New Sun Features Will Enhance Web Services Integration

By Jeffrey Burt  |  Posted 2002-03-19

Sun Microsystems Inc. next week will unveil expanded integration capabilities for its iPlanet Portal and Integration servers, designed to enable developers to more quickly and easily create and deploy Web services applications.

The Palo Alto, Calif., company also will announce a joint initiative with IBM to create a portlet API standard, named right now JSR 168. The portal connection specification will enable businesses to aggregate content and data within a portal and move the information between disparate portal platforms, said Sanjay Sarathy, director of developer enablement at Sun.

The announcements will be made at Suns JavaOne conference in San Francisco next week. The moves are designed to push Java technology to the forefront of Web services development.

Enhancements to the iPlanet Integration Server include the release of the iPlanet XML Adapter Designer, or XAD, and new import capability for WSDL (Web Services Description Language) and direct support for SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol). The combination will enable users to integrate legacy applications and will offer end-to-end management of reusable Web services.

Also, the XAD framework gives developers the capability to build and deploy XML adapters for the iPlanet Integration Server, EAI Edition. This will enable them to more quickly integrate back-end systems with a companys Web-based system, said Dave Hearn, director of group product marketing for Sun ONE (Open Net Environment) business integration.

Further integration capabilities are offered in the iPlanet Portal Server, which now has native J2EE Connector Architecture connection capabilities. Users can deliver Web services and connect to back-end systems from such vendors as SAP AG and PeopleSoft Inc. using third-party JCA connectors.

The joint project with IBM to create a portal specification will help users move Web services between portal platforms, which Sarathy said was becoming the user interface of choice among developers. The specification is being put before the Java Community Project.

The integration enhancements to the integration and portal servers will be available this month.

Work on the standard will continue through the rest of the year, with implementations staring in early 2003, Sun officials said.

Sun also will announce the acquisition of Clustra Systems, whose "always-on" technology Sun will use to increase the scalability and availability of Sun ONE products. Sun ONE is Suns Web services initiative.

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