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Building Network Services for Java

Articles and Tips: article

01 May 1997

Shows how Novell's computing services and Java will offer rapid development and deployment of new distributed applications. The article emphasizes open infrastructure and standards such as CORBA.


Today's networks are the true workplace for business, exploration and collaboration. Computing can happen-anywhere and at any time. Information, interaction and connection are all on demand, and, increasingly without limits of location. Secure, authenticated relationships between people and between organizations are the context, and that context is both global and dynamic. More than simply a change to the paradigm of the desktop or a particular set of protocols, the network is the workplace that enables applications to move with people and their work-securely, efficiently and reliably.

The dramatic adoption of Web and Internet technologies has resulted in a network-centric application environment. Businesses and their customers are finding ever-expanding ways of working together, linked by distributed networks extending from cross-campus to around the world. The confluence of industry-standard Java and robust network services is making this a reality.

Novell understands these trends. Today's Web popularity is not unlike the bottom-up, dramatic rise of NetWare itself in the business environment that began over a decade ago. Today's NetWare/IntranetWare base consists of more than 60 million users on over three million servers across the world. Then, as now, information and resource sharing are key-however, the medium for sharing is changing and with it comes opportunities for increased economy and productivity.

Developers and users both look far beyond the LAN/WAN environment of connected desktops and static client-server applications. The HTML page and its contents are the application; and the network, with integrated Internet connectivity, is the medium. Java coupled with the strength of secure network services, such as Novell Directory Services (NDS), is the business toolset for this application model. Together, Java and Novell's distributed computing services are the key to rapid development and deployment of new distributed applications and business solutions.

With Java, it is now possible to quickly build and deploy applications on any node in the connected network environment. Multi-tiered computing takes on a whole new dimension when application logic can be flexibly partitioned for execution at the point of greatest economy and manageability - either closer to the user interface on a desktop or network computer, or closer to business and content logic on a remote server, or over several tiers of servers.

A networking foundation of services is essential to manage, secure, distribute, license and enable distributed computing. Networking services are the backbone in maintaining the relationships between distributed logic and managing the dynamic nature of distributed applications. Novell provides some of the most powerful services available today for laying a networking foundation, including directory services (Novell Directory Services), security, file storage, distributed print, network backup, resource management (ManageWise), licensing, messaging and collaboration (GroupWise). Novell's IntranetWare network services are proven in large installations across multiple connected sites. They serve tens of millions of users each day in business-critical tasks across multiple industries.

Bringing the Power of Networking Services and Java Together

Novell's services for the network workplace in conjunction with Java compound the value of the total customer investment. With integrated directory support, Java applications can now rely on durable, updated information that is accessible without being limited to static naming schemes and services. This is critical when applications can move from server to server, or to the browser or the desktop. Additionally, integrated support for licensing, management and distributed security means that Java applications can become true networked applications.

Finally, Novell support for Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA) distributed execution services, integrated with NDS, ManageWise and other Novell services means that true Internet scalability for business can be a reality. Novell is focused on building a Java platform of networking services that is open, extensible, fast and distributed in nature. The workplace can go wherever business goes, and it can expand as the business expands-more easily than ever before.

To be truly successful, Java must have rich networking services. The remainder of this article outlines Novell's strategies and direction for fully embracing Java, extending Java through open networking services, and distributing Java through open standard interfaces based on CORBA and standard Web protocols.

Turning a Network Operating System Into a Full Intranet Platform

Novell defined networking for the PC-LAN. The ability of a NOS to share files and printers has become a fundamental infrastructure in most businesses. As the network has evolved from the department to the enterprise, from enterprise to intranets, and from intranets to the Internet, new paradigms and services must come into play.

As a leader in the next wave of network computing, Novell will:

Building Upon Novell Strengths

NetWare was designed for the network. As a specialized operating system (OS), NetWare has provided more scalability, performance, and optimized services for network communication than general purpose OS's such as NT and UNIX. Novell's InternetWare specialized OS is ideally suited for the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) in performance and network communications.

Novell has focused on services. From its base in file and print services, Novell has defined multiple additional networking services that will support distributed computing. These include directory, replication, management, messaging, calendaring, scheduling, workflow, document management, collaboration, security, licensing, distribution, Web/http, proxy, caching, and cataloging.

Aligning Strengths with the New Network Workplace

Originally designed for high performance and simple plug-and-play networking, NetWare relied upon proprietary protocols (IPX, NCP) to provide the fastest, most reliable network platform in LAN environments. With the evolution from departmental LANs to enterprise and Intranet WANs, native IP network communication protocols are the preferred standard. Novell is aggressively leveraging its skills to support the IP protocol suite, including newer services such as Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) and SLP, as the universal foundation for network communications and access to network services.

Beyond this, Novell will support the Object Management Group (OMG) standard General Inter-ORB Protocol (GIOP) and Internet Inter-ORB Protocol (IIOP) for CORBA services in Java applications and Novell services. Novell's proprietary protocols (IPX, NCP and SPX) will continue to be supported for existing departmental networks.

As a specialized OS, the IntranetWare/NetWare system (kernel) development environment has been optimized to provide the fastest network execution platform possible. Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) and Independent Hardware Vendors (IHVs) that have written NetWare Loadable Modules (NLMs) enjoy extremely high performance and scalability. In a kernel development environment, application developers writing new services or application logic have had to overcome a steep learning curve.

To dramatically accelerate the accessibility and value of the Novell platform to application and solution developers, Novell is embracing Java as the application development environment for IntranetWare. NLM development will continue to be supported for existing services, ISV, IHV, and device driver solutions as a high performance platform. Together Java and NLM development environments offer the best of both worlds in building distributed logic and services for the future in distributed computing.

Adding Standards and Open Infrastructure

As the first vendor to license Java for the server platform, Novell will tightly integrate the InternetWare high performance OS with the Java Virtual Machine and Just-in-time compilers (JITs) to provide a full, first-class Java programming and development environment. Novell is committed to providing the premier performance platform for distributed Java logic.

  • Novell will fully embrace Java as the system and application development framework for building distributed applications and services.

  • Novell will fully embrace CORBA as the object model for distributed computing, implementing CORBA 2.0 compliant services (trader, management, security) and protocols (Object Request Broker (ORB), IIOP) natively within Java to extend the functionality of the Java development environment on InternetWare.

  • Novell will ensure interoperability between CORBA and Microsoft's desktop Common Object Model (COM) through third-party technologies and partners.

  • Novell will tightly couple Java and CORBA to hide the complexity of CORBA Interface Definition Language (IDL) programming techniques in building distributed applications. Developers will be able to use native Java to build distributed, partitioned applications and services.

  • Novell will extend NDS to support Java and enhance CORBA ORB infrastructure. For example, Novell will provide a trading service written natively in Java using NDS that will work with multiple ORB technologies. The trading service will greatly enhance remote object invocations, registration, security, management and maintenance of distributed objects.

  • Novell will build new services for distributed computing in Java, enabling network services to be portable and ubiquitous across platforms. Novell will expose existing services (written as NLMs) as native Java Class interfaces to enhance access and functionality of Java logic written on the IntranetWare platform.

Fully Embracing 100% Pure Java

Novell believes that Java must remain platform independent to ensure the greatest benefits for distributed computing. 100% Pure Java ensures that applications are distributable and extensibleCnot bound to a specific platform or service on that platform.

To Novell, cross-platform means more that just Windows 95 and Windows NT. Novell is committed to ensure that the Java development (Java Developer's Kit) and execution environment (Java Virtual Machine and Just-in-time compiler) running on the InternetWare platform will strictly follow all conformance tests to ensure 100% Pure Java support.

Java Client Support

Novell is not just embracing Java on the server, but is also fully embracing Java on the client. Novell's rich tradition of providing multiple-client access to networking services will be enhanced by building client services and infrastructures in Java and native support of CORBA IIOP connectivity. This will enable complete symmetry between the client and server in building and deploying distributed logic based upon Java.

CORBA ensures widely standardized connectivity across distributed nodes, including support in some of the most widely deployed browsers and an increasing number of middleware systems. Additionally, since CORBA supports interoperability between object models, it provides a truly invisible foundation for integrating other systems such as Microsoft COM, thus preserving investments on multiple platforms.

Novell's Distributed Computing Model

Novell will center its distributed computing architecture around Java and CORBA, with Java on the server, Java on the client, and CORBA as the distributed object infrastructure. As contrasted to other vendors' offerings, Novell's direction is comprehensive, and it is based on well-defined and widely-implemented multi-vendor standards. Novell's approach assures customer investment and application portability across the industry, even on platforms that natively support COM.

All Novell services will be accessible in this environment through native Java interfaces as well as IDL bindings. As these service interfaces evolve, Novell will continue to work in conjunction with Sun and other industry leaders to standardize these interfaces, assuring that they are open and adoptable. Novell has been actively working in industry standards groups for years to establish this foundation and has been a leading contributor in OMG.

Novell Product Adoption Of Java

Novell believes that Java is much more than a Web animation programming language. As more and more classes are defined to access rich networking services, Java is becoming a rich network programming platform for building mission-critical or line of business applications and logic. Novell is enhancing its applications such as GroupWise and ManageWise and its network management utilities including NWAdmin and common console to take advantage of Java, thus enabling greater platform support and access through Web protocols and services.

Novell will build new network services in Java, such as the trader service, to enhance Java as a programming and execution platform for robust networking services. Novell can supply the fastest platform for Java execution, which will add to Java=s attractiveness to developers and ISVs as a development tool to build server-based logic.

Extending Java Through Network Services

As a key partner with Sun, Novell has been actively engaged in defining new Java class libraries that enrich the functionality of Java. These new libraries are focused on networking services and provide a foundation of class libraries to enable easier development of distributed logic and solutions written in Java. Novell is committed to leveraging its leadership position in networking services to make Java a rich programming environment for the network and preserve the Java philosophy of "Write Once, Run Anywhere."

The following network services demonstrate Novell's commitment to Java and creating a richer network-aware environment for distributed Java logic:

  • Java Telephony Services: Novell, Lucent, Intel and Sun collaborated on JTAPI (Java Telephony API), which provides application programming interfaces for Java-based computer-telephony applications that work across a variety of telephony systems. The integration of telephony, intranets and the Internet is an exciting area of technology blending that helps the network look more user friendly-like an extension to a well-known appliance.

  • Java Management Services: This combined effort from Novell, Sun, Computer Associates, Tivoli Systems, 3Com, Bay Networks and others provides a rich set of extensible Java objects and methods for building applets that can manage an enterprise network over the Internet.

  • Java Internationalization Services: Along with Taligent, Novell has provided assistance and technology to Sun for the much-needed internationalization of Java. Specifically, Novell provided technology in the area of UNICODE-Code page conversion.

  • Java Speech Services: Novell and Sun are collaborating to produce leading-edge speech recognition and speech synthesis (text-to-speech) technology written in and accessible from Java.

  • Java Directory Services: Novell has applied its industry-leading expertise in directory services to develop, along with Sun, Netscape, IBM, HP and others, and deliver the Java Directory Interface (JDI). JDI is a 100% Pure Java API that allows applications written in Java to navigate name systems of all varieties. JDI supports a broad spectrum of naming mechanisms, including directory (NDS, LDAP, X.500), file, URL, DNS and XOpen naming facility systems.

Note: The ability to find and access a named object regardless of namingmechanism or a combination of mechanisms is a powerful offering.For example, an Internet URL allows a user to access a file named index.html that is uniquein the namespace public, residing on, which is theDNS name of the system where the Web server is running in theURL scheme-id namespace http.

  • Java Distributed Printing Services: Novell, Sun, HP, Xerox and others are collaborating on a new initiative to expand on the simple printing services available in Java now. This interface enables richer functionality for end-user oriented printing, such as starting and stopping print jobs and checking status. It also offers a very rich print administration interface to manage print queues, printers and access control.

  • Java Workgroup Collaboration Services: Leveraging Novell's expertise in workgroup collaboration with the GroupWise product line, Novell is working with Sun to provide Java interfaces to E-mail messaging services, calendaring/scheduling, document management and workflow services.

Java Beans Components to Network Services

Rapid Application Development (RAD) tools make it easier for non-programmers to use pre-defined components written in Java. In addition to developing Java Class Libraries to access network services, Novell will define Java BeansJ that provide high-level abstractions to network services. This will provide ISV developers and administrators with an easier way to build applications that access network services.

NetWare Specific Class Libraries-Legacy Network Services

Novell will also expose a set of class libraries for Java developers writing to the IntranetWare platform. This set of class libraries is specific to the IntranetWare platform and proprietary protocols. They expose all the rich services that currently exist through client and server procedural APIs. These class libraries will be only distributed to Novell-specific developers who want to write advanced utilities and administrative tasks in Java.

Java Developer Tools

Novell's Java Developer Tools strategy is to provide the essential developer tools to enhance the delivery of a complete Java development and execution platform. Already, Novell has established a strategic relationship with Sun that includes cross-licensing of various Java technologies, developer tools, and services. Novell and Sun will work together to tightly integrate the developer tools to the Java/CORBA infrastructure on IntranetWare to take advantage of networking services and distributed logic modeling.

The Java developer tools will provide a complete, rich development environment including debugging and optimization support for building distributed applications. The Java WorkShop (JWS) 2.0 developer tool will be available to DeveloperNet subscribers. JWS is designed for professional programmers to develop Java applets and applications. Novell will also deliver higher-level visual developer tools to allow Web content developers to easily build and deploy Java-based applications using pre-defined components and logic in Java Beans.

Building The Infrastructure for Distributed Object Computing

As the industry moves into distributed object computing, the necessary infrastructure and services must be in place to make distributed applications and solutions reliable, manageable, secure and extensible. The strength of distributed object computing lies in enabling logic to be partitioned and dynamic in nature. Java's platform-independent strength for distributing logic makes it the ideal solution for developers who need to build global, distributed networks comprised of multiple computing platforms and devices.

Application developers need transparency to the object modeling services supporting their distributed applications, even when they need to interoperate between different object models, such as Microsoft COM. Java and CORBA offer powerful tools to seamlessly extend and enhance desktop object services, enabling transparent functionality.

Building upon the rich foundation of networking services that defined networking, Novell will simplify the development of distributed object computing using the open, standard functionality of Java and CORBA. Novell has long embraced CORBA as the most reliable, scalable object model for distributed computing.

Novell will provide advanced networking services that will support and enhance the standard CORBA Object Services. Security, management, licensing, and trading services are essential for building robust distributed solutions across a global network. Novell will also support native Java Remote Method Invocations (RMI) to ensure 100 percent compatibility to the Java platform.

Novell's Roadmap

Novell will enhance its intranet and Internet services in the next release of IntranetWare. This includes the addition of Web Proxy and Caching services, Secure Socket Layer support in the Web Server, and Java and CORBA infrastructure. These enhancements strongly position IntranetWare as the platform for moving businesses to the future in global computing.

Support for the IP communication protocol is currently available and will be enhanced in future releases of IntranetWare. New services written in Java or existing services exposed through CORBA will offer native IP support through standard IIOP and GIOP protocols.

The Novell-Java client is currently in development and will offer unique services in LAN and Internet connectivity. Designed to be native or extended through a browser, the Java client will offer the customer a network workplace to communicate and access information universally and dynamically.

Novell delivered the first developer release of the JVM/JDK 1.02 in December 1996 to run on NetWare 4.1 and IntranetWare 1.0. Developers can download the latest Java development environment by accessing Novell delivered the developer release of JVM/JDK 1.1 for early developer access at BrainShare. Novell will also deliver the JVM/JDK 1.1 and JIT infrastructure as part of the next IntranetWare release.

For a roadmap of specific network service classes and IntranetWare platform enhancements, refer to the Novell Java home page at

* Originally published in Novell AppNotes


The origin of this information may be internal or external to Novell. While Novell makes all reasonable efforts to verify this information, Novell does not make explicit or implied claims to its validity.

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