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Java software picks

Four Java based software that caught my attention.

I’ve been trying to cultivate an interest in Java since my vacation. My experience is the reverse of what Anthony is going through now. Anyway, I came across four neat applications written in Java.

1. Abeille

Commercial software to manipulate your database. I’ve always felt that the missing killer application on Linux is a desktop database like MS-Access. Simple to use, powerful enough. Abeille gets half-way there - it is a great UI with great tools.

2. DeskNow

DeskNow is a free (commercial version with additional features is also available) mail and collaboration server. In addition to standard SMTP and POP3, it offers Web-based collaboration tools such as advanced Webmail with spam filtering, document management to let users store and share documents online, unlimited Web calendars with sharing and combined views, message boards, and address books. All the services are tightly integrated to improve productivity and semplicity. DeskNow can integrate with an existing qmail, or run as a standalone SMTP and POP3 server.

This, I believe can be a showcase application for Struts. The screenshots make me believe it is built using Struts, but I may be wrong.

An application like this could greatly benefit Zope.

3. Jasper Reports

JasperReports is a powerful report-generating tool that has the ability to deliver rich content onto the screen, to the printer or into PDF, HTML, XLS, CSV and XML files.

It is released under GPL. I think I’ll try this out for some of my needs. Only thing I didn’t like is that reports are in XML - I simply can’t stand programming in any *ML. Too many < and >s hurt my hand. If this has a GUI to make the reports, it will be superb. Screenshots make me believe that there is a report design previewer.

4. Consultant Communicator

A small, lightweight, platform-independant program that allows anyone managing multiple projects, clients or tasks to effectively keep track of exactly how long they’ve spent on each project. JDBC support is included so you can instantly upload all your times and projects into most JDBC and ODBC compliant databases. Your elapsed times and preferences are also stored in XML, so you can query/modify the data all you want.

Very useful and cute little application. As long as IT project management is given cute names like just-in-time-management, which in effect means that realistic scheduling and resource allocation is a myth, this tool is a great helper. I need to see if I can add this to my pickle jar.