Sun releases Forte for Java 3.0

Sun releases Forte for Java 3.0

September 18, 2001

Sun Microsystems today announced the immediate availability of release 3.0 of the Forte for Java integrated development environment (IDE). The product dramatically simplifies application development that uses Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition (J2EE) technologies, such as Enterprise JavaBeans components. The IDE supports deployment to leading J2EE application servers, has been optimized for the iPlanet Application Server 6.0, and is a core component of the Sun Open Net Environment (Sun ONE) -- an open architecture and integratable product portfolio to create, assemble and deploy Web services.

Sun today also contributed seven modules to, further enhancing the position of NetBeans as a leading open-source tools platform. The Forte for Java IDE is built on the NetBeans platform.

"Sun now provides a powerful, open standards-based, and completely modular application development environment for developers to rapidly build and deploy J2EE applications and Web services without being locked in to any vendor, any application server, or any operating environment," said Peter Young, vice president, Forte Tools, Sun Microsystems. "In just over a year, Forte for Java has matured into an enterprise product, attracting more than 75 partners building modules that extend the platform. This is a new tools ecosystem, focusing on innovation and cooperation, not the proprietary model of the past."

Forte for Java, Enterprise Edition
Forte for Java, release 3.0, Enterprise Edition supports the building and deployment of J2EE applications on leading application servers. In addition, the integration between the Forte for Java IDE and the iPlanet Application Server has been enhanced to support the development of enterprise Java applications as well as Web services. The IDE allows developers to target the iPlanet Application Server and optimize their applications for performance, scalability and high availability. A new Web services module provides automatic binding of Java technology and XML through intuitive wizards, generates Java code that supports run-time access and execution of services, and supports Web-based publishing to a services registry.

The product also supports the Java 2 Platform, Micro Edition (J2ME), making it easier to build applications and services that can be accessed via the Web, mobile devices, or personal digital assistants. Through the Forte for Java Extension Partner Program, companies are developing innovative modules that extend the Forte for Java environment to provide support for SOAP, UDDI, WSDL, and UML modeling.

New Modules Contributed to Open Source
Sun today also contributed code from seven modules to the open source project, The NetBeans platform is an extensible, cross-platform, cross-language IDE that forms the basis for Sun's Forte for Java IDE. The open source modules include:

  • External Editor -- Enables developers to seamlessly integrate the popular XEmacs and vi editors into the NetBeans IDE. The External Editor module also offers a generic API that allows other editors to be integrated into the IDE, giving developers the option of using an editor they are already comfortable with.
  • C/C++/Fortran support -- Allows developers to compile and execute Fortran, C and C++ code, including syntax highlighting and makefile support. The module makes it easier for users of Forte Developer (, the leading C/C++/Fortran language development environment for the Solaris(TM) Operating Environment (OE).
  • XML Support -- Provides support for XML, including syntax highlighting, code completion, validation, DTD generation and logical editing of XML documents.
  • Database Explorer -- Brings functionality previously found almost exclusively in mid-tier commercial IDEs into the free, open source NetBeans IDE. This module allows developers to browse and manipulate live databases and generate JDBC code to rapidly write database aware client- and server-side code.
  • CORBA Support -- Enables rapid development and testing of applications that use the Common Object Request Broker (CORBA) architecture. It includes support for editing and syntax highlighting of IDL files, CORBA service browsing, and other features to enhance developer productivity. File Copy -- Supports deployment of applications and files via Internet File Transfer Protocol and highlights the usefulness of the NetBeans platform as a teaching tool. The module was developed as a student project at Czech Technical University in cooperation with Sun.
  • Terminal Emulation -- Adds terminal support, enabling enhanced interaction with external processes such as compilation and build operations.
With the 3.0 release, the Forte for Java IDE is now available in an Enterprise Edition and Community Edition. Most of the modules and features from Fortefor Java, Internet Edition are now in Forte for Java, Community Edition. Sun also plans to submit Forte for Java, release 3.0 for J2EE certification and will issue a service pack for current customers in November that would make the product fully J2EE compliant. J2EE certification would make Forte for Java, release 3.0 one of the first leading Java IDEs to be recognized with the "J2EE Compatible" brand -- which ensures portability of the Java platform across multiple tools and runtime environments.

Availability and Platform Support
Forte for Java, release 3.0 is available now via download at Community Edition is available at no charge; Enterprise Edition is priced at U.S. ,995. Sun has provided a competitive upgrade program for Forte for Java, Internet Edition customers to purchase Enterprise Edition. The Forte for Java IDE is cross-platform compatible, enabling development on Solaris OE, Linux, and Windows platforms.