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Jolt Awards

The 13th Annual Software Development Jolt & Productivity Awards


LANGUAGES AND DEVELOPMENT ENVIRONMENTS

JBuilder 8 Performance Bundle
Borland


Bill Pataky, Director of Product Management and Marketing

To my mind, Borland clearly “gets it”—they know that some people like to model, that many use test-driven development, and that a lot of us employ open source to build mission-critical systems. What can I say about JBuilder 8 Performance Bundle? It’s JBuilder, ’nuff said! JBuilder’s most impressive aspects include its UML modeling tool, its code refactoring features and its hooks into common open-source tools such as JUnit and Apache Struts. Although I like the modeling tool, I’m looking forward to its replacement by Borland’s newly acquired TogetherC, which I like even better.

JBuilder also does all the “normal” things that you’d expect, including support for J2EE, XML and Web services. It includes a wide array of development wizards that automate a lot of the grunt work such as the creation of JAR files, localization and UI building. The bottom line? Year after year, Borland has clawed its way to the top of the Java IDE market by building and then improving on a really great development tool. 2000 and 1999 Jolt Award winner; 2001, 1998 and 1997 Productivity Award winner.

—Scott W. Ambler

Groove Toolkit for Visual Studio .NET
Groove Networks

Raise your hand if you’ve collaborated via e-mail document ping-pong. Clench your fist if was awkward—not if three or more people were involved, of course, because your hand is still healing from repetitive desk-smacking.

Yes, there is a better way. It’s not immersive virtual reality à la Gibson or Stephenson, but it’s getting closer: It’s Groove Networks’ workspace/server technology, designed for building applications where people can work remotely, simultaneously and securely, sans fist-smacking.

Their Groove Toolkit is a VS .NET add-in that builds a stub Groove application and supporting files for you, then lets you access Groove’s API like any other .NET library, from C# or Visual Basic .NET. Groove provides the plumbing, while you build the GUI bits in VS .NET (Groove components can just be dragged into the project).

Your hand will thank you.

—Rick Wayne

IntelliJ IDEA
JetBrains

I admit it: I’ve never completely bought into the whole mouse-icon-menu scheme. Most of my development takes place in Emacs, and I drive compiles with make files. However, an IDE like JetBrains’ IDEA can lure me to the GUI development world.

The IDEA folks clearly understand real-world development. The IDE has a roster of impressive, useful features. Live templates let you quickly insert common code constructs; differences are tracked so you can see every change you’ve made; live syntax checking immediately highlights problems; you can select code and surround it with common constructs; and it has great integrated debugging.

IDEA’s best boast is its useful but unobtrusive nature—very few wizard dialogs gum up the works, and the computer doesn’t pause to show you some flashy feature while you’re trying to type. IDEA helps you without forcing its ideas (no pun intended) on your development. 2001 Jolt Award winner.

—Al Williams

XMLSPY 5 Enterprise Edition
Altova

Altova’s products have established themselves as the professional’s tools of choice for working with XML and affiliated technologies. Their tools are recognized for ease of use, reliability and comprehensive feature set. Despite—or perhaps because of—its leadership position, XMLSPY 5 (release 3) continues to be aggressively enhanced. This new version sports XSLT debugging; a WSDL edition; code generation in C, C# and Java; and a visual XSL:FO editor. This award commends Altova’s remarkable ability to add valuable features without detracting from the product’s ease of use. If Altova continues turning out such impressive updates, it can expect many more awards in the future.

2000 Productivity Award winner.

—Andrew Binstock


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