January 16, 2002 — Sun Microsystems today announced an early access release of the Forte Developer 7 suite of products, which significantly simplifies the incorporation of C, C++ and Fortran applications into the Sun Open Network Environment (Sun ONE) platform. For organizations migrating to a services-on-demand architecture, Forte Developer 7 can help developers leverage the wealth of legacy, high-performance applications, rather than rewriting them from scratch.
The Forte Developer suite represents Sun’s highest performing, most tightly integrated development products for creating new functionality in the Solaris Operating Environment on both the SPARC and Intel architecture platforms.
With this release cycle, the Forte Developer suite has been migrated to the NetBeans open source platform, which is the foundation for Sun’s Forte for Java integrated development environment (IDE). Sun’s family of development tools now shares a unified IDE, creating the first tool that works seamlessly for all major languages and across platforms. This approach helps improve productivity, enabling developers to work in multiple languages with one environment.
“Forte Developer 7 gives Sun ONE developers a streamlined method for incorporating legacy applications to deliver services on demand today,” said Peter Young, vice president, Forte Tools, Sun Microsystems. “By leveraging the NetBeans platform into a common, multi-language IDE, Sun is providing developers with optimized tools for working in the multi-language world in which most large enterprises operate.”
Multi-Language Capabilities for Services on Demand
Forte Developer 7 includes the Native Connector Tool, a specification and set of libraries and wizards to give developers the ability to extend legacy applications as services-on-demand. Customers can use Forte Developer 7 to easily bind and encapsulate native C and C++ applications and libraries — as Java classes or XML-based services — bringing the investment in existing applications to today’s services-based Web. The Native Connector Tool supports the Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition (J2EE) Connector Architecture specification, which denotes a standard architecture for accessing resources in diverse enterprise information systems.
Multi-language debugging is also supported in this release. The dbx debugger — an interactive, source-level, graphical and command-line tool — has been fully integrated with Forte Developer 7 and can seamlessly debug Java language code alongside C, C++ and Fortran code. For the first time, developers can use a single tool to efficiently debug enterprise-wide, multi-language applications, which dramatically increases the quality of the code and reduces the time-consuming process of debugging with multiple tools.
New versions of the Forte compilers deliver documented performance improvements. Recent tests of Sun’s new UltraSPARC III Cu 1050 processor, set for availability for Sun workstation products early this year, showed a performance increase of 32 to 72 percent, attributable in part to more efficient object code generated by the new version of the Forte compiler.
“The Forte 7 Performance Analyzer allows us to tune our application using the performance counters built into the UltraSPARC hardware,” said Jeff Beadles, strategic platform technology manager, Mentor Graphics. “This provides not just visibility into where within the code a performance bottleneck occurs, but what caused it as well (i.e., CPU pipeline, cache accesses, or memory accesses).”
Performance Analyzer Includes Java HotSpot Support
Forte Developer 7 also contains significant updates to Performance Analyzer, a set of tools that helps analyze programs, aid problem isolation and provide information for fine-tuning applications for maximum performance. Performance Analyzer now supports the Java HotSpot virtual machine (VM), a core component of Java 2 Platform, Standard Edition (J2SE) software, by allowing performance profiling of Java code being optimized by HotSpot.
The Java HotSpot VM delivers optimal performance for Java language applications, tuning them according to their target deployment environments. Support for Java HotSpot extends the functionality of the Performance Analyzer beyond traditional languages into dynamically compiled Java methods. With the Java HotSpot VM, client applications start up faster and require a smaller memory footprint, while server applications can achieve better sustained performance over the long run.
Other new features in Forte Developer 7 include:
- Continuing improvements in support for de facto (gcc, Visual C++) and ANSI standards — This improved standards support gives users increased portability. More programs can be compiled without modification, and fewer changes and conditional compilation are required to target multiple platforms.
- Enhancements to Fortran including extension of global program checking for Fortran, and improved support for the upcoming F2K Fortran standard.
- Enhancements to C++ include support for the popular open-source Standard C++ Library stlport, and support for the OpenMP C 1.0 standard.
- Enhancements to C include additional support for the C99 standard.
The early access release of Forte Developer 7 is available immediately to current customers at http://access1.sun.com/fortedevprod/. The product is available for the Solaris 8 Operating Environment. Further information is available at www.sun.com/forte/developer.