McNealy: SeeBeyond Buy to Help Fill Web Services Gap

Saying the $387 million deal with help fill "a little bit of a hole in our Web services stack," Sun Microsystems CEO Scott McNealy moves on to praise the Java community's successes at JavaOne.

SAN FRANCISCO—In a keynote that focused on the successes of the Java community and on ways that the community can benefit society, Sun Microsystems CEO Scott McNealy broke the news of Suns SeeBeyond acquisition to attendees of the JavaOne conference here with a joke.

"I saw that the [session on the] JBI service-oriented architecture was the most attended session yesterday, so last night I went out and spent $387 million and bought SeeBeyond," he said.

McNealy then invited SeeBeyond Technology CEO Jim Demetriades onstage to talk about his company and the acquisition, which Sun and SeeBeyond have been negotiating for several months.

Sun and SeeBeyond have had a marketing partnership since October 2004. McNealy said the acquisition will help fill what he described as "a little bit of a hole in our Web services stack."

"[SeeBeyonds] ICAN [Integrated Composite Application Network suite] is the worlds only organically developed J2EE integration technology that runs on any application server," Demetriades said.

/zimages/5/28571.gifRead more here about Suns acquisition of SeeBeyond Technology.

Sun and SeeBeyond now will work to bring ICAN into compliance with the recently approved JBI 1.0 (Java Business Integration) specification from the JCP (Java Community Process).

Before presenting the "Dukie" Java community awards, McNealy highlighted the overall successes of the Java community, claiming that there are 4.5 million Java developers worldwide and 912 members of the JCP. He also announced that more than 1 billion Java Card smart cards are now in circulation and brought Olivier Piou, the CEO of smart-card manufacturer Axalto, onstage to highlight the success of the Java Card technology.

"This year, we will sell over 400 million Java Cards," Piou said. He displayed the Java Card technology that will be part of the new U.S. electronic passport, and discussed a number of social services programs now using Axaltos cards for benefits access, including a government health care program in Puerto Rico.

McNealy then turned the stage into a bully pulpit, urging the Java community to help use Java to conquer the digital divide—particularly in the areas of health care and education.

"Health care matters to all of us," he said. "And I dont think theres any industry thats more screwed up than the computer industry except health care, which kills everybody eventually."

He pointed to the vast administrative burden patients face, as well as the failures of health services that are caused by a breakdown in information sharing. "There are 98,000 deaths per year [in the United States] that are preventable," he said. "And $300 billion is spent annually on treatments yielding no benefit—sort of like an OS upgrade. An e-health initiative is absolutely critical."

/zimages/5/28571.gifCheck out a slide show from the JavaOne 2005 show.

McNealy highlighted the successes of the Brazilian government in creating an electronic health information network. Fabiane Nardon, chief technology officer of the Brazilian National Health System—a winner of a Java community award—came onstage to discuss her agencys system, which gives health care workers in the city of Sao Paolo instant access to patient medical records, prescriptions and medical history. The entire system was written in Java and has been open-sourced by the Brazilian government for use by any public health organization.

/zimages/5/28571.gifClick here to read about Suns plans for the next two versions of Java.

McNealys second request of the community was to help with education. As part of that initiative, he announced the Global Education Learning Community, an effort to create open-source educational materials for primary and secondary learning, including textbooks and tests.

"The cost of textbooks is $1,000 per student per year," McNealy said. "And who knows how good these textbooks are?" By creating an online set of texts for self-paced learning and using a community process to create better materials, he said that rather than having "No Child Left Behind," there would be "no child held back."

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