March 12, 1997 11:00 AM ET

Powersoft plans major upgrade of PowerBuilder tool
By Juan Carlos Perez

  Powersoft, the application development tools division of Sybase Inc., will begin beta testing in the second quarter a major upgrade to its flagship PowerBuilder tool.

The tool, code-named Panther, adds support for Common Object Request Broker Architecture, Component Object Model, Distributed Component Object Model, Java Beans and ActiveX support.

Panther also will feature a new debugger that lets developers fix an application consisting of components written in different languages. With the new version, developers will be able to write an application in the product's native language -Powerscript -- and have it run in a Java Virtual Machine.

Panther will support a wide range of non-English character sets for developers in Europe, Asia and Latin America, according to Dave Boswell, a vice president and general manager at Powersoft, in Concord, Mass.

Also in the second quarter, Powersoft plans to ship PowerJ, a tool for developing Java applications that is now in beta tests under the code name Jato. Scheduled to ship at the same time is Power++ 2.0, the new version of the Optima++ tool for building applications in C++. Among the enhancements in Power++ 2.0 will be support for Microsoft Corp.'s Viper transaction-processing server and the ability to generate ActiveX components, Boswell said.

Powersoft also plans to ship in the second quarter Version 6 of its S-Designor tool set for database modeling that features a new data warehouse module. Finally, NetImpact Studio, a tool for building Web pages, has been renamed PowerSite and will enter beta tests at the same time.

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