Sun’s SOA Takes Flight With Kitty Hawk

SAN FRANCISCO — Sun Microsystems has launched an initiative to bring more service oriented architectures into
its core software products.

Dubbed “Project Kitty Hawk,” the venture will help bridge the gap between business processes and Web services . Though built on similar
principles, SOA is not the same as Web services, which indicates a
collection of technologies, such as SOAP and XML. SOA is more than a set of
technologies and runs independent of any specific technologies.

Sun is no stranger of SOAs. It worked to support them in the late 1990s to
describe JINI, a lightweight environment for dynamically discovering and
using services on a network. The company currently achieves interoperability
in part through standards like WS-I Basic Profile and SOAP . In addition, the
company allows adapters through its J2EE Connector Architecture.

Now, using a combination of a shared services model and “federation approach,” Sun said Project Kitty Hawk will help IT
organizations create an enterprise-wide view of their services
infrastructure. At the same time, the technology coming out of Project Kitty
Hawk is expected to help a company fine tune how it manages service-level
agreements, security policies, and identity and user management.

“The whole notion of building applications is to build a network. We’re
building tools for the higher level of abstraction that you would use to
connect all systems including legacy infrastructures,” Joe Keller, Sun vice
president Java Web services and tools told internetnews.com. “We’re
reaching a flash point for people to use these more generally. They are
starting to look at the applications that are more flexible and the ones
that can respond to change by taking this approach.”

Sun said it is already working on the two-year plan to phase some
elements of the project into its the Sun Java Enterprise System and Sun Java
Studio Enterprise developer tools by mid 2005.

Sun’s Services division is also working on a new SOA Readiness Assessment
offering that includes working sessions with the client and an assessment
report, including both tactical and strategic recommendations for migration
to an SOA.

Project Kitty Hawk will also feature next-generation business integration
infrastructure, which Sun refers to as Java Business Integration, a
technology that comes from Java Specification Request (JSR) 208.

Be it SOAs or Web services, integration programming to simplify software
is a hot trend. Worldwide spending on Web services software will top $11
billion by 2008 as
enterprises continue to look for ways to integrate applications while
cutting costs, according to a recent report from tech research company IDC.
While spending might take a little while to pick up, vendors of Web services
software are heading full bore into a marketing maelstrom, looking to gobble
as much mindshare as possible. Sun’s rivals IBM, BEA, Microsoft, Computer
Associates and a raft of smaller players have come to the table for a piece
of that $11 billion pie.

Sun said the long-term strategy for Project Kitty Hawk is to include Java
Studio tools will bring Service Oriented Development of Applications (SODA)
to security aspects of the newest version of the Java Enterprise System,
which is expected in July.

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