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SeeBeyond the Way to SOA

Sun Microsystems chose software integrator SeeBeyond to help make its Java Enterprise System suite more accommodating to service-oriented architectures .

In the technology and marketing agreement announced Tuesday, Sun and SeeBeyond will ensure SOAs, which allow assets such as software to be reused to save time and cut costs, and composite application delivery via the Java Enterprise System (JES).

JES is a software suite that includes an application server and portal server that Sun has been offering to customers for a simplified price of $100 per employee.

Under the agreement, for which financial terms were not made public, SeeBeyond will port bits of its SeeBeyond Integration Composite Application Network (SeeBeyond ICAN 5) Suite to Sun's JES. The first bridge will be between eGate Integrator 5 and the Sun Java System Application Server 8, laying the groundwork for SOA-based systems development.

Specifically, the vendors are aiming to deliver new software from Sun's Java System Portal Server and SeeBeyond's ICAN 5 integration server, providing integration between SeeBeyond's eInsight enterprise service bus (ESB) software to build composite applications for delivery through the Sun Java System Portal Server.

For the RFID plan, Sun's Java System RFID software will be configured to work with the SeeBeyond RFID Composite Application Network software, processing RFID data coming in from the edge of the network and integrating it with business application systems.

The information is then sent to the SeeBeyond platform for distribution to trading partners and enterprise back-end systems, such as SAP or Oracle.

Mark Bauhaus, vice president of Java Web Services for Sun, claimed in the statement that Sun has a strong Web services platform -- which provides distributed computing among disparate systems -- that customers can use for SOA development.

While rival Java purveyors IBM and BEA Systems and Microsoft might beg to differ, it is clear Sun's platform could greatly benefit from the tighter integration, composite application creation and business process management functionality that SeeBeyond's platforms provide.

A lesser known quantity is how effective Java is for creating SOAs. Some groups, including Eclipse and the Apache Software Foundation-led Beehive, are working on ways to make J2EE APIs more loosely coupled to more effectively carry SOAs and Web services.

Both Sun and SeeBeyond are working on the Java Business Integration specification (JSR 208), and their new pact is based on emerging industry standards, such as JMS, Java Connector Architecture and BPEL .

SeeBeyond, which competes directly with Tibco Software , webMethods and Vitria in the integration software arena, stands to benefit from partnering with a high-profile company such as Sun, which has its hands in many distributed computing standards surrounding Web services and SOAs.

Sun is jockeying for position among several rivals for a large slice of the Web services infrastructure market, which IDC said will top $3.2 billion by 2008.