SunSoft to Deliver New Java Development Tools for Dynamic Web Design, Development and Publishing

Solaris and Microsoft® Windows tools to incorporate HotJava browser technology; initial release includes WYSIWYG editor, sets new publishing standard for Web applets

NEW YORK, Sept. 20, 1995 -- SunSoft Inc., today announced its intent to deliver a development environment for companies using the World Wide Web for business and commerce. The SunSoft offering will include tools and standards to enable the design, creation, publishing, and distribution of dynamic Web pages and applications that will bring the Web to life with real-time, fully interactive graphics, audio and video. The new tools will be available for both Solaris® and Microsoft® Windows platforms, and will incorporate Sun's HotJava™ dynamic Web browser technology, launched last Spring.

SunSoft plans to deliver an initial release of Java development tools in the first half of 1996 and will follow up with increasingly sophisticated offerings that leverage its industry leadership in both Internet solutions and in visual point-and-click software development.

"Doing business on the Web demands much more than traditional programming tools," said Larry Weber, vice president and general manager of the SunSoft Developer Products business unit. "It demands a whole new approach that dissolves the barriers between designers and programmers, developers and publishers. This will be a complete Web authoring and publishing environment that will let companies provide next generation interactive content on the Web."

SunSoft's announcement follows the company's introduction last May of key building blocks for brining new world interactivity to the Web: the Java language to write dynamic web applications, and the HotJava browser. With the new development environment, SunSoft is providing a critical piece to enable companies to build and deploy Java-based Web pages and applications.


The first release of SunSoft's Web development environment will address the requirements for assembling Web pages and incorporating interactive content. According to Weber, the first release will be a "down payment" on the company's longer-range vision toward a comprehensive visual tool environment to support all aspects of doing business on the Web, and an open framework for integration of third-party Internet development tools.

One of the features, targeted at Web page authors and designers, is a WYSIWYG (what-you-see-is-what-you-get) HTML Web page editor that enables rapid, interactive creation of dynamic Web pages. Other key features, targeted at creators of interactive multi-media applications for the Web, include a programming environment for Java and a kit for publishing and distributing those applications -- called "applets"-- on the Internet.

SunSoft also announced its commitment to providing an open, extensible Web development environment. The company promised to publish APIs (application programming interfaces) to support the integration of third-party tools.


A key component of the new toolset will be the industry's first dynamic Web page editor, which leverages HotJava technology providing state-of-the-art WYSIWYG HTML editing with the ability to drag-and-drop selections from palettes of Java-based applets. The editor will be integrated with a dynamic browser, enabling Web page authors and designers to instantly switch from edit to browse mode to review their work in the browser environment and to experience their applets in live action.

Addionally, SunSoft's Web offering will include a set of Java development tools to help programmers visually construct and debug their interactive Java-based applets within a Web browser environment. The initial release will include an integrated text editor for writing Java source code, a builder for compiling and error-checking, a visual debugger and an integrated source browser. Plans for enhancement include such sophisticated features as run-time error checking, dynamic platform optimization and support for team development.

The first release will also answer the critical issues of applet publication and distribution. The new kit for applet publication will include a new standard publishing format for what SunSoft calls "applet portfolios" -- a collection of descriptions, demonstrations, documentation, source code and other on-line materials that will help Web page creators search for, then use published applets. Automated tools will enable developers to create the portfolios and then place them on applet palettes for posting on the Web. Web page creators will then be able to browse palettes, review selected applet portfolios and then drag-and-drop the applets directly on to their Web-pages-in-progress. SunSoft's long-term vision for the kit includes solutions for applet commerce on the Web.


The Java language, the result of several years of research and development at Sun Microsystems, is the first language to provide a comprehensive solution to the challenges of programming for the Internet, providing portability, security, advanced networking and robustness without compromising performance.

The HotJava browser uses the Java language to expand the capabilities of current browsers by allowing the downloading of small software programs called "applets." Instead of simply reading pages, HotJava browser users execute computer applications on their screens, so they can interact with multimedia applications in real-time. A number of companies have announced plans to integrate the Java technology and HotJava dynamic browser into new applications they will develop for the Internet.

SunSoft will deliver its first toolset to a select set of Web development sites later this year, with plans to ship the tools in volume in the first half of 1996. For additional information please call 1-800-SunSoft, prompt 1. Look for more information about SunSoft on the WorldWide Web at


SunSoft, Inc., headquartered in Mountain View, California is a subsidiary of Sun Microsystems, Inc., with offices worldwide. SunSoft's charter is to design, market, sell and support the industry's highest-quality software environment for enabling businesses to gain a competitive advantage through information systems. The products are licensed by SunSoft and distributed through major computer manufacturers and resellers worldwide.

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