Sun Joins SOA Group

Company officials say they are pushing SOA with their products, but one analyst questions how easy it will be for Sun to revamp its portfolio.

Sun Microsystems is joining the SOA Consortium as a sponsor.

The consortium is a group of users, service providers and technology vendors focused on helping commercial enterprises, major government agencies and mid-market businesses adopt SOA (service-oriented architecture) by 2010.

The Needham, Mass.-based SOA Consortium announced Feb. 4 that Sun is joining Cisco Systems, IBM, SAP and Sparx Systems as a sponsor of the group.

Richard Soley, executive director of the SOA Consortium, credited Sun with helping "spark the SOA revolution not only in the commercial sector, but in the U.S. federal government."

According to SOA Consortium officials, the group wants to push for business-driven and for standards related to SOA.

Bill Vass, president and chief operating officer of Sun Microsystems Federal, said one way Sun is working to support the continued emergence of SOA is by "delivering highly scalable, secure products at commodity-based prices."

Jason Bloomberg, an analyst with ZapThink, was more skeptical. "Joining the SOA Consortium is the easy part," Bloomberg said. "Revamping their entire product strategy to facilitate SOA at their customer [sites], which would require a fundamental shift away from the 'write once run anywhere' mantra of Java, is quite another. Only time will tell."