Ease of Use to Be All the Rave at JavaOne

Project Rave will make it easier for developers to write enterprise Java applications.

This week at its annual JavaOne developer conference, Sun Microsystems Inc. plans to make ease of use, community and branding three key elements of its message to developers.

On the ease-of-use note, Sun is expected to introduce a new tool code-named Project Rave, which will make it easier for developers to write enterprise Java applications using the JavaServer Faces technology.

However, some Sun competitors say the Santa Clara, Calif., company has been listening to too much James Brown and is "Talkin Loud and Sayin Nothin," at least nothing that has not been said before. In fact, BEA Systems Inc., of San Jose, Calif., which released its WebLogic Workshop tool more than a year ago, will use the JavaOne forum to show and prove the ease-of-use aspects of the Java development tool.

Carl Sjogreen, senior product manager for BEAs WebLogic Workshop, said, "BEA is about proof, about reality, not hype."

The tools to come out of Project Rave are expected to be released to beta later this year and made available next year, sources said.

Meanwhile, Sun plans to make an attempt to recapture the Java brand, unveiling a new Java logo that will follow Java onto all manner of devices and platforms, sources said.

"Sun is launching a Java labeling initiative clearly modeled after Intels successful Intel Inside campaign," said Jason Bloomberg, an analyst with ZapThink LLC, of Cambridge, Mass. "But while Intels campaign led to end users preferring hardware with Intel chips, leading directly to revenue for Intel, such a direct connection is not apparent for Sun. Just how much of the money paid for a Java Inside mobile phone will go to Sun? The answer isnt clear."

In terms of community building, one effort Sun plans to engage in is a development portal known as Java.net, also known by its code name of Montague. It will feature traditional and open-source development activities, sources said.