Sun, BEA Flex Web Services Muscles

In a sign of ever-increasing cooperative competition, Sun Microsystems and BEA Systems Monday paired
up to strengthen their Web services offerings for the enterprise.


Santa Clara’s Sun and San Jose’s BEA will distribute an evaluation version
of BEA WebLogic Server 7.0 with the Solaris 9 Operating Environment System
Administrator’s Kit to increase the choices customers have for J2EE
application servers and to provide them with a trial license of BEA WebLogic
Server 7.0.


BEA said it will offer a trial license, good for six months, with each BEA
WebLogic Server 7.0 distributed via the Solaris 9 System Adminstrator’s Kit
when it is released in January 2003. Solaris 9 is a key piece of the Sun ONE
software portfolio designed to allow for the creation and delivery of Java
Web services. The firms posited the pact as a technology J2EE alignment, no
doubt against the likes of IBM and its WebSphere platform.


“This initiative strengthens our relationship and underscores our commitment
to customers to increase choice and reduce cost and time to deployment,”
said Stuart Wells, senior vice president, Sun Microsystems Market
Development Organization.


What is interesting here, is that Sun had recently
said it would steal market share from BEA, particularly because it disagrees
with BEA’s philosophy of selling a Java-based application server as a separate
product from the OS. Analysts looked at the deal as Sun’s attempt to
maximize performance for its Solaris 9 OS.


BEA, who inked a
similar play
in September with HP, has been busy of late concocting
deals with development firms to garner more market share and developer mind
share. Earlier this month, the application server specialist teamed with
ComponentSource, a major community for reusable software components, to
increase Java developer productivity by expanding the range of third-party
components and tools available on the market.


The new marketplaces, called the BEA WebLogic
Galleries
, are geared for the BEA WebLogic Platform and the BEA WebLogic
Workshop development framework. The Galleries feature tools and reusable
components, including those for Web services from Borland, F5 Networks,
Infragistics, and TogetherSoft. BEA is trying to work its own wiles on
developers with its WebLogic Workshop, but faces tough competition from the
IBM-lead
Eclipse project
.

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