At the keynote address of its inaugural Real World conference, REALbasic developer Real Software gave a sneak preview of a new, REALbasic-based tool for Web application development.

The product, codenamed Swordfish, will "make it easy for anyone to create powerful web applications," Real Software CEO Geoff Perlman said during the keynote.

According to Perlman, Swordfish will use the same user interface and language as the forthcoming REALbasic 6, which is due by the end of this year. Perlman said that his company's goal is to improve the reach of REALbasic developers, allowing them to build Web-based applications without having to learn a new programming language such as PHP.

Applications built using Swordfish can run as Apache CGIs or as standalone Web servers, Perlman said.

During his keynote, Perlman showed two examples of Swordfish in action: a simple currency converter and a more complicated address book running with a SQL database back-end. Within the Swordfish development environment, both projects appeared almost identical to REALbasic projects, with the main difference being that interface elements were listed as being a part of a "Webpage" rather than a REALbasic window element.