Oracle hands out love and handcuffs to Sunware
Hello, Java. So long, Kenai
Oracle has unveiled a Java and open source strategy extending some but not all of the existing efforts at Sun Microsystems.
Among the winners: Sun's HotSpot Java Virtual Machine, which will be integrated with the fast JRockit VM from BEA Systems; JavaFX, which should see an update by the summer; and Sun's Operations Center management software, which will merge with Oracle's Enterprise Manger to produce a single product during the next 14 months.
Sun's open-source projects in application servers and portals with Glassfish and its NetBeans integrated development environment (IDE) will live on too - but with strict role definition.
There are promises of cross pollination of features between WebLogic and Glassfish and NetBeans and Oracle's JDeveloper and Oracle Enterprise Pack for Eclipse. But the promises come with conditions: Oracle's WebLogic will be sold as the company's strategic application server for enterprise applications, while the free and open Glassfish will be Oracle's application server for departmental applications.
Oracle will invest in the NetBeans IDE and NetBeans.org community, but that investment will make it the best IDE for Java Standard Edition, scripting languages, mobile, JavaFX, and Solaris - according to Oracle. Oracle's premier JDeveloper IDE will be reserved for building Oracle's enterprise applications using Java.
The NetBeans and Oracle's JDeveloper and Oracle Enterprise Pack for Eclipse will retain separate teams, but Oracle said features from each will find their way into the other IDEs.
Oracle is looking a putting NetBeans' Matisse drag-and-drop GUI editor in JDeveloper and sharing its integration adaptors with "the other IDEs," chief architect and vice president of tools and middleware said Ted Farrell during a webcast outlining Oracle's plan for Java tools after the Sun acquisition.
Meanwhile, the next edition of NetBeans, version 6.8 will be released under and Oracle license, meaning it will be supported under Oracle's Applications Unlimited strategy.
The losers in the new strategy, announced Wednesday, are some of Sun's more ambitious open-source and Web 2.0 projects.
The database giant has said it will only enhance Sun's Java CAPs for existing customers and continue to maintain Sun's OpenESB and SOA integration and event processing projects. A Sun master index will survive in an Oracle health vertical.
A good use of $387m
Oracle will continue selling its own line of existing integration and SOA software to new customers instead of offering Java CAPs.
Java CAPs was the Integrated Composite Application Network (ICAN) enterprise application integration (EAI) suite Sun bought for $387m from SeeBeyond and promptly open sourced in the belief it could make a profit at the expense of proprietary EAI giants like IBM.
Meanwhile, Sun's Project Kenai code-hosting site- home to nearly 40,000 registered users - is being killed as a public offering. Launched in September 2008, Kenai was billed as different from SourceForge because it also offered social networking features to members.
Farrell said that Kenai wasn't quite working and that Oracle is bringing it in house, where it would use it, "flush it out," and add some features. Farrell said Oracle may re-release Kenai for public use if it finds some value in the project.
Kenai was one of the projects Sun's management urged employees to continue building in order to to stay motivated and chipper while Oracle's purchase was held up by European regulators.
Sun's Project Hudson is a lucky survivor of the acquisition: Hudson will be added to JDeveloper, to provide enhanced application lifecycle management capabilities.
Sun's open source was always of only selected interest to Oracle, which has a track record of evaluating products and keeping only those it considers better than its own.
As a Java middleware vendor, though, Java was one of the key assets in Oracle's $5.6bn Sun acquisition. Judging by the plan outlined by Oracle's executive vice president of product development Thomas Kurian on Wednesday, Oracle's extending Sun's existing work on Java by adding more manpower and money. Part of the reason for this is Oracle has inherited the chief-steward status of Java SE, Enterprise Edition, and Mobile Edition from Sun.
Kurian committed to continue existing efforts on Java SE around modularity, while also focussing on real-time monitoring and optimized garbage collection. Java EE, based on Java SE, will also see that existing work on modularity plus efforts to run dynamic languages in the VM.
Write once, run anywhere - again
On Java ME, Kurian promised to tackle the ever-thorny subject of portability of Java applications in the highly fragmented market for handsets and phones. The objectives are for continued improvements in performance at start-up and runtime, power consumption, and multi-touch.
Kurian said during a day of strategy rollout at Oracle's Redwood Shores, California campus that Oracle would bring back the premise of write-once-run-anywhere to Java ME.
Also getting added support is JavaFX - Sun's belated attempt to rival Adobe Systems' Flash and Microsoft's Silverlight. Kurian said Oracle is pushing on five initiatives for the next version of JavaFX, due as a beta before June.
Asked by The Reg whether Oracle would release JavaFX to the Java Community Process (JCP), the body officially responsible for maintaining Java, Kurian did not answer.
Separately, Oracle has promised to continue hosting Sun's JavaOne and to even expend the conference. JavaOne will be hosted in San Francisco, California, between September 19 and 23, with plans for additional JavaOne shows in Brazil, Russia, India, and China. ®