Microsoft Extends Application Foundation Classes for Java To Ease Development of Distributed Enterprise Applications

SAN FRANCISCO, April 2, 1997 — Today at Software Development West and JavaONE, Microsoft Corp. announced its Application Foundation Classes (AFC) Enterprise Libraries for faster, easier development of powerful and well-managed corporate applications in Java
. The Enterprise Libraries are a complete set of industrial-strength Java class libraries that give corporate developers access to the services of today’s distributed computing environments, including data access, directory services, management, transactions and distributed object interoperability.

“Corporate developers are telling us they need a great set of class libraries to put Java to work for in-house corporate development,” said Bob Muglia, vice president of the server applications division at Microsoft. “Developers who are eager to use the Java programming language are not able to fully exploit today’s computing infrastructure, and this is holding back development. The AFC Enterprise Libraries bring power and maturity to the development of corporate applications in Java.”

Written in Java, the Enterprise Libraries meld deep functionality with proven programming and object models that have been tried and tested through broad corporate use. Moreover, these cross-platform class libraries take full advantage of the distributed computing infrastructure organizations are deploying today – especially the Microsoft® Windows NT® Server network operating system and the Microsoft BackOffice
family of integrated server products. They support established and emerging industry-standard protocols such as HTTP, LDAP, DCOM and hypermedia management protocol (HMMP). The Enterprise Libraries let developers write real enterprise applications in Java without sacrificing functionality, risking a project on an immature technology, or having to reimplement existing applications or infrastructure to use the Java programming language. The Enterprise Libraries join the GUI Libraries in Microsoft’s set of Application Foundation Classes for Java developers. The GUI Libraries are available today in developers’ prerelease form (see separate news release), allowing developers to build modern user interface and graphics for Java applications quickly and easily.

“We’re using the Microsoft AFC Enterprise Libraries today to build transactions-enabled applications in Java,” said Frank Torbey, senior vice president of development at Infinium Software Inc. “The ability to write Java applications that work with the proven architecture of Microsoft Transaction Server is just what we need to use Java in real line-of-business applications.”

AFC Enterprise Libraries Provide Open Interface to Give Corporate Developers a Boost

Because AFC Enterprise Libraries use open, industry-standard protocols, corporate developers will have access to services running on a wide variety of platforms, including Windows NT, UNIX and mainframe platforms. Developers can use the AFC Enterprise Libraries to access a full range of distributed computing services, including the following:

  • Data access with client-side caching, updatable cursors with hierarchical navigation support, and a new Java control binding model enabling a wide range of data-intensive, two- and three-tier applications. The provider-independent cursor library works with JDBC, ADO, ODBC and other data access models and will include a rich set of data-aware controls that will be part of the AFC GUI Libraries.

  • Directory services support rich query, enumeration, schema management and property manipulation of any LDAP-based directory service through a proven, high-level object model for building directory applications.

  • Transaction services provide automatic support for transactions, resource sharing and connection pooling via Microsoft Transaction Server (MTS). Shipping since December, MTS is the first and only commercial online transaction processing engine available to Java developers. MTS’ Automatic Transactions allows Java developers to focus on a component’s unique function, enabling high-performance, scalable, reliable and robust “middle tier” solutions that can be easily composed from independently authored Java components.

  • Management services allow management applications to interact with managed components throughout a distributed system. The hypermedia management protocol, a component of the Web-Based Enterprise Management (WBEM) effort, provides a unified view and remote access to system, network, desktop and telecom instrumentation technologies and standards.

  • Object interoperability provides a proven, interoperable and secure mechanism for Java applications to interact easily and robustly with other Java applications as well as applications written in other languages using distributed COM (DCOM) over the network.

Today, the Microsoft virtual machine for Java provides built-in support for DCOM, but this Java implementation of DCOM brings efficient and scalable distributed object interoperability to all Java developers, regardless of platform. DCOM’s consistent interfaces and binary compatibility allow developers to focus on their application instead of the “plumbing” and, now, integrate Java applications with the myriad applications that already support DCOM. DCOM is a platform-independent open standard under the stewardship of the Active Group.

Microsoft expects all of the Enterprise Libraries to be in commercial release by the second half of this year. Some, like transaction services, are available immediately. Like the AFC GUI Libraries, the AFC Enterprise Libraries will be provided with the Microsoft virtual machine for Java in Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0, which will be provided on the Windows® 95 operating system, Windows NT, Windows 3.1, Macintosh and UNIX, and will be freely redistributable by application developers.

Microsoft is delivering comprehensive, end-to-end solutions to help make corporate and commercial Java developers successful. With world-class technologies and programs including class libraries, virtual machines, component support, tools, technical support and market development programs, for commercial developers, Microsoft will help developers create both cross-platform Java applications and Java applications that take full advantage of customers’ investments in Microsoft Windows.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

Microsoft, Windows NT, BackOffice and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Java is a trademark of Sun Microsystems Inc.

Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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