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NetWare SDK for Java Platform

Articles and Tips: article

01 Jun 1996

Developers can build and deploy applications written in Java on NetWare

At the JavaOne Development conference, Novell announced the NetWare Software Development Kit for the Java Platform, a software development kit that enables developers to create Java applications and execute them on NetWare, the world's leading network operating system. This announcement follows Novell's licensing of the Java technology from Sun Microsystems Inc. - announced in March at BrainShare, Novell's annual technical developer conference. The NetWare Software Development Kit for the Java Platform will enable developers to build a new class of network aware applications that will make NetWare the premier platform for intranet applications. Java logic can now be distributed to the server, leveraging the efficiency and power of existing networks while increasing application performance. Novell also announced that it is working with JavaSoft on proposals to expand the Java class libraries to include such services as naming, directory and other networking capabilities.

The NetWare Software Development Kit for the Java Platform will include the Java Virtual Machine, a series of NetWare Loadable Modules (NLMs) that make applications written in Java executable on NetWare. The development kit will also include the Java class libraries with additional NetWare specific class libraries to enhance NetWare development. Developers using the Java for NetWare Software Development Kit can automatically take advantage of the attributes and functions of network services, including Novell Directory Services (NDS).

"At BTI we build small footprint, high"performance database engines for high volume, client/server applications, said Bo Holland, director of Product Marketing at Btrieve Technologies, Inc. (BTI). "We are pleased to partner with Novell in serving the needs of Internet/intranet customers. With their Java for NetWare Software Development Kit delivering network services, we can focus on our expertise building engines for Java applets.

Continuing to Deliver on Net2000 Promise This announcement supports Novell's Net2000 developer initiative, a collection of technologies designed to enhance and ease the development and deployment of new, network aware applications and components.

Using Net2000 application programming interfaces (APIs), developers can easily create NetWare applications using industry standard interfaces and leverage network services to find and share those applications and objects across networks, including intranets and the Internet.

During BrainShare in March, Novell delivered the first milestone of the Net2000 initiative to developers, providing easier access to NetWare services through standard interfaces such as OLE, Visual Basic and Delphi controls. Also announced at BrainShare were component management services based on NDS that will help developers access, secure and manage distributed logic such as OLE objects, including Java applets and Microsoft's ActiveX across networks. Through these controls, administrators and developers can easily build applications using existing authoring tools and access Novell's rich networking services such as NDS, providing easier administration and management of the network.

The NetWare Software Development Kit for the Java Platform and other Net2000 technologies will help developers hasten the advent of client/network computing, an advanced computing paradigm that goes beyond desktop and client/server computing to give developers and users access to information components across global enterprise networks.

"We are moving to a new era of client/networking solutions," said Gary Mueller, vice president and general manager of the Developer Services Division for Novell. "To take advantage of the performance benefits of distributing Java logic across the network, developers need network services to manage and access Java objects. That's why we are lending our networking expertise to expose network services such as NDS to unleash the true potential of the network."

New Business Opportunities Novell's support of Java significantly expands the scope of Java developers' target audiences by over 50 million potential users - providing a significant business opportunity to the growing number of companies choosing to develop applications in Java.

"This announcement marks a significant business opportunity for Java developers," said Jon Kannegaard, vice president of products at JavaSoft, a subsidiary of Sun Microsystems. "Novell, with its expertise in networking, is forging a path to server side, distributed applications written in Java that will maximize existing networks of over 50 million users worldwide."

Availability The NetWare Software Development Kit for the Java Platform will be available in beta on NetWare 4.1 in fall 1996 to subscribers of DeveloperNet, Novell's premier developer relations program. To learn more about Novell development options available today or to join DeveloperNet call 1 800 REDWORD or visit the Web site at

Java for NetWare Development Kit: Q&A

  1. Doesn't this announcement signify that NetWare is an application server? What are the implications company wide?

    Yes! We believe that the Intranet and Internet computing environment will require more "specialized" application servers that increase performance and off load processing from the desktop. We believe NetWare is ideal as an application server for Java logic. NetWare has been designed as a specialized network server not a general purpose OS server. With the attributes and strengths of Java and the strengths of NetWare, we believe Java enables a full development platform for NetWare and distributed logic across the Intra and Internet.

  2. Is Novell giving up on NLMs?

    NO. NetWare Loadable Modules continue to be very important to device driver developers, low level access and database services. Under the Net2000 initiative, we announced at BrainShare enhancements to our NLM developer community with a Remote Source level debugger, NLM monitor, and other enhancements to our NLM CLIB Interfaces. We are promoting "freedom of choice" in writing applications to NetWare: NLMs, Full Basic Scripting (through our partners as HiTecSoft announced at BrainShare) and now Java.

  3. Won't Java applications compromise the security of existing NetWare networks?

    No. Java is a secure development environment. NetWare provides a "trusted network" with our C2/E2 certification. Using NetWare we offer strong authentication, access control, and management through NDS. Java and NetWare coupled provides a very secure application development framework both at the design and deployment of applications and the execution and networking of applications.

  4. Are you giving up on OLE in favor of Java?

    No. We announced and delivered key OLE support through our Net2000 JumpStart CD at BrainShare. We will continue to deliver the OCXs, VBXs, VCLs, and ActiveX controls to those developers who want to access NetWare services through these interfaces. Our strategy is an embrace and extend strategy to support industry accepted interfaces. We believe Java will become as strong and in many ways more robust than OLE for the network. As a networking company, we feel Java was designed for the network, OLE was designed for the desktop. We are aggressively embracing Java to extend it for the network using our services. OLE will continue to be supported.

  5. What are your plans for OLE?

    We delivered alpha versions of our OLE controls at BrainShare. We will continue to enhance these to deliver production quality OLE controls in the Oct/Nov 96 timeframe. We are working with a number of 3rd Party partners to augment and increase our exposure through the OLE development environment.

  6. Will your Java for NetWare Development Kit compete with Sun Microsystems's Java Development Kit?

    No. We have licensed the Sun JDK to help promote and make Java more pervasive. We will ship and support Sun's JDK to within our Java for NetWare SDK to increase the availability of Java to developers. Within our Java for NetWare SDK we will also add NetWare specific class libraries and deliver the Java VM for NetWare so that developers have a complete Java development environment for NetWare.

  7. Will the Java for NetWare Development Kit work with Borland's Java tools? Symantec? Sun's?

    Yes. Novell will actively partner with key tools vendors to fully embrace and leverage Java tools for the NetWare environment. We are working with all these partners in evaluating their tools, JIT compilers, and overall developer utilities. Novell has always taken an open partner approach in delivering solutions to our customers.

  8. Will Novell ever put price on the JavaWare Development Kit or will it always be free to developers?

    The first deliverable to developers later this year will be free to developers. We want to actively promote "distributed server based Java logic running on the server. As we progress in our enhancements and richer class libraries, we will need to look at this issue. For now, we are wanting to promote "client/network" computing to our developers and we feel Java is the ideal way to deliver this vision for NetWare.

  9. What are you really giving developers?

    The Java for NetWare Development Kit will include a the Java Virtual Machine (Java interpreter) running as an NLM on NetWare, Sun's latest version of the JDK (1.0 and 1.1), and NetWare specific Java class libraries to access NDS and other NetWare services to demonstrate the power and applications that can be build with Java. This will be the core deliverable to developers. We may add additional tools or JIT compilers in the future.

  10. What exactly are the proposals you submitted to JavaSoft?

    We have talked with JavaSoft on a number of proposals that Novell could enhance the Java Development Framework. We will be delivering to JavaSoft the week after JavaOne our first proposal for Naming an open directory class library to expose access to a number of naming and directory service providers such as NDS, DNS, etc. We are working on other proposals centered around networking such as security, licensing, management, network communications, and so forth. We will be working closely with JavaSoft to compliment their strategies and directions.

  11. How close is JavaSoft to accepting your proposals and making them standards?

    We have just began the process. We will deliver the first proposal after JavaOne, from that we will be able to work with JavaSoft to determine the best timeframes and strategies.

  12. Is Sun (or another company) proposing a competing standard?

    We are not aware of any other competing standard proposed for naming and the networking services we want to propose to JavaSoft. We have been very open with JavaSoft and feel we can add a tremendous value to enhance Java networking services we believe they see our value and we are working closely to move forward.

  13. Are there any Java applications in existence that utilize NDS currently?

    We are demonstrating at JavaOne an NDS browser written in Java. This application demonstrates the ability to query the NDS tree, display objects, and build new administrator utilities in Java around the directory. We will publish this application on our Web page for developers to see how to access NDS.

  14. What other Net2000 announcements are planned?

    Net2000 is our overall developer initiative to increase the exposure of networking services to developers. We will have many announcements outlining new interfaces, partner relationships, and technologies that enhance the development of client/network applications.

  15. How will this announcement affect the way Java is used in the future?

    We believe Java offers a powerful networking paradigm for distributed logic. As the first to license Java on the server OS, we believe Java is ideal for "server"based" distributed logic. This will greatly enhance how Java is used across a network instead of just applets running on a client. We feel that the partitioning of logic and the ability to access, share, and manage Java applications across a network will change the way distributed applications are deployed on the Intra and Internet.

  16. Why is Novell supporting Java?

    Java is an ideal development environment that promotes heterogenous software development (platform independence). Novell has always promoted an open networking model of platform independence. Java enhances the development environment for NetWare. It helps Novell reposition NetWare as a powerful, specialized application server for distributed logic, and we believe Java is a very powerful programming paradigm that will change how applications are written for the network. We believe in the client/network computing model, and Java with NetWare brings us closer to that vision.

  17. What kinds of applications will developers create for NetWare?

    We believe the first instances of Java applications written for NetWare will be administrator utilities access the NetWare services such as NDS, File, Print, etc. We also feel Java applications will be ideal for server based processes which query database repositories, gather network statistics, and many other "background" tasks.

  18. What exactly is Net2000?

    Net2000 is the code name for Novell's focus and initiative to increase the exposure of networking services to developers. Novell has focused many years on building advanced networking services such as Novell's Directory Service. It has traditionally been difficult to write to these services. Net2000 is focused on providing multiple interfaces and easier access to developers to build a new class of applications we call "network" aware" or "directory"enabled." This will help applications be written to the network, rather than to a specific client or server implementation. Net2000 is the overall umbrella under which our Java, OLE, VBX, NLM, and other development efforts are positioned.

  19. How does Novell define "logic"?

    Logic is defined as programs, applications, or components that perform a specific task. Logic in our definition means work or action performed by software executing on a client, server, or device in the network.

  20. What can developers do with logic?

    Developers are building logic into their applications already. Within an normal application are defined three basic functions GUI, Business, and Content logic. This is the three tier computing model of applications. We believe for the Intranet and Internet that this logic will need to be distributed across multiple nodes to increase performance, improve dynamic access to data and information, and offer more flexibility. Developers will be able to "partition" logic to the network.

  21. What is the timeframe for future Net2000 releases? What will they include? When will Novell ship the full Net2000 SDK promised in September?

    Novell will ship the full Net2000 SDK (alpha delivered at BrainShare) at the end of this year. We are targeting the same timeframe as our Java for NetWare SDK. We want to promote an open way for developers to build applications to NetWare and access our services. We will continue to update our OLE controls and BrainShare deliverables throughout 1996 on our Web page. Planned deliverable of the Net2000 SDK and Java for NetWare SDK is by end of this year (fall).

  22. How will Novell's NDS manage OLE and Java components across the Internet?

    Novell's directory service is ideally suited to manage and provide the trading services for Java and OLE components. Because NDS has an extensible schema, Java components can be defined as objects and all the attributes of NDS can be applied, such as security, access control, management, distribution, versioning, etc. Novell will work with Object Request Broker technologies and the Java RMI technology to provide a naming/directory service that is scalable and extensible.

  23. What is ActiveX and how does Net2000 support it?

    ActiveX is the new OLE controls Microsoft has announced for the Internet. They provide automation and specific methods for Internet browsers and access. Because they are fundamentally OLE controls, we will embrace and extend ActiveX through Net2000.

  24. What is Novell's relationship with Sun and JavaSoft?

    Novell is a key OEM partner of the Java VM and Java Class Libraries. Recently we have met with JavaSoft to outline future ways to work closer and enhance our common goals to enhance the Java development framework. Specifically, Novell will assist JavaSoft in expanding Java to embrace more networking services.

  25. What is the relationship between HiTecSoft and Novell? Will Novell purchase HiTecSoft?

    HiTecSoft has developed NetBasic, a full visual basic scripting language, basic interpreter, and development environment for NetWare. This has enhanced the development environment of the NetWare platform in building server based logic. Traditionally the only way to build server based applications on NetWare was NLMs. HiTecSoft and Novell have introduced a new way to build applications in basic on NetWare. Novell has no intentions of acquiring HiTecSoft. They are a key partner in bringing more value and application development to NetWare.

  26. What is NMX and what are the benefits of using it?

    NMX is a component of the NetBasic development environment. Application services (NLMs) on NetWare, such as Oracle DB, Cheyenne, NDS, File, Print, etc., can expose their functionality to the Basic scripting language. NMX's are the basic script abstractions that make it easier for NetBasic developers to access the functionality of the underlying services. An example of this value is the NDS. NMX which abstracts the 1000+ DSAPIs into 40+ NetBasic APIs. This enables a much easier way to access key services without the complexity of low level calls.

  27. What version of NetWare will the Java for NetWare Software Development Kit run on?

    Java for NetWare SDK will be run on NetWare 4.1, 4.11, and future NetWare releases.

  28. How do I get the Java for NetWare Development Kit?

    Developers can download the Java for NetWare SDK free from Novell's WEB page. It will also be distributed freely to DeveloperNet subscribers.

* Originally published in Novell AppNotes


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