iPlanet App Server 6.5 Hits the Street

Sun Microsystems Tuesday presented the
latest addition to its Sun ONE platform with the unveiling of its
next-generation iPlanet Application Server.

Sun took a three-pronged approach in its enhancements for this latest
version. The key new feature is the addition of iPlanet Application
Framework, a new application framework for which Sun is claiming a potential
ten-fold improvement in developer productivity for organizations that adopt
it, Patrick Dorsey, product line marketing manager for iPlanet App Server
told ServerWatch. Other new features Dorsey cited are improved XML Web
services capabilities and a host of resources for developers.

iPlanet Application Framework is designed to minimize development time by
providing a J2EE framework that uses prebuilt Java components based on
design best practices. This prebuilt J2EE foundation eliminates the need
to re-create the underlying infrastructure for new JSP and servlet-based
applications, and thus shortens the development process.

The iPlanet Application Framework has been available through Sun’s early
access program. So far, it has had 100 participants, and the public beta
saw 1,000 downloads in the past month. iPlanet Application Framework has so
far been implemented in more than 30 mission-critical deployments.

Version 6.5 of iPlanet Application Server has XML Web service
enhancements from both a creation and assembly, and deployment perspective.
The end-to-end development solution is now designed to enable enterprises to
leverage applications for the construction of composite-based Web services
that can be easily adapted to changing business requirements.

A new Forte for Java Web Services module for SOAP, UDDI, WSDL, removes
the necessity for manual coding, Dorsey said. iPlanet Process Builder (also
included) provides automated Web service exposure for business processes and
can used with SOAP interfaces.

iPlanet also added a messaging solution to the mix. iPlanet Message Queue
is integrated with the app server, offering a “loosely coupled asynchronous
capability” through “message-driven Bean, a new spec for J2EE,” Dorsey
added.

iPlanet has also souped up its developer resources. Developers can now
view five new sample applications of the technology. Online and classroom
training is available, and regional user groups in the Midwest and Europe
and on the West Coast join those on the East Coast. iPlanet has also added
new features to its Web-based community forums, including answer ratings and
natural language query capabilities.

Capitalizing on Sun’s big news, Cape
Clear Software
, a Web Services technology vendor, Tuesday announced
immediate support for this latest version of iPlanet Application Server. The
company’s CapeConnect will be included on the iPlanet 6.5 CD.

Cape Clear’s solution allows customers to automatically expose their
Java, EJB, and CORBA components as Web Services without rewriting code.
CapeConnect technology can connect to a wide range of technologies using Web
services standards, such as SOAP, WSDL, and UDDI.

In addition to CapeConnect, iPlanet Application Server 6.5 will ship with
iPlanet Application Framework, iPlanet Web Server, iPlanet Directory Server,
and an evaluation license of Forte For Java 3.0. iPlanet Application
Framework is also available separately and can now be downloaded for free
from the iplanet Web site.

The app server is scheduled to ship in mid-March. It will be priced at
$19,995 per CPU.

Those looking to get their hands on the app server sooner can do so
through iPlanet’s early access program.

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