LIBRARIES, FRAMEWORKS AND COMPONENTS
.NET Compact Framework
James Van Eaton, Program Manager for MSDN
Programmer walks into a doctor’s office and says, “Hey, Doc, it hurts whenever I program cell phones and PDAs.” Doc says, “Don’t program cell phones and PDAs. That’ll be $100.” Thank you, thank you—I’m here every night in the main lounge. But with the release of the .NET Compact Framework 1.0, it looks like I’ll have to retire this particular gem. The .NET CF is a subset of the .NET Base Class Library that makes programming PDAs (well, Pocket PCs) and cell phones (well, next year’s generation of the Microsoft Smartphone) as straightforward as programming a desktop application. You can program the .NET Compact Framework without using Visual Studio .NET 2003, but VS .NET 2003’s wizards, visual designer and easy debugging in both emulator and attached device play a major role in making it trivial to write smart mobile clients.
The Compact Framework isn’t quite as easy to use as the .NET Base Class
Library, and interop with low-level functions causes a lot of questions on the
developer boards, but, in general, .NET CF makes programming mobile projects
fun and easy. Last year I prototyped an application that was being developed
simultaneously on J2ME, native Palm OS and .NET CF, and I can attest to the
dramatically easier time I had compared to my colleagues. Which reminds me of
a story: A J2ME programmer, a C++ programmer and a .NET CF programmer walk into
a bar … 2001 Jolt Award winner.
ComponentOne Studio Enterprise
ComponentOne’s Enterprise Studio is the most comprehensive collection
of components available for ActiveX, .NET and ASP .NET. It employs two
grid controls: True DBGrid Pro and VSFlexGrid, and enables you to construct
reports using VSViews (two versions) or the Reports for .NET control.
You can choose from among several controls for database manipulation,
including input fields and display lists. For variety, there’s a
spell checker, resizer and even a ZIP control. ASP .NET users aren’t
forgotten, either, with Web form controls for grids, charts, report engines
and user interface items such as menus and toolbars. With the PayPal eCommerce
control, you can even build a website so you can shop till you drop.
JClass is a slick set of charting, graphic and reporting Java components.
JClass ServerChart provides for XML input and output data to be used to
create impressive charts that can be used by Web, JavaBean and OO developers.
If you need to create a chart type, ServerChart probably has the component
available to get the job done. Charts include a slew of various types
such as bar, stacked, pie, line and area. Using JClass ServerReport, you
can easily design and incorporate well-formatted text (including PDF files)
and image output into your Java applications. JClass can be integrated
into any of the major IDEs, including JBuilder, VisualAge and Forte. JClass
works with any Web server that supports Java 2 servlets and JSPs; it comes
with Tomcat by default.
In CLX, cross-platform means that an identical user visual experience
can be created in an application, whether that application runs under
Windows or Linux. With a cross-platform library of more than 750 objects,
CLX is included in Borland’s multiplatform Delphi, Kylix and C++
Builder developer products. As testimony to the power of this library,
the rich visual programmer development environment of the Borland developer
products is itself written using this library. As a bonus, programmers
get friendly, modern Web services support for SOAP, WSDL and multitiered
architectures along with the ability to run, during design time, live
data connections for testing purposes using CLX components. Generously,
Borland includes source code, and a GPL version is available at Sourceforge.net.