Suns Web-Services Play

By Deborah Gage  |  Posted 2001-06-11

Sun ONE bears a strong resemblance to SunConnect, a cross-platform framework that Sun developed in the late 1990s to evangelize Java and attack Microsoft in vertical markets such as financial services.

Sun partners say Suns commitment to SunConnect was problematic, but Sun ONE has a champion in Anne Thomas Manes, a highly regarded Java analyst who joined Sun last year. Manes was unaware of Mark Tollivers appointment to head Suns Web-services initiative. But she has been showing Sun customers how Sun ONE can be implemented using any standards-based software—even Microsofts .Net—assuming Microsoft would stop using its own variants of standards like XML and tying customers to Windows.

Manes says IBM also is trying to develop intellectual property around Web services and has stopped investing resources in ebXML, the United Nations-backed technology that is expected to function as an electronic data interchange for the Internet.

"Microsoft and IBM talk Web services, but they are going to spoil it for the rest of us," she says. "UDDI [the Web services directory developed by Microsoft, IBM and Ariba] is not dynamic—if you dont know exactly who youre working with, you cant use it. If Web services dont work well, there will be a backlash."

Rocket Fuel