Java Web Services Building Blocks

Sun updates Sun ONE app server and development environment.

Sun Microsystems Inc. last week rolled out new versions of its application server and an update of its accompanying development environment—all aimed at easing Java-based Web services development.

The Santa Clara, Calif., companys Sun ONE (Open Net Environment) Application Server 7 is available now in the Platform Edition and the Standard Edition. Sun will bundle the Platform Edition free with Solaris 9 in January, officials said. That edition is also available as a free download for Solaris and Windows, with availability for Sun Linux, HP-UX and AIX following within three months, they said.

The Platform Edition is J2EE (Java 2 Enterprise Edition) 1.3-compatible and features Web services support and an HTTP server for lower-end JavaServer Pages and Web services development, officials said. Meanwhile, at $2,000 per CPU, the Platform Edition adds multiple deployments and remote administration and monitoring.

A third version, the Enterprise Edition, will add high-availability features such as cluster management, Web tier load balancing, and enhanced replication and persistence features and will be available early in the second quarter, officials said.

Curt Stevenson, vice president of business development at Back Bay Technologies Inc., a Needham, Mass., integrator, said many of his companys top-tier clients are going to upgrade to the Enterprise Edition "to take advantage of the advanced clustering and high-availability features. ... We expect the free Platform Edition will be attractive to small and midsized businesses, where previously the cost of a robust, commercial application server was prohibitive."

Tolga Erkmen, president and CEO of Netsco Inc., in Research Triangle Park, N.C., said his company saw increases in performance, security and reliability in the beta of the Enterprise Edition. In addition, "features like the ability to support multiple users on one system out of the box makes management of the development environment much easier," Erkmen said.

The application server is integrated with the new Sun ONE Studio for Java, Enterprise Edition 4.1 and the Sun ONE Application Framework, officials said.