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Apple’s WebObjects platform, noted for its transaction management strengths, now comes enhanced with powerful new tools for building Java-based network applications.

With support for drag-and-drop construction of user interfaces and direct connections to existing applications and data resources, WebObjects 4 makes it a snap to create new network applications. And with features like Direct to Web code-free development, you can have those applications up and running out of the box.

The ultimate application server environment. Apple’s enterprise technology for building flexible, scalable network applications, WebObjects owes its market-leading position to its graphical development tools, rich palette of prebuilt (and infinitely reusable) components, seamless integration with all kinds of enterprise information systems—and industrial-strength performance.

WebObjects 4 shortens your development cycle by letting you reuse log-in panels, report layouts, file uploading and other functional components. The result? Faster time to market.

  • Application server: WebObjects handles all your application server requirements—including load balancing, state management, HTML generation and Java client interoperability.
  • Cross-platform compatibility: WebObjects 4 runs on UNIX and NT (and will also run on Mac OS X and HP-UX), and works across applications, business systems and existing business logic.
  • Connects to business data: WebObjects features an adapter layer in the object framework that lets you leverage data stored in Oracle, Sybase, Informix, OpenBase and ODBC databases. And you can access information stored on mainframes, R/3, PeopleSoft and SAP databases, using Apple developer solutions.
  • Object Frameworks: Prebuilt objects provide the elements you need to create and extend network applications that serve millions of users.
  • Code-free development: Direct to Web development assistant lets you build applications automatically; creating great new solutions has never been easier.
  • Robust development tools: Enterprise Objects Modeler offers a graphical environment for developing business objects; WebObjects Builder gives you drag-and-drop control over HTML layout; Interface Builder provides drag-and-drop control over Java applets; and Project Builder lets you build Java, ANSI C, C++ and Objective-C projects.

Key Features

Flexible and scalable application server

  • Connect applications to any HTTP server and any data source
  • Load-balance across any number of machines
  • Manage your business objects
  • Handle interaction with any thin client web browser or Java applets
  • Maintain user profiles with session management capabilities

Easy-to-use development tools

  • Integrated development environment
  • Visual designers (both HTML and Java)
  • Object modeler
  • Data integration wizards

Open and extensible frameworks

  • Application components for managing tasks like e-mail and file uploading
  • Presentation components for generating user interfaces on demand
  • Data components for caching objects and database connections
  • Foundation components for handling Unicode strings and dates beyond the year 2000

Powerful deployment tools

  • Application monitor
  • Testing manager
  • Statistics manager

Product Features

Development Tools

Project Builder

  • Manages the edit, compile, and debug process
  • Provides project indexing
  • Builds Java, ANSI C, C++, and Objective-C projects

Enterprise Objects Modeler

  • Provides a graphical environment for development of business objects
  • Graphically builds queries without writing or maintaining code
  • Easily manages databases and their schema

WebObjects Builder

  • Gives drag-and-drop control over HTML layout
  • Graphically manages tables, graphics, and frames
  • Connects HTML elements to business objects

Interface Builder

  • Gives drag-and-drop control over Java client applets
  • Supports the Swing UI set
  • Connects visual JavaBeans with business objects

Deployment Tools

Monitor and Statistics

  • Create and manage the configurations of application servers
  • Start, stop, restart individual or groups of applications
  • View statistics of application performance
  • Accessible from any web browser

Record and Playback Manager

  • Record web sessions and store for testing purposes
  • Schedule single or groups of playbacks for testing across many clients
  • View graphical display of results
  • Gain access from any web browser

Data Sources

Included data sources:

  • Oracle
  • Sybase
  • Informix
  • OpenBase
  • ODBC

Third party tools supported:

  • PeopleSoft and SAP
  • Mainframe applications

Technical Details

Application server fundamentals


  • Allows developers to create applications for millions of users through its load-balancing and multithreading capabilities
  • Enables administrators to add servers, processors, application instances, and more threads without requiring developers to change their code


  • Provides automatic failover and recovery systems
  • Offers multiapplication server support
  • Provides automatic application restart

Standards support

  • Integrates with common Internet protocols
  • Supports e-commerce standards such as OpenMarket and CyberCash
  • Connects to network resources via CORBA/IIOP, DCOM/COM, HTTP/S-HTTP, SSL, and other security-based APIs

Request-handling services

  • Provides a consistent interface for WebObjects applications to handle network requests from users via simple URL requests, form submissions, or Java applets requesting or sending structured data
  • Works directly with scaling and connection services to allow for millions of users to interact with your applications

Session management support

  • Supplies an infrastructure to handle common network application tasks
  • Supports parsing form input from URLs and HTTP headers
  • Automatically creates and identifies sessions
  • Supports state storage, including encrypted URLs, hidden fields, cookies, static bookmarks, and RAM

Database connectivity

  • Provides the most flexible method of mapping business objects to data sources
  • Includes multitier frameworks that give access to Oracle, Sybase, Informix, OpenBase or any ODBC supported database
  • Provides access to custom data sources such as mainframes, SAP, and PeopleSoft
  • Gives business objects access to multiple data sources simultaneously

Fast, flexible tools

Direct to Web

  • Provides a turnkey application that is generated at runtime from object-database models
  • Enables modification of the look and function of the application while it’s running with the Web Assistant
  • Allows extension of an application by choosing the part to be changed and creating a component out of it

Development tool suite

Includes four visual development tools:

  • Project Builder for code editing, compiling, and visual debugging for Java and C-based languages
  • Enterprise Objects Modeler for modeling the relationship between business objects in the application and data source schema with its new graphical query builder
  • WebObjects Builder for designing HTML interfaces
  • Interface Builder for creating the layout of applets with JavaBeans and Swing UI elements

Versatile language support

  • Allows development of applications in Java, Objective-C, or WebScript
  • Integrates with industry-standard development environments that support Sun’s JDK 1.1.6 and the ANSI C, C++ and Objective-C compiler and debugger

Deployment tool suite

  • WebObjects Monitor tool for managing and maintaining application servers
  • Playback Manager for recording sessions and playing them back across a network of client machines
  • Performance statistics reporting tools with dynamically generated graphs

Open, extensible architecture

Stratified application architecture

  • Separates applications into multiple tiers: the client-based graphical presentation layer, the business logic layers, and the data-access layer
  • Allows sharing of a piece of application logic or data with other existing applications to take advantage of enterprisewide application servers while continuing to make use of the existing business infrastructure

Reusable components

  • Dramatically shortens the development process by allowing the reuse of elements such as log-in panels, report layouts, file uploading, and other recurring functional elements
  • Enables development of reusable components, or integrates components available from Apple and others

Browser and client technology independent

  • Works with any standard HTML browser and Java-enabled clients
  • Interfaces with specific client side technologies including QuickTime, AppleScript, JavaScript, and JavaBeans
  • Provides plug-ins to work with any web server, whether it uses CGI, ISAPI, NSAPI, WAI, or Apache
  • Provides source code to make the application work on any operating system platform


See Also