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As Java development tools, IBM's and Symantec's offerings are both solid and evenly matched in many areas. However, VisualAge offers tightly integrated support for accessing existing legacy data and transactions currently missing in the Symantec product. But Visual Cafe provides a more intuitive development interface, native-code compilation, and advanced debugging not found with the IBM product.
VisualAge for Java 1.0, Enterprise Edition: Excellent
Pros: Version control and integrated project repository promote team development; wizards ease integration with existing legacy data and transaction systems; good visual-editing tools.
Cons: Development interface less intuitive than Visual Cafe.
IBM, Armonk, N.Y.; (800) 426-3333; http://www.software.ibm.com/ad/vajava.
Price: $1,995, Enterprise Edition; $99, Professional Edition.
Platforms: Development: Windows 95, Windows NT 4.0; Production: Any platform supporting Java virtual machine 1.1 …