Sun Ships Refreshed Java Enterprise

by Michael Singer

The company takes a shot at Windows and HP-UX customers with its latest update.

Sun Microsystems released an update to its Java-based business application suite with an eye toward winning over Microsoft and HP customers.

The company said its Sun Java Enterprise System (JES) Release 3 is now available for purchase at $140 per employee per year. The price includes unlimited right-to-use and licenses to versions of Sun's tools, Sun Java Studio Enterprise and Sun Java Studio Creator, as well as a Sun Developer Network Standard subscription.

The new version also tosses in the Sun Java System Identity Manager, as well as the long-awaited support for Windows 2000, Windows XP and HP-UX. Already, JES can run on Solaris 10 and Linux.

The multi-platform support strategy is aimed at yanking the rug out from under companies like JBoss, Borland and BEA that sell Java-based software but do not have the hardware to support it. Either way, Sun is hoping to gain ground on IBM and BEA, which continue to dominate the Enterprise Java marketplace.

Also new to Release 3 is Sun Java Studio Enterprise, an analysis, design and development platform that leans on the Unified Modeling Language (UML). Other additions to the JES stack include the Sun N1 Grid Service Provisioning System, which lets administrators configure and update network services from a Web browser, and Sun Java Studio Creator, a development tool.

JES is the heart of Sun's Web services strategy and is central to the company's subscription-based pricing foray. The software stack is pre-integrated into the majority of Sun's hardware and benefits from a quarterly update release cycle. Formerly known as Sun ONE middleware and developer products, the core stack includes Portal, Communication and Collaboration, Network Identity, Application and Web, Availability, and Security services.

Sun said it has 360 corporations, governments, and organizations signed up for JES, which represents about 420,000 people using the software on an annual subscription basis. The company has previously hinted at shifting its JES software to an open source model but now seems content with keeping the development in-house on a fairly fast-paced schedule.

"Typically, we are releasing updates to JES twice a year," Ken Draknik, a product line manager with Sun's Java Application Services Platform, told internetnews.com. "We are already in the process for Release 4, which should come out in the fall. We are actually working on longer release cycles because there are all sorts of testing and quality assurances that need to be in place."

One of those assurances is the inclusion of the Sun Java System Identity Manager. The company said adding the previously separate software into JES enables system administrators to synchronize a user's identity with specific services. Sun said the software also cuts out the need to do manual creation, maintenance, and deletion of identity data.

In addition to its $140 license, Sun continues to sell its Java System Suites at $50 a pop. Instead of buying the whole JES suite, Sun offers five different market-focused models as a way for customers to focus on specific topics like identity management, application platform services, system availability and communications.

This article was originally published on internetnews.com.

This article was originally published on Friday Apr 22nd 2005
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