful to learn about the technologies behind web services, JBuilder provides designers, wizards, and tools for quickly developing and consuming web services. JBuilder works with a variety of web services toolkits. Once a toolkit is selected, JBuilder uses the toolkit to enable projects for web services, import services, and export Java classes and Enterprise JavaBeans as web services.

Web services features in JBuilder, which vary according to the toolkit selected, include:

  • Configuring your project for working with web services.
  • Importing and exporting services in the Web Services Designer.
  • Modifying service message flows in the Flow Designer.
  • Monitoring SOAP messages between the client and the service while invoking the service.
  • Searching for and publishing web services to a UDDI registry with the Web Services Explorer.

The Web Services Designer provides a design surface for working with web services. The Designer includes these features, which vary according to the selected toolkit:

  • Creating a WSDL document that describes the web service you've developed.
  • Creating client stubs to invoke a web service.
  • Importing an EAR or a WSDL describing a web service and creating classes to invoke the service.
  • Creating server-side code to host the service locally.
  • Automatic scanning and exporting of stateless session beans and message-driven beans.
  • Creating asynchronous web services.
  • Validating services and automatic error correction with ErrorInsight.

Web Services Designer

Developing mobile applications

This is a feature of JBuilder Developer, JBuilder Enterprise, and JBuilder Mobile Edition

Mobile development is fully integrated into JBuilder for building and deploying J2ME applications using MIDP and CLDC. JBuilder includes visual design tools for creating mobile applications, device emulation and debugging, as well as incorporating all the standard features offered with JBuilder. Support for Over the Air (OTA) provisioning is available for JDKs that implement it.

JBuilder installs and configures the Java 2 Platform, Micro Edition (J2ME) Wireless Toolkit 2.0_01. It also provides support for i-modeTM development with the DoJa 1.5 and 3.0 SDKs, the Nokia Developer's Suite, Siemens Mobility Toolkit, Sprint PCS Wireless Toolkit, Sony Ericsson J2ME SDK, and Zentek Developer's Network (ZDN).

IDE for mobile applications

Developing database applications

Database application development features vary by JBuilder edition

JBuilder provides a number of features to easily support the creation and maintenance of database applications.

DataExpress and dbSwing components are Borland value-added components. They are located on the UI designer's component palette and can be dropped onto your design surface. These components make it easy to connect to a database, retrieve data from a data source, save changes back to the data source, and manipulate the data. These components also provide international support.

JDataStore provides embedded database functionality in your applications with a single JDataStore file and the JDataStore JDBC driver (and its supporting classes). No server process is needed for local connections. In addition to industry-standard JDBC support, you can take advantage of the added convenience and flexibility of accessing JDataStore directly through the DataExpress API. You can use both types of access in the same application.

The Database Pilot is an all-Java, hierarchical database browser that also allows you to view, edit, insert, and delete data in tables. It presents JDBC-based meta-database information in a two-paned window. To display the Database Pilot, select Tools|Database Pilot.

Database Pilot

Team development

Team development (version control) features vary by JBuilder edition

JBuilder provides features that make team development faster, smoother, and easier. It also provides revision support in every edition. To see version information for a file, click on the History tab at the bottom of the content pane. The tabs provide different views of revision information, depending on your JBuilder edition.

Team Development

Deploying your programs

The Archive Builder simplifies deployment of your application by bundling together a set of files and packages into an archive file that constitutes an image of your application which can be run. You can create a variety of archives, such as applet, application, J2EE application client, executable JAR, documentation, source, and Web Start application JAR archive files. To open the Archive Builder, choose Wizards|Archive Builder.

Archive Builder

The Native Executable Builder automatically bundles your application JAR file with native executable wrappers for Windows, Linux, Solaris, and Mac OS X. To open the Native Executable Builder, choose Wizards|Native Executable Builder. Some of the archive types in the Archive Builder also provide this feature, such as the Application and Native Executable archive types.

Native Executable Builder

If you're creating an executable JAR with the Archive Builder or a native executable with the Native Executable Builder, you can set runtime configurations to launch the executable. If you want to customize the executable configuration, you can modify the configuration that JBuilder creates or create your own configuration.

Creating Javadoc from source files

Javadoc features vary by JBuilder edition

Javadoc is a tool created by Sun Microsystems to generate documentation in HTML-formatted files. The generated HTML documentation is derived from comments that you enter into your API source files.

JBuilder includes a number of features to support Javadoc generation. A wizard creates a documentation node that holds properties for a Javadoc run. This node is displayed in the project pane. Javadoc can be generated each time you compile your project, using the current properties.

JBuilder also includes these other Javadoc-related features:

  • A comment template that fills in parameters based on the class, interface, method, field, or constructor signature
  • JavadocInsight for entering the Javadoc tag
  • Ability to automatically add @todo tags to your code
  • Ability to view the list of Javadoc @todos
  • Reporting and resolving Javadoc comment conflicts
  • Documentation archiving with the Archive Builder
  • Ability to create custom tags
  • A visual package file editor for creating package-level overview files
  • A Doc viewer to view the generated Javadoc
  • "On-the-fly" Javadoc generation

Javadoc in browser


JBuilder's OpenTools simplify customizing and adding to JBuilder. The OpenTools consist of two main sets of documentation:

  • Concept documents -
  • OpenTools API documents - included with your installation of JBuilder

The concept documents explain the architecture of the OpenTools and tell you how to get the most out of them. They provide an in-depth view of the purposes of each part of the API and offer suggestions on how to maximize the usefulness of each part.

The OpenTools API documents provide Javadoc-derived documentation for each OpenTool. These expose the programmatic "hooks" you need to customize and extend JBuilder to match your own needs and preferences. Access to OpenTools features varies by JBuilder edition.

Download JBuilder and get started now!

Click here to download a free copy of JBuilder X. The JBuilder Enterprise Trial/Foundation download lets you try the complete JBuilder X Enterprise edition for 30 days. Then purchase a license to continue using the Enterprise edition or downgrade to the free, non-expiring Foundation edition.

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