Microsoft Releases Developer Preview of Application Foundation Classes For Java; Top Java Developers Demonstrate Support For Microsoft’s Class Libraries

SAN FRANCISCO, April 2, 1997 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the availability of a preview release of its Application Foundation Classes (AFC), a comprehensive collection of Java
class libraries that help developers quickly create commercial-quality, cross-platform Java applications. The preview release includes the AFC GUI Libraries – a rich set of graphics and user interface class libraries – including a set of prebuilt user interface components, and is available for download at no charge (connect-time charges may apply) via the preview release of the Microsoft software development kit (SDK) for Java version 2.0.

“Software developers want high productivity and rich applications. That’s how they make money,” said Brad Silverberg, senior vice president, applications and Internet client group at Microsoft. “AFC lets them write less code and get a better application, without sacrificing support for multiple platforms.”

Independent developers, tools vendors and corporate developers have been quick to support the Microsoft® AFC.

“As a member of the Java Fund, we know good Java code when we see it,” said Bob Payne, CEO of Calico Technology. “We’ve looked at other Java frameworks, and we were very impressed by Microsoft’s AFC. Microsoft has provided the industrial-strength framework that we needed to get the most out of Java. We are certainly going to use AFC in Concinity, and we strongly encourage other Java developers to have a look at AFC too.”

AFC Brings Java Programming to the Next Level

The Application Foundation Classes, an extensive set of value-added class libraries written in Java, are intended to be compatible with all high-quality implementations of Java. The AFC GUI Libraries – user interface and graphics libraries – included in the preview release help developers build richer, more sophisticated applications.

“We’re building our new JOY and JEWELS products on top of AFC,” said Mike Braun, CEO at Neuron Data Inc. “Because Microsoft is providing rich functionality, we can get our high-end Java GUI toolkit and Business Rules engine to market faster. And since AFC is fully compatible with the basic AWT library, we were able to leverage the work we’d already done with AWT.”

AFC helps make developers more productive, allowing them to focus more of their time on application-specific features that add the greatest value to their products. With more than 30 prebuilt, reusable user interface components, including elements such as toolbars, tree controls and tabbed dialog boxes, developers can create a state-of-the-art user interface that meets customer expectations for a modern application. The prebuilt components reduce the development time required to ship a product, because developers do not have to build up complex user interface controls from scratch. All of the components are fully customizable and extensible so that developers can tailor them to their specific needs. The graphics libraries include a comprehensive extensible object architecture and support for advanced graphics features such as textures, wide-styled pens, resource loading and multiple font formats that were previously unavailable to Java programmers. The high-performance, value-added AFC libraries are fully customizable and extensible.

AFC frees developers from the limitations of the basic Java Abstract Windowing Toolkit (AWT) library. Unlike other class libraries, AFC maintains compatibility with the AWT programming model, so developers can get maximum use from their existing AWT code and expertise.

“Java just got richer, thanks to Microsoft’s AFC,” said Scot Wingo, co-founder of Stingray Software. “Our customers demand powerful, high-quality, real-world developer tools that solve the challenges of writing Java Applets. As a result, having comprehensive, cross-platform libraries that allow us to create innovative solutions is critical to us. Microsoft is taking the lead in making that possible with AFC, and Stingray Software will be providing the first family of Java developer tools that build on top of AFC.”

Leading Java Vendors Show Their Support for AFC

New Java applications based on AFC are being exhibited today through Friday at Software Development West and JavaOne, including products from the following companies:

  • SuperCede from Asymetrix Corp.

  • Concinity from Calico Technology

  • WAV from Digital Harbor Inc.

  • Leadership Development Web site from ELF Systems

  • Harmania from JB Development Inc.

  • Jclass Live Table Pro and Jclass Chart from KL Group Inc.

  • Extreme Java Tools from Neuron Data Inc.

  • PARTS from ObjectShare

  • Powersoft PowerJ RAD Java from Powersoft Corp. (a division of Sybase Inc.)

  • Thin Mint from Shoreline Teleworks Inc.

  • ObjectiveGrid/AFC from Stingray Software Inc.

  • Obsydian from Synon

  • ViewSoft Internet from ViewSoft Inc.

  • SamePage from Web Flow

  • JetConnect from XDB Systems Inc.

In addition, Aimtech, Dimension X, Exeter Educational Management Systems, FutureTense, LikeMinds, Metrowerks Inc., Neural Applications, VI/Visualize and other leading companies have announced support for Microsoft’s AFC.

“Microsoft’s AFC improves Java for developers,” said Peter Kellogg-Smith, director of product management at Asymetrix Corp. “AFC’s compatibility, cross-platform libraries and extensibility allow us to give developers the tools they need to build great Java applications.”

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 is either a registered trademark or trademark 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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