Press Release -- Expands Functionality With More Than a Dozen Major Community Contributions

PALO ALTO, CA -- May 21, 2001 -- Sun Microsystems, Inc. today announced that the NetBeans[tm] open source project ( has added more than a dozen additional modules into its open source code base. These modules make the standards-based integrated development environment (IDE) platform more complete and expand its appeal to a broader audience of Java[tm] technology developers. The modules will streamline Java application development and address a range of issues, including integration with Apache's "Ant" XML scriptable build tool, improved application server deployment support and SOAP-based Web services generation and deployment.

"The developer tools arena needs to evolve at a faster pace than any single vendor can support," said Stans Kleijnen, vice president, Forte Tools, Sun Microsystems. "Contributions by the open source community are significantly advancing the functionality of the NetBeans platform. We are glad to be part of the groundswell of developers who value the benefits of building software without fear of being locked into proprietary technology."

The NetBeans tools platform reflects input from the development community that uses and supports it. Due to its modular architecture, tool developers can add new functionality to the environment, independent of conventional release cycles. Because the platform is built on a common, publicly available code base, users benefit from the continuing enhancements and reliability inherent in the open source model. Sun's Forte[tm] for Java[tm] product is the company's commercial distribution of the NetBeans IDE, encompassing the NetBeans code plus additional modules.

"NetBeans is the foundation for my development environment," said Casey Kochmer, president, Amberjack Software, which maintains the JSP[tm] Insider ( Web site. "I can count on the high quality of its capabilities to make my coding job easy. The open source nature of NetBeans is important since this means that the product is easily available to anyone whom we assist in learning JSP technology. All this means that NetBeans is the yard stick I use for comparing all other development environments."

The New NetBeans Modules Following are the new NetBeans modules, which have been contributed by members of the open source community and have been accepted for inclusion into the NetBeans code base. They are available now at

  • Ant Module -- Seamlessly integrates Ant, a Java technology- and XML-based automated build tool from Apache's Jakarta project ( This module allows the creation of legible and customizable XML scripts that can build, test and deploy Java technology and other applications.
  • CPPLite -- This module provides lightweight support for the C and C++ languages, including syntax highlighting, compilation and execution.
  • ExtBrowser Module -- While the NetBeans platform includes an internal Web browser written in the Java language, the ExtBrowser module allows developers to use their browser of choice to easily view documentation, test Web applications or develop HTML documents.
  • JASM -- The Java Assembler module supports the viewing and editing of Java bytecode. This module enables developers to see precisely what the Java Virtual Machine (JVM[tm]) is doing when it is executing their code.
  • Java CVS Module -- This CVS client is fast, 100 percent pure Java technology and is seamlessly integrated into the NetBeans platform. Using the popular CVS source code control system, repository files are transparently presented in the NetBeans platform, eliminating the overhead of using an external program for source control.
  • J2EE[tm] Server Module -- This module gives developers significant freedom of choice by implementing generic application server deployment support, providing a Service Provider Interface (SPI) for the special features of individual application servers. Any developer or vendor can use this SPI to build seamless, powerful support for an application server within the development environment.
  • Jini[tm] Network Technology Module -- This module provides support for development of Jini services, Jini clients, whole Jini applications and easy management of the Jini infrastructure.
  • Java Naming and Directory Interface Module[tm] (JNDI) -- This module helps developers write applications that use JNDI to access various naming services. It features a JNDI browser for viewing the contents of naming services. Developers may select a named item in the browser and generate binding or lookup code.
  • Macintosh OS X Support -- With new launchers for Mac OS X, the NetBeans software is now available to developers on the Macintosh platform.
  • MDI Windowing Support -- With this capability, the NetBeans platform now supports both the traditional multiple window interface and a new Multiple Document Interface (MDI) mode, in which all components of the IDE appear in a single window, or combinations of both modes.
  • Multi-Session Debugger Module -- This module extends the capabilities of the NetBeans debugger. It allows developers to debug distributed network applications, such as client/server applications based on Enterprise JavaBeans[tm] components.
  • OpenVMS Support -- This capability provides launchers and patches enabling the IDE to run on the OpenVMS operating system.
  • RemoteFS -- Developers can use this module to easily gain transparent access to files on remote servers using the FTP protocol. This enables developers to interact with remote files as if they were stored locally and enables all other extensions to the IDE to also interact with these remote files through this transparent interface.
  • RMI (Remote Method Invocation) Module -- RMI is a standard Java technology extension that enables objects to communicate with each other across JVM platforms and computers. This module provides support for development of RMI applications that span multiple JVM platforms. It includes an RMI Wizard, RMI specific compilation and execution, RMI Registry Browser and Activation Browser.
  • Scripting Module -- This module provides support for both editing and running user application files written in a scripting language, as well as automating IDE functions with that language. The module is built with support for the DynamicJava, BeanShell and JPython open source projects and provides a Service Provider Interface for integrating additional languages.
  • VCS Generic Support Module -- This module enables developers to integrate any version control system that has a command-line interface into the IDE. The module comes with configurations for several popular version control systems, which developers can use as is or customize.
  • WASP Tools -- This module brings SOAP Web services to the open source world, allowing developers to generate Java code from WSDL or turn a Java class into a Web-based service that can be immediately tested in the IDE. The generated code can be deployed using the WASP (Web Applications and Services Platform) from Idoox (

The community site serves as the coordination point for the development and testing of the NetBeans tools platform by providing discussion forums, software engineering tools, certified releases, mailing lists, issue tracking and version control. CollabNet, a leading provider of collaborative software development solutions based on open source concepts, is providing the infrastructure for

For more information on the NetBeans modules, developers and contributors, visit

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 power the Internet and allow companies worldwide to take their businesses to the nth. With $19.2 billion in annual revenues, Sun can be found in more than 170 countries and on the World Wide Web at

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