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Sun Opens Java Studio Enterprise Source Code

Sun Microsystems continues to expand its open source offerings with the announcement that significant parts of its Sun Java Studio Enterprise development tools would be made freely available through the NetBeans.org Web site.

This new project will be released as the NetBeans Enterprise Pack and will be based on Java Studio Enterprise, Sun's Java IDE, along with three tools, two of which are new: Sun's UML modeler, used to design and reverse engineer UML models of enterprise applications, plus a new visual XML and visual designer will be a part of the opened code.

Dan Roberts, director of developer tools marketing for Sun, said the process of opening Sun's tools has to be slow due to intellectual property concerns. Sun has to fully examine the code before it can be released, and applications are getting bigger and more complex. Java Studio Enterprise is released under the Sun Public license, a derivative of the Mozilla public license. Customers are free to make changes so long as they contribute the changes back to the project.

Sun has been releasing code under the NetBeans project for several years and says this move is just the latest in that strategy. "We firmly believe in open source, we firmly believe in building large communities of users using open source products, so we wanted to insure developers have complete and easy access to all the technologies we deliver," Roberts told internetnews.com.

The UML tool has been available for some time, but the visual designer and XML tools are new, he said. The visual designer, called Visual Design Center, is for building SOA-based applications from components. It allows developers to orchestrate a set of services and define that orchestration using BPEL, the business process execution language. The services can be in any language, not just Java.

Java Studio Enterprise is being released with a beta version of the Java System Application Server 9, which in turn is built on Java Enterprise Edition 5, also in beta testing. Sun expects to have both finished some time this summer, said Roberts.

Max Goff, chief marketing officer for Digital Reasoning Systems in Nashville, Tenn., is a heavy user of Sun's products and likes having access to the source code of an application vital to the company, even something like a comprehensive IDE.

"If you're going to make a commitment to a platform, it's nice to know that you have the option to make the changes you need without being held captive to someone else's release schedule," he said. "I've been in that situation, where I just wish [the source code] had that one feature or fix."