Sun opens more middleware source, plots Java future

But where's the money?

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JavaOne Sun Microsystems has released more code from its middleware stack, including elements of an integration standard built for Service Oriented Architectures (SOAs).

Sun is releasing its Java System Application Server Platform Edition 9.0 and the Java System Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) under the Common Development and Distribution License (CDDL). The Java ESB is Sun's first implementation of the Java Business Integration (JBI) specification, developed by the Java Community Process (JCP) to let integration technologies and web services to talk to each other.

Sun also announced that JBI is being supported by 19 infrastructure and integration vendors, all promising to deliver JBI-based products within the next 12 months. Companies backing JBI include Cape Clear, SeeBeyond and TIBCO Software. JBI was ratified by the JCP earlier this month. JBI provides a standard way for integration technologies to communicate with each other, while also telling the ESB which elements make up an application or service in a distributed SOA.

The release follows Sun's posting of millions of lines of Solaris 10 code earlier this month following the launch of OpenSolaris - the open source edition of Solaris 10.

Sun is also making APIs for platform editions of Java, notably Java 2 Standard Edition, now Java Platform Standard Edition (Java SE), available for review under three licenses. Sun is making Java SE APIs available as it builds J SE 6.

Company president Jonathan Schwartz said that in opening its code, Sun would create a community of developers using the APIs in products. Tackling the whole concept of Free Open Source Software (FOSS), Schwartz said his 'bias' is towards the 'free' aspect of the equation. "The most popular FOSS products in the world are free," he said, highlighting OpenOffice, Mozilla, Firefox and Linux.

"There is a social utility to free software," Schwartz said.

Less clear, though, was how Sun will turn its code giveaway into revenue. Appearing at JavaOne, Sun chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) Scott McNealy said simply it would be easier for Sun, along other Java community members, to make a little money on a lot of people in a large community than to monetize a small community.

Meanwhile, Sun outlined technology roadmaps for J SE 6 and 7. J SE 6 will feature improved performance, an interface with a Microsoft Longhorn look and feel, and support for client-side web services. J SE 7 will see support added for dynamic languages and easier administration, with real-time deployment, and remote administration via the JMX API. Sun made the announcements on the opening day of its JavaOne 2005 conference in San Francisco, California.®

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