Sun seeks partners in per-user licensing model

At its SunNetwork user conference in Berlin next month, Sun Microsystems plans to announce the first independent software vendors...

Sun Microsystems will announce the first independent software vendors (ISVs) that have signed up to distribute their software along with Sun's Java Enterprise System middleware and Java Desktop System software, at its SunNetwork user conference in Berlin next month,

When it unveiled a per-employee licensing model for its Java Enterprise System middleware and Java Desktop System software last September, Sun claimed that the switch to an annual per-employee licensing fee would simplify its customers' software licence management.

Sun also said it would release all of the individual pieces of software within these two suites in well-integrated quarterly updates, therefore simplifying the management and upgrading of its products.

The company will now include third-party software in its regular updates and per-user licensing plans.

According to Stuart Wells, Sun's senior vice-president of market development, the company has been working since September to sign up partners for its two software suites.

Wells confirmed that the company had already signed up more than one ISV, but declined to name them.

The company is also in discussions with two types of software suppliers: infrastructure software providers such as Veritas Software and Vignette, and application suppliers such as Cadence Design Systems and Synopsys.

Tighter integration with third-party software will help adoption of the Java Enterprise System, said Stephen O'Grady, an analyst with research firm Red Monk.

For many Sun customers, the savings gained with the Java Enterprise Systems $100 per employee, per year licensing model are great enough that rolling in third-party applications is not critical to the success of the software, O'Grady said.

Sun is expected to ship the Java Enterprise System later this month. The Java Desktop system will ship on 3 December.

Robert McMillan writes for IDG News Service

Read more on Business applications