Sun to strengthen app server offerings

Sun Microsystems is to streamline its iPlanet application server lineup and consolidate technologies acquired from recent...

Sun Microsystems is to streamline its iPlanet application server lineup and consolidate technologies acquired from recent acquisitions in a bid to help its application servers appeal to a broader market.

During the next year Sun will take the integration technologies acquired from its Forte purchase and the higher-level documentation transformation technology acquired from Netscape and port them to the Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) application server.

"Our vision is that those capabilities [we acquired] and services will move to the J2EE platform over time," said Patrick Dorsey, product line marketing manager for iPlanet Web and Application Server at Sun.

All the integration adapters are now based on XML. "If the app exposes with an XML layer we read it natively. Our integration server uses this new approach," Dorsey said. The integration project will include adding J2EE connectors.

"Now the Integration Server can leverage all those standards," Dorsey said.

Although evidence of Sun's determination to broaden the iPlanet Application Server's appeal was on show last week when it announced it will run on the Linux operating system, some of Sun's bigger customers believe the company must do a lot more.

"I want [Sun] to improve the market share of its app server by bundling it into the operating system," said Brian Whitehead, vice-president and chief technology architect at Standard & Poor's in New York.

"We want to be aligned with a mainstream product. We use other third-party software on top of iPlanet and these companies will only support mainstream application servers. They go to BEA and Websphere and we have to drag them to support iPlanet. It is also easier to find developers and engineers," Whitehead said.



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