With the Sun ONE Starter Kit, Sun has officially kicked off the companys answer to Web services development, the Microsoft Developer Network and Microsofts .Net.
Included in the kit are full-fledged versions of heavy-duty software, including Forte for Java Enterprise Edition (which costs some $2,000 for the licensed version) and all the iPlanet products, such as iPlanet Application Server, iPlanet Portal Server, iPlanet Unified Development Server and the iPlanet Directory server.
The kit also comes with the latest Java development tools, such as Java 2 Standard and Enterprise editions.
The only thing the package doesnt include is Solaris, a decision that resulted from an internal debate at Sun. Its too bad because all these development tools would certainly make a lot more sense if the Sun operating system came with the bundle.
Sun officials said they believe, however, that the only people interested in the kit would already have Solaris installed.
Although this points out a key difference between Sun and Microsoft (even though Microsoft knows that everyone has access to Windows, it still puts it out on the MSDN), you get what you pay for.
The four-CD set is free for all attendees of any Sun-sponsored conference or can be purchased for a paltry $19.95 on the Web. Subscriptions to the MSDN, meanwhile, which contain just about everything that Microsoft puts out, cost $2,799.
In the end, the kit is a great way for developers to familiarize themselves with Suns vision of Web services.