Sun Microsystems Monday unveiled the latest release of its portal server: Sun ONE Portal Server v6.0.
Key in this release is the inclusion of the Sun ONE Identity Server, which offers integrated secure identity management capabilities through a single sign-on interface that offers policy and access control, service provisioning, and unified user management.
One challenge inherent to portal servers that Sun hopes to address with this release is that these servers require an administrator to manage yet another silo of potentially redundant user data. Other downsides that increase total cost of ownership include a lack of centralized user administration, and a lack of centralized access control and policy management.
Sun attempts to alleviate this problem by making the indentity server part of the portal server, thus offering central control that enables finer-grained policy enforcement. The identity server allows for single sign-on capabilities, delegated administration, and the capability to enable multiple portals and applications to leverage a common infrastructure.
Since the Sun ONE Portal Server manages all of the identity information associated with each portal user’s roles and access privileges, administrators need to manage identity information only once for multiple portal deployments, applications and initiatives.
The roles-based management functionality permeates throughout, down to the user level even through activities as mundane as searching. Users conducting a full-text search through the portal server will received search results and document titles for only those items that match their level of privileges.
The portal server also features development tools and portlet ISV support. New features allow developers to build preview “portlets,” and the server provides native support for JCA connectors.
The other key change in Sun ONE Portal Server 6 is its support the three major J2EE application servers: BEA WebLogic, IBM Websphere, and Sun ONE Application Server. The server can also be deployed on other J2EE-standards-based servers although the vendor will not support them.
In addition to the identity server, Sun has also bundled Sun ONE Web Server, Sun ONE Application Server, Sun ONE Directory Server, and Sun ONE Integration with the portal server. It also supports all Web services standards, including XML, SOAP, UDDI, and WSDL, thus rendering it Web-services-enabled.
More than 28 ISVs, including Bowstreet, Documentum, Interwoven, Kivera,Open Text, Screaming Media, and Vignette, have already signed on to incorporate this latest version of the portal server into their respective solutions.
Sun currently boasts more than 400 Sun ONE Portal Serve customers that include Bell South, General Motors, Lucent, the National Hockey League, and Siemens.
Sun ONE Portal Server 6 is scheduled for general availability in August 2002. Sun will also release a variety of add-ons at this time: Personalized Knowledge Pack, Secure Remote Access Pack, Mobile Access Pack, and Instant Collabortation Pack.
Support for the Websphere and WebLogic is scheduled for end of 2002.
While the intial release of Sun ONE Portal Server will be available only in Solaris, Windows and Linux version are in the works and scheduled to be released during the first half of 2003.
Pricing will be announced when the product ships.
Amy Newman is managing editor of sister site, ServerWatch.