A Java development tool from Microsoft, part of Visual Studio 97 (which included version 1.1) and 6.0 (which included version 6.0). Despite the name, it isn't really a visual programming tool (the only visual form design tools it provided were using the Visual C++ resource editor, a horrible tool), certainly not compared to something like Visual Cafe.

It was integrated with the Visual C++/Visual Interdev IDE, it added ActiveX support (which was Windows-only, of course, leading many people to protest that Microsoft were attempting to ruin the cross-platform nature of Java), it had a neat debugger which integrated with Internet Explorer for applets, the compiler was extremely fast at the time (it may still be) and it added (Windows-only) database support via DAO/RDO.

The first 'real' version was 1.1 (although there was a version 1.0, it wasn't widely distributed, nor was it very useful) and the only other version is the last, 6.0, which was not included in Visual Studio .NET and has since been superseded by Visual J#.

Other Windows-specific bits which tried to erode the cross-platform nature of Java included a seperate Native Method Interface ('J/Direct') and CAB packaging for Java code and classes instead of JAR files. However, at the time of the release of version 1.1 Sun's JDK 1.1, which introduced official support for both of these, was still in beta. In addition to the above, version 6.0 introduced Windows Foundation Classes, an encapsulation of the Win32 API - obviously heavily Windows-specific - and ActiveX support was extended to provide full COM abilities.

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