RealTime IT News

Sun's Middleware Open to Rival Systems

UPDATED: To lure customers from its rivals' software, Sun Microsystems is making it possible for customers to run its latest Java Enterprise Systems (JES) middleware on operating systems from competing vendors.

JES 4.0 now supports Windows 2000, Linux and HP-UX operating systems, and plans are under way to support Windows 2003 within the next 90 days. But AIX support is not on the to-do list.

"We haven't seen demand for that," John Loicano, Sun's executive vice president for software, told reporters at a briefing. "But we have seen demand for HP-UX."

JES 4.0 has also been integrated with Sun's suite of developer tools within the Solaris 10 operating system. More than 3 million registered licenses have been granted for Solaris 10 since it became available last January.

Loicano said Sun's message to ISVs is, "Well, maybe Solaris isn't dead, as it was reported to be. Maybe there's a volume deal here."

JES is the Santa Clara, Calif., company's infrastructure software platform. It includes Java Availability Suite, Java Identity Management Suite, Java Web Infrastructure Suite, Java Application Platform Suite and the Java Communications Suite.

JES has become a popular sell because Sun has made the licensing cost for JES simple, charging $140 per employee per year to eliminate the confusing nature of software procurement.

By making it possible to run JES 4.0 on disparate operating systems, Sun is hoping customers will take a liking to the software's advanced features and hassle-free licensing proposition, driving usage even higher.

As an alternative to Java-based middleware from IBM and BEA Systems, Sun considers JES a launching pad for distributed computing paradigms, such as service-oriented architectures (SOA) .

Loicano said most of Sun's customers are at least considering SOAs beyond the server farm, either for application integration or to create composite applications.

Sun has added SOA governance to JES in the form of a new Service Registry. This tool supports ebXML and UDDI standards, allowing subscribers to publish, govern and reuse Web services based on either standard.

The latest version of Sun's Access Manager is included in this upgrade, providing new governance and federation capabilities and better distributed authentication.

In related news, Sun said Solaris 10 is currently being tested for Common Criteria certification at Evaluation Assurance Level (EAL) 4+. This is one of the highest recognized levels of certification around the world.

When vendors secure this ranking, it generally means that the government, military and financial enterprises approve it is as secure, reliable software.

Loicano noted that it is Solaris 10 that would be certified rather than Trusted Solaris, the product sold to the "three-letter agencies."

Tom Goguen, vice president of Sun's software group, said that Trusted Solaris would be phased out next year, to be replaced by Trusted Extensions for Solaris 10, delivered as an add-on product.

The extensions will provide new capabilities such as labeling, that is, the ability to designate different security levels for various open windows and prohibiting cutting and pasting from one to another.

Also, Sun said it has revised its partnership with Computer Associates. CA will port Unicenter and BrightStor solutions to Solaris for x64 (x86, 64-bit) platforms.