With Sun Microsystems Inc.s new Java enterprise System and a pricing model that delivers the middleware as an entire software stack for $100 per employee, one might ask, "Whats the benefit for developers?" Plenty.
"My only comment is, why didnt they do this sooner?" said Rick Preston, manager of Unix systems at Rosetta Biosoftware, a division of Rosetta Inpharmatics LLC, in Kirkland, Wash., noting the savings he envisions from the new model.
Preston spoke to eWEEK at the SunNetwork conference in San Francisco last week, where many developers welcomed the news of an integrated software stack with guaranteed quarterly deliveries.
Rich Green, senior vice president of software development platforms at Sun, said the newly named developer platform for Java Enterprise System (formerly known as Project Orion) is called Java Studio Enterprise (formerly known as Orion Developer) and will cost $5 per employee for companies that sign on for Java Enterprise System.
"From a business perspective, [Java Enterprise System] reduces the amount of integration services needed," said Curt Stevenson, founder and vice president of professional services at Back Bay Technologies Inc., in Needham, Mass. "But were helping customers with their strategy and future state architectures that will help them maximize the value of Orion.
"Developers will definitely gain from a productivity standpoint, as they will be able to focus less on integration between the products and integration testing, for example, in a current best-of-breed approach, where they need to take separate upgrades of, say, WebLogic, Sun ONE Directory and Netegrity," Stevenson said.
"Orion is very interesting, and its success will be largely based on how Sun behaves and licensing costs and limitations," said Joe Lindsay, chief technology officer at eBuilt Inc., in Costa Mesa, Calif.
John Loiacono, vice president of Suns operating platforms group, in Santa Clara, Calif., said the $100-per-person price for the software stack will go up.
"Over time, the price wont stay $100. As we add stuff, it will grow," Loiacono said. "And as time goes by, we will add more and more into it—up to 40 to 50 components. As we get more integration, that price will trickle up."
Meanwhile, Suns Green said the companys tools suite will match Microsoft Corp.s upcoming "Whidbey" version of Visual Studio .Net feature for feature, and it will include some additional features, such as refactoring. For instance, both tools will include support for generics and community-oriented help. And Java Studio Enterprise will include modeling in an upcoming version of the tool set, Green said.