RealTime IT News

Sun 'CAPS' SeeBeyond Buy

When Sun Microsystems agreed to acquire software integrator SeeBeyond last year, it promised a swift integration. After all, both companies were steeped in Java and shared similar visions for how to use the language to build out service-oriented architectures.

Some of Sun's plans for SeeBeyond have come to fruition, company officials said

The company unveiled the Java Composite Application Platform Suite (Java CAPS) to help enterprises integrate disparate pieces of software with "near-zero coding."

Developers can use CAPS software to automate business processes, such as purchasing, inventory re-stocking and pricing approvals, said Joe Keller, vice president of marketing for SOA and integration platforms at Sun,.

CAPS, which uses what was SeeBeyond's former ICAN composite application suite, includes the new Sun Java B2B suite and Sun Java ESB suite. Sun's existing Java Application Platform suite and Web Infrastructure suite also leverage ICAN.

Sun Java ESB suite is targeted for customers that need to untangle disparate messaging infrastructures. This suite, which provides business activity monitoring capabilities, includes an enterprise service bus that features open standards support for Web services, transformation and routing.

Sun Java B2B suite is designed for customers that need to manage the different requirements businesses have across their supply chains and distribution networks.

Sun's Java Application Platform suite uses portals that feed composite applications targeted for specific users. This suite features load balancing, AJAX portals, wiki-based desktops and blogging support.

The Java Web Infrastructure suite, which includes Sun's identity management software, improves Web security to boost online customer and partner relationships. It is meant to help developers build high-performance Web sites.

Keller said each suite is available individually for a subscription price of $50 per employee per year. When purchased together, Java CAPS is discounted to $100 for all four suites.

The entire Java Enterprise System, which also includes the Java Identity Management suite, Java Availability suite and the Java Communications suite, is available until June 30 for a promotional price of $150 per employee per year. After July 1, the price will be $200 per subscription.

John Rymer, analyst with Forrester Research, said the big integration is that Sun has basically swapped out the application server in the ICAN suite with its own runtime machine. Sun has also substituted its portal for the SeeBeyond portal in its Application Platform suite, he said.

"They've done the initial product work to rationalize the SeeBeyond assets and integrated it into their branding and pricing scheme," Rymer said.

The analyst Sun has more work to do in terms of integrating SeeBeyond assets into its development processes that underlie the Java Enterprise System. This would help coordinate the development efforts of groups that are working on different software modules.

Current Analysis analyst Shawn Willett agreed, noting that Sun needs to build a common NetBeans interface for developers.

Both analysts agreed Sun's pricing hits the sweet spot.

"For what they are getting, pricing for medium-sized companies, will be pretty darn attractive," Willett said. "They [Sun] do have to follow up with support, marketing and channel programs for this mid-market if they want to take advantage of this."

"I'm beginning to see cases where customers look at the pricing scheme and say 'This is a better deal than what I'm getting from IBM, or Microsoft,'" Rymer said.