Press Release


Sun Java[tm] Studio Creator to Make NetBeans[tm] Application Framework Accessible to Millions of Corporate Developers

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - December 4, 2003 - Sun Microsystems, Inc. (NASDAQ: SUNW) and the open source tools community today unveiled a new roadmap for the NetBeans[tm] Application Framework (NetBeans platform), detailing the path to version 4.0 of the premier tools framework for the Java[tm] platform. The roadmap features advances that are intended to extend the reach of developers building Web and Web services applications, desktop graphical interfaces and mobile clients. It also addresses critical developer productivity enhancements and a complete redesign of the user interface to provide a more intuitive, "out-of-the box" developer experience.

With more than 20,000 registered developers and over 100 partners as part of this successful open source community, the NetBeans platform has established itself as a preferred development platform for many Java technology developers as demonstrated by the over 1.5 million downloads since the release of NetBeans 3.5 in June - an average of 12,500 per day. This rapid adoption, coupled with the breadth and depth of the Integrated Develop Environmnet (IDE) in its ability to support end-to-end development from servers to mobile devices, makes the NetBeans platform the best possible choice as the foundation for Sun's developer tools strategy and the Sun Java Studio Enterprise and Sun Java Studio Creator (code-named Project Rave) products.

"NetBeans will continue to provide a cutting-edge, incredibly productive environment for a wide range of Java technology developers," said Richard Green, vice president, Developer Platforms Group, Sun Microsystems. "The enthusiasm in the developer community based on the accelerating number of downloads demonstrates that NetBeans is beginning to eclipse other industry tools initiatives."

The NetBeans community, represented by volunteer developers and tools industry leaders, including Compuware, Embarcadero, Iopsys, MAKE Technologies, Nexaweb, Quest and Systinet announced support for the new roadmap and the continued innovation on the NetBeans platform it represents. The open source project has greatly benefited from industry adoption and support through the growth in the number of modules available in the online catalog at to extend the IDE.

The current version of the NetBeans software, the NetBeans 3.5, delivers a variety of tools that address a broad range of application development needs, from the server to the handheld device. The NetBeans 3.5 release focuses on greater performance and builds on unmatched support in the open source IDE space for building Web applications with JavaServer Pages[tm] (JSP [tm]) technology and servlets, building rich clients with Java technology foundation classes, and support for building Java[tm] 2 Platform, Micro Edition (J2ME[tm]) applications. This release also comes pre-installed with the Tomcat open source Web server, eliminating the need for configuration installation steps. As a result, Java developers already have an extensible open source multi-platform Java IDE that allows development in the environment of choice - the Solaris[tm] Operating System, Linux, Windows or Macintosh platforms. The NetBeans 3.5 release also provides support for the development of applications targeted at JDK[tm] 1.4 release.

The newly announced NetBeans 3.6 release is targeted for availability in the first quarter of 2004 and is expected to include leading-edge development features such as a redesign of the user interface leading to more intuitive and improved workflow, and an improved "look and feel" for increased visual appeal. Popular features like "code folding" should allow for easier source code navigation.

The NetBeans 4.0 release is targeted for availability in the second half of 2004 and is expected to include automated "refactoring" support deeply integrated into the IDE that should provide improved code maintenance. The new release also is expected to include time-saving code editor features such as "Smart Imports" and improved "Code Completion" capabilities. The release will also include a new, highly-configurable build system to allow for the creation of more complex applications.

Information on the NetBeans Application Framework, specifications and development builds are all available on the website. Specific URLs of interest include:

Prior to releasing the new roadmap, the team conducted a number of positive discussions with members of the Java developer community on the website. This input has been very valuable in helping to ensure that NetBeans will meet future developer needs. Regarding these discussions, Rich Ross, founder of the Javalobby, said, "The excellent example the team is setting in getting developer community feedback can only lead to progress towards the one goal we all share in common, leading to a better world for Java technology developers and users."

Sun and third-party developers in the NetBeans community will continue to create the advanced technology and program enhancements that make the NetBeans a reliable environment and an essential element of many organizations' development plans. The NetBeans roadmap is being met with tremendous acceptance and support from the Java community. Compuware, Embarcadero, Iopsys, Nexaweb, Quest and Systinet are just a few of the companies that have committed continued support and innovation on the NetBeans platform.

"Compuware is excited to see the direction that the NetBeans platform is taking. As a NetBeans framework contributor, Compuware has been very satisfied with NetBeans' improvements over the last couple releases. More importantly, NetBeans has staked out a solid path into the future," said Mike Burba, Product Manager for Compuware OptimalJ. "These enhancements are critical to the success of products that build on the NetBeans platform--such as Compuware OptimalJ, the market-leading model-driven J2EE development tool."

"As an open source project, NetBeans benefits from the distributed collaboration of software developers worldwide to both enhance standards and raise the bar fro framework software quality," said Raj Sabhlok, senior vice president of corporate development for Embarcadero Technologies. "Our commitment to industry standards and software quality has made it an easy decision to choose Netbeans as a primary Java IDE platform."

"In our opinion, NetBeans is the best IDE available, especially for integration with XTT, our thin-client rich UI development framework," said David Pociu, president and CTO, InsiTech Group, Inc. "NetBeans also has the most open platform, making it very simple to incorporate plug-in modules. The planned improvements in the UI and Refactoring will only serve to make this very intuitive IDE even better."

"NetBeans provides the ideal platform for creating modules such as Iopsis iNsight, Rajesh Pradhan, CTO, Iopsis Software. "The IDE provides all the plumbing required to make our life easier. Thanks to the platform, we have been able concentrate on providing features related to Web services modeling without having to worry about recreating any IDE services. All in all, it's an excellent open source platform."

"The developer experience has seen drastic improvements in this latest release of NetBeans," said David Green, chief technology officer, MAKE Technologies. "Attention to detail has resulted in a much more responsive IDE. Additions to the interface have simplified source navigation to the extent that understanding the code has become easier. The powerful combination of NetBeans, its recent improvements and our Standards Based Automation solution results in a dramatic reduction in the cost and complexity of Java, J2EE and Web services development."

"As an open, standards-based environment, the NetBeans platform provides the foundation for uniting the Java community in bringing Java to the masses," said Coach Wei, founder and chief technology officer, Nexaweb Technologies, Inc. "Nexaweb, as well as other community members, are working hard on putting great technologies together that will greatly enhance developer productivity. We fully expect significant amounts of innovation coming out of such a community in the near future."

"NetBeans is a unique product and community, providing Java developers with exceptional tools and enhanced productivity," said Roman Stanek, chief executive officer and founder, Systinet. "Systinet is very pleased to support NetBeans 4.0 with its advanced Web services development environment."

Founded by Sun Microsystems and launched in June 2000, is the home of the NetBeans technology-based open source Java tools code base and community. has a vibrant global development community dedicated to providing trusted, standards-based software development products that address the needs of developers, users and organizations that rely on NetBeans as a basis for their products.

About Sun Microsystems, Inc.
Since its inception in 1982, a singular vision -- "The Network Is The Computer"[tm] -- has propelled Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) to its position as a leading provider of industrial-strength hardware, software and services that make the Net work. Sun can be found in more than 100 countries and on the World Wide Web at

Sun, Sun Microsystems, the Sun logo, Java, J2ME, J2SE, Java Server Pages, NetBeans and �The Network Is The Computer� are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the United States and other countries.

Laura Ramsey
Sun Microsystems, Inc.

Randy Wambold
781-466-8282, x19

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