GuidesThe Product of the Year 2002 Winners

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The nominations have been made. The voting has been tallied. The first annual Product of the Year 2002 awards are ready to be announced!

Our goal for these awards is to recognize the products and technologies that developers have already honored with investments of time and energy. We started the process by asking the readers of,, and to nominate their favorites. After a few weeks of voting, we condensed the list down to finalists and asked readers to vote once again. The resulting winners and finalists represent technology that is being used and that has gained the respect of an intensely active global community of professional developers.

We congratulate all of the companies that made it as finalists. (You can see a complete list of the finalists at Additionally, we congratulate all of the winners. Without further ado, the winners are…

Technology of the Year

Technology includes standards, tools, methodology, and more. Over the last year, a number of technologies have received attention. One technology has taken a step forward in a number of ways. This technology is Java 2 version 1.4.

Most remarkable in the release of Java 2 version 1.4 is the community process that was used for making improvements. The Java Community Process (JCP), which is made up of 39 companies, resulted in a collaborative effort for improvements to the prior version of Java. These improvements included new GUI controls, accelerated Java 2Dtm graphics performance, expanded internationalization and localization, new I/O and 64-bit support (for tasks such as large-scale data mining and business intelligence), additional support for standards (such as LDAP, SSL, XML, and CORBA), and additional support for Windows XP.

Java is, and continues to be, a technology that enables you to focus on one development language and yet support many platforms across an enterprise. By using the JCP, Java 2 version 1.4 continues to make the “one language, any platform” pledge closer to reality than ever.

The winner is a technology platform, language, and environment that continues to be used by developers for hard-core development. Sun’s Java 2 version 1.4 receives the award for the Product of the Year 2002—Technology.

The Technology of the Year finalists were:

  • C# Language
  • Eclipse v2.x
  • Java 2 Version 1.4
  • Macromedia Flash MX
  • Microsoft .NET Framework
  • PHP
  • Web Services
  • 802.11b standard

Development Tool of the Year

The most popular category among readers was the Product of the Year 2002—Development Tool of the Year. The winner in this category should not be a surprise to anyone. Released at the beginning of 2002, this product has been in the news nearly every day since.

Microsoft Visual Studio .NET was a radical upgrade from Microsoft’s previous versions of Visual Studio. Within this product is a re-written version of the Visual Basic language that includes true object-oriented programming. Also included is a new language, C# (CSharp), as well as updated versions of JScript and C++. Microsoft Visual Studio .NET was built with the intent of providing the features that developers need to build applications today. It includes a complete set of tools for developing dynamic Web-based applications using ASP.NET. It also includes XML support for tapping into data stored as XML as well as for creating XML Web Services. With numerous wizards and detailed help—including Intellisense that helps the developer in writing code—Microsoft has made this a very approachable development tool even for beginners. Finally, by using the .NET Framework, Microsoft has built a development environment that transitions from one language to another with little differences. Microsoft Visual Studio .NET is well on its way to delivering on its promise of a single tool for any programming language.

Microsoft Visual Studio .NET receives the award Product of the Year 2002—Development Tool.

The Development Tool of the Year finalists were:

  • Adobe GoLive 6.0
  • Borland Kylix 3
  • Borland Delphi 7
  • Eclipse 2.x
  • Intelli J IDEA
  • IBM WebSphere Application Developer
  • Microsoft Visual Studio .NET
  • OptimalJ From Compuware
  • UltraEdit/UltraEdit-32
  • Visual MainWIn 5
  • Visual SlickEdit

The Enterprise Development Tool of the Year

Whereas the Development Tool of the Year can focus on any development tool, the Enterprise category is focused on tools aimed at corporate, large-scale application development. The finalists in this category spanned several platforms. Again, however, one product stood out—Microsoft Visual Studio .NETreceives the Product of the Year 2002—Enterprise Development Tool.

The finalist for Enterprise Development Tool of the Year were:

  • Borland Enterprise Studio
  • ClientSoft’s ClientBuilder v7.5
  • Codagen Architect
  • DevPartner Studio Enterprise Edition
  • IBM WebSphere Application Developer
  • Microsoft Visual Studio .NET
  • Microsoft MSDN Universal Subscription
  • Oracle9i JDeveloper
  • Rational Suite Enterprise
  • Sun ONE Studio

Development Utility of the Year

Utilities are what help most programmers function. Utilities include debuggers and other testing tools, designers, memory managers, and more. Apache Ant 1.5.x is a Java-based build tool similar to Make in C/C++. Version 1.5.1 is currently available from the Apache Ant Web site at

Apache Ant thrives on removing some of the issues that tend to be found in other make tools such as make, gnumake, nmake, and jam. As a make tool aimed at Java, it centers on using Java classes and objects for doing individual tasks when building an application. More importantly, by using classes, Ant gains the ability of being able to work on multiple platforms—a characteristic that other make utilities don’t have. Additionally, a number of existing tools will enable you to integrate Ant into them. This includes tools such as NetBeans, WebSphere Studio Application Developer, Eclipse, Oracle 9i Developer, NetBeans/Sun ONE Studio, JDE(E) 2.2.8, IntelliJ IDEA 2.0, and more.

Apache Ant 1.5.x receives the Product of the Year 2002—Development Utility.

  • Apache Ant 1.5.x
  • Compuware Softice Driver Suite
  • Crystal Reports 9.0
  • DevPartner Studio 7.0 Professional Edition
  • InstallShield Developer 8
  • Interwoven Teamsite
  • jConfig (from
  • SourceOffSite Collaborative Edition
  • Visual SourceSafe

Database-Related Product of the Year

Most applications require a database, so this category was open to databases and database management systems as well as database standard, database development tool, or other database-related technologies. With a number of excellent products making it into the finalists—including products from Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, and Sybase—in 2002 it was the “little guy” that stood out and took the honors.

In a day where Microsoft SQL Server, IBM DB2, and Oracle9i are fighting it out to add features and to adapt to the Web, it was MySQL from the company, MySQL AB, that has stepped in to provide the speed and efficiencies that most Web sites need. While focused on being fast and reliable, MySQL doesn’t skimp on features. Key features for building business applications are included—features such as support for large data sets, row-level locking, and transactions. The result is that there are over 4,000,000 active installations of MySQL. It is no surprise that readers of describe MySQL with phrases like “multi-platform,” “fast,” “portable,” “high performance,” and “easy to install.”

MySQL receives the Product of the Year 2002—Database-Related Product.

The Database-Related Product of the Year finalists were:

  • DB2 Universal Database V8
  • MetaMatrix
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2000
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Windows CE Edition (SQL Server CE) version 2.0
  • MySQL
  • Oracle9i Database Release 2
  • Oracle9i JDeveloper
  • PostgreSQL
  • iAnywhere Solutions SQL Anywhere Studio / Sybase UltraLite

Web Services Product of the Year

One of the most hyped topic areas of 2002 has been Web Services. Although there has been a lot of talk about Web Services, there has also been a lot of development. This category included a number of products that were designed to help create and use Web Services. Once again, the finalists show the breadth of support that Web Services is receiving in the industry from both large and smaller companies.

A key to successful Web Services is to successfully support standards. The webMethods Integration Platform from webMethods Inc., supports a number of different standards in a number of different areas. webMethods supports Web services standards such as SOAP, WSDL, XMLP/SOAP, and WSFL. webMethods was built to connect applications as services across the Internet. Features of webMethods include the ability to turn existing applications into services without the need to write code. It also provides the ability to manage Web Services along with service-level agreements and business operations metrics.

webMethods Integration Platform receives the Product of the Year 2002—Web Services Product.

The Web Services Product of the Year finalists were:

  • Cape Clear’s CapeStudio
  • IBM Web Services Tool Kit
  • Java[tm] Web Services Developer Pack
  • MetaMatrix
  • Microsoft Web Services Development Kit
  • Oracle JDeveloper 9.0.3
  • webMethods Integration Platform
  • WebSphere SDK for Web Services

Wireless Development Product of the Year

Wireless and mobile development is a growing area with lots of technologies. recently expanded its coverage of wireless and mobile development. You can see this at

Java 2 Mobile Edition (J2ME) has become popular for developing mobile applications—so popular that a number of J2ME-compliant toolkits are available from companies such as Sun, Nokia, and Sprint. Oracle JDeveloper 9.0.3 with J2ME Extensions has made using J2ME and these toolkits relatively easy by including the ability for JDeveloper to integrate with any J2ME-compliant toolkit. JDeveloper offers full support for mobile application development—you can take advantage of the JDeveloper environment for developing, debugging, and deploying your mobile and wireless applications.

Oracle JDeveloper 9.0.3 with J2ME Extensions receives the Product of the Year 2002—Wireless Development Product.

The Wireless Development Product of the Year finalists were:

  • Nokia Mobile Internet Toolkit 3.1
  • Oracle JDeveloper 9.0.3 with JDeveloper J2MEtm extensions
  • Binary Runtime Environment for Wirelesstm (BREW) SDK 2.0
  • Microsoft Mobile Internet Toolkit 1.0
  • The Sun Java[tm] 2 Platform Micro Edition, (J2ME) Wireless Toolkit
  • Openwave SDK 6.1
  • iAnywhere Solutions m-Business Studio
  • IBM WebSphere Device Developer
  • BlueMoon Studio

Java Tool/Add-in of the Year

Java continues to be one of the strongest platforms for developing applications. As such, there are a number of great products available specifically for Java. One product that rises to the top is Borland JBuilder.

Borland JBuilder supports features such as Web services, UML, enterprise-level debugging, and team development, thus making it an enterprise-strength application for supporting J2EE applications. Borland JBuilder provides the ability to create dynamic Web applications that use technologies such as Apachetm Struts, servlets, JSPtm, and XML. You can also create Enterprise JavaBeans (EJBs) with its EJB Designer. Its Entity Bean Modeler can be used to create mappings to data sources, tables, indexes, fields, and more. As a Java tool, there is true cross-platform support for developing Java applications on multiple platforms including Windows, Linux, and Solaris. Developers can also use Borland JBuilder to better understand their existing applications by building UML models directly from the code. All in all, Borland JBuilder is loaded with features and tools for building Java applications. It is no surprise that it is the leading Java development tool.

Borland JBuilder receives the award for Product of the Year 2002—Java Tool/Add-in.

The Java Tool/Add-in of the Year finalists were:

  • Apache Ant 1.5.x
  • Borland JBuilder 7
  • Eclipse 2.x
  • JBoss 2.4.x/3.x
  • JUnit 3.8.x
  • Resin.-CMP 2.1.0
  • NetBeans 3.4
  • OptimalJ

.NET Tool/Add-in of the Year

It was obvious that .NET had a big impact over the last year. With products being released to support this new platform and framework, we thought it would be interesting to add a category related specifically to the new .NET platform.

Borland Delphi 7 Studio has incorporated the ability to develop and migrate Delphi applications to .NET. By using the Delphi compiler, applications can be built using the .NET Framework along with the Delphi language.

Borland Delphi 7 Studio receives the award for Product of the Year 2002—.NET Tool/Add-in.

The .NET Tool/Add-in of the Year finalists were:

  • Identify’s AppSight Black Box solutions
  • Borland Delphitm 7 Studio
  • DevPartner Studio
  • Dundas Chart for .NET
  • Microsoft Visual C# .NET
  • Microsoft Visual Studio .NET
  • ASP.NET Web Matrix
  • Wise for Visual Studio .NET
  • Dotfuscator Professional Edition
  • In Conclusion

    The staff at would like to thank all the readers for their nominations, feedback, votes, and other support. There are a number of great products available to developers. is proud to be able to continue to provide its readers with information on the products and technologies that are impacting developers. Following is a table summarizing the winner in each category.

    Once again, congratulations to all of the finalists as well as to the winners.

    Category Winner
    Technology Sun’s Java 2 Version 1.4
    Development Tool Microsoft Visual Studio .NET
    Enterprise Development Tool Microsoft Visual Studio .NET
    Development Utility Apache Ant 1.5.x
    Database-Related Product MySQL by MySQL AB
    Web Services Product webMethods Integration Platform by webMethods
    Wireless Development Product Oracle JDeveloper 9.0.3 with J2ME Extensions
    Java Tool/Add-in Borland JBuilder 7
    .NET Tool/Add-in Borland Delphi 7 Studio

    All names and trademarks are the property of their respective owners

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