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Summary form only given. As clusters of workstations become increasingly popular the need for component frameworks that facilitate the high level modeling and rapid prototyping of parallel and distributed applications on such systems is becoming pressing. Many scientists and engineers have image and signal processing applications that could benefit from cluster computing. However, these applications often exist as legacy code, such as serial Matlab functions, which are not easily parallelizable. The goal of the JavaPorts project is to provide a framework and a set of tools that make it easy to develop component-based parallel and distributed applications for networks of heterogeneous computing nodes. The latest version of the package supports the integration of Java and Matlab components into the same application and provides a mechanism for incorporating legacy Matlab functions into parallel processing applications. The design and salient features of the framework and associated tools are discussed here, and application examples are presented which highlight how JavaPorts can be used to model, develop, launch and restructure applications with any number of interacting Java and Matlab components.