Sun launches "services on demand" Web tools

Sun Microsystems has unveiled the so-called services-on-demand component of its Sun One strategy, escalating its battle with...

Sun Microsystems has unveiled the so-called services-on-demand component of its Sun One strategy, escalating its battle with Microsoft for leadership in the web application development market.

At its Services on Demand summit in California, Sun announced products, services and tools to allow developers to use the company's Open Net Environment (One) software for building applications to improve links between customers and businesses.

Mark Bauhaus, vice-president of Sun's .Com consulting division, said the latest development tools and Sun One development environment would let businesses use multiple channels to communicate with their customers, including mobile phones, personal digital assistants and computers.

"This is really giving our customers a much broader set of tools to help them get a return on investment right now," Bauhaus said.

The strategy is reminiscent of Microsoft's .Net programme, which aims to help businesses provide Web-based services for better communication with customers.

However, Bauhaus argued that Sun One would not lock users into any one operating system, while users would be tied to Windows under Microsoft's .Net strategy.

Sun One tools and technologies will provide the architecture, platform and support to develop and deploy services on demand, Bauhaus said. This will give businesses the ability to provide information, data and applications anywhere, anytime and on any device, and using open standards that work with a wide array of operating systems and applications.

"Sun One provides a future-proofed business model that supports open standards with the ability to integrate," said Sun chairman and chief executive Scott McNealy.

Sun unveiled its overall Sun One strategy earlier this year. The Sun One Starter Kit has recently been made available for developers, including four CDs of applications and documentation.

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