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Java Enterprise Serves Up Lower-Cost Suites

Sun Microsystems is celebrating the first anniversary of its Java Enterprise System (JES) with new services and lower-priced models, the company is expected to announce Tuesday.

During a quarterly update event (dubbed NC05 Q1), Sun's executives are slated to outline the changes to the company's marquee business application platform, which sought to disrupt the market last year with a $100-per employee, per year subscription model.

Now, Sun is expected to announce the availability of Java Enterprise System, Release 3, along with the debut of five smaller custom software suites that cost $50-per employee, per year. Each addresses specific client problems like identity management, application platform services, system availability, Web services and enterprise communications, Joe Keller, vice president of marketing for Sun's Java Web Services and Development Platforms, said.

"We built these as on-ramps for customers that would like to get pre-integrated, pre-tested suites without having to justify project by project buying the entire Java Enterprise System."

Although the Sun Java Enterprise System has nearly 350 customers and close to 425,000 JES licenses, Sun said it has increased annual per-employee fees on JES to $140 on all new license contracts.

Current JES subscribers will only see a mandated 5 percent annual fee increase this time around, but everyone's pricing will eventually reach the $140 mark, Keller said.

The advanced JES includes Sun's Java System Identity Manager (a byproduct of its Waveset acquisition), Sun Java System Portal Access, and NI Grid SP (service provisioning system) Enterprise Edition. The system runs on all major commercial server operating systems, including Solaris 10 on both SPARC and x86, HP-UX, Linux, and Windows 2000 and XP versions.

While the full impact of Sun's settlement agreement with Microsoft over Java litigation has yet to filter into Sun's JES platform, Keller said there were several areas that the two companies could begin taking advantage of its new relationship of Microsoft.

For example, a connector that works with Microsoft Outlook is a capability that predates the agreement; the pact helps us enhance it, Keller said. "Then there are quite a few mail APIs and we now have better alignment between the two companies when it comes to a testing matrix."

In addition, Sun is now bundling its JES subscriptions with Java Studio Enterprise and Java Studio Creator as well as new J2EE integration and portal tools for building service oriented architectures .

One omission from Sun's Java Enterprise System is the anticipated release of source code to follow Sun's submission of nearly 1,600 patents and source code from Sun's Solaris operating environment.

Sun is also using the quarterly update to introduce six new practices for its new Client Solutions Organization. Sun said it is assigning 10,000 professional services workers including its I-Force partners to address identity management, enterprise Web services, desktop and mobility, data center, manageability services and storage and data management.

The company said it is also launching its global client engagement model.

"It's not a cookie cutter replicated several times over," Anil Gadre chief marketing officer," told internetnews.com. "Whereas IBM offers full customization and Microsoft gives you no customization, we have the choice and the expertise to help develop reference architectures, which are the components that make up the Reference Methodologies.