The Santa Clara, Calif., company announced June 21 that Java SE 6 will be available, through early-access weekly builds, with support for the Java DB technology that is Suns version of the open-source Apache Derby Project database.
Sun officials also said Java SE 6, code-named Mustang, will feature the Group Layout component from the open-source NetBeans GUI Builder code-named Project Matisse.
The new beta marks a key transition point for Java SE 6 as the technology nears completion and its final release this fall, company officials said.
Sun officials said a key theme of Java SE 6 is compatibility and the protection of current and future technology investments.
In addition to the new features in Java SE 6, Sun also announced new agreements with Founder Technology Group and Lenovo to ship the JRE (Java Runtime Environment) on their hardware. These agreements to distribute the Sun JRE on a variety of desktop and consumer PCs will start in the third quarter of this year. The agreements are similar to deals Sun has with other leading PC manufacturers, including Acer, Apple Computer, Dell Computer, Gateway, Hewlett-Packard, Samsung, Toshiba and Tsinghua Tongfang, Sun said.
The company also is expanding its service programs for Java SE 6 developers, including the Sun Developer Expert Assistance Program and Sun Developer Service Plans, Sun officials said.
Interested developers can get the early-access weekly builds of Java SE 6 at https://mustang.dev.java.net/.
While Sun engineers and more than 330 external developers collaborate on Java SE 6, Sun has already started planning out and working on Java SE 7, code-named Dolphin, company officials said.