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Facelift For Sun's Mobile Content System

Sun Microsystems  is giving its Java System Content Delivery Server (CDS) a facelift with improved customization of content delivery to mobile devices. In the process, Sun is expanding the use of the CDS to other industries that want to deliver content to cell phone users.

There are three key new features in the CDS. The Central Device Catalog provides a central repository for content, which can be served up to multiple storefronts. Content can be siloed by a variety of criteria, such as locality or paid service. Customers can be segmented based on patterns and demographics.

Second is support for viral campaigns, so customers in marketing groups can create marketing campaigns, figure out what promos they want to do and conduct them with their users.

The third new feature allows content to be delivered to subscribers through new and premium delivery technologies, such as MMS  and SMS , even to an old cell phone that may not have the latest and greatest technology.

Sun acquired the CDS technology in 2003, and its last release was in 2005. It’s built on Java 5 Enterprise Edition, and Bryant said the changes in Java EE 5 played a major part in being able to scale up the performance of CDS. It can scale up to a hundred million customers with ease.

"There was a time a while ago where, if you bought a phone with Internet capabilities, all you could access was what your provider offered. It was called the walled garden approach," said David Bryant, senior director of marketing for application platform products at Sun.

"End users don't want to just get at content our carriers want us to see. We want everything. Traditionally, the marketplace for this kind of capability is mobile carriers, but there has been growth in other areas, and the features that Content Delivery Server has are appealing to other content owners."

Bryant said Sun hopes to expand beyond wireless providers.