Sun Microsystems has released the latest version of application server, the first major upgrade to the platform since October 2002.
Sun also released a software development kit (SDK) for enterprise-centric Java 2, Enterprise Edition (J2EE) 1.4, along with supporting documentation. The latest specification has been eagerly anticipated among corporate software developers, largely because it addresses the need for Java standards in a Web services environment.
The Sun Java System Application Server Platform Edition 8 release, brings the latest Java Specification Requests (JSR) and Web services standards, including Web Services-Interoperability (WS-I), Java Server Faces (JSF) application program interfaces and full support for the J2EE 1.4 standard.
Developers can now download the approximately 35 MB file for free from Sun's servers and install it into their own machines, or bundle it with their own software and distribute it in OEM style.
Sun charges a fee for support, although online forums, documentation, and tutorials are freely available.
In a bid to win customers, Sun's FAQ page states customers can migrate applications built off competing platforms, like IBM's WebSphere, BEA's WebLogic and JBoss, with a free tool provided from Sun. With App Server 8 support for WS-I Basic Profile 1.0, however, that isn't particularly necessary. Version 8 is also backward-compatible with previous versions.
Officials say the latest version requires 55 percent less space on server hard drives, freeing up space for older systems. It runs on Solaris 9 (x86 and SPARC), Sun Java desktop system, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 2.1 and 3.0, and Windows Server 2003 and Windows 2000/XP.
Standard and Enterprise editions of App Server 8 have a planned release date later this year.
This article was originally published on internetnews.com.