Some Developers Remain Wary of P2P

But at JavaOne vendors such as Sun, Zaplet and NextPage announced various P2P technologies

The much-maligned peer-to-peer technology got a boost earlier this month from several vendors, but it still received a lukewarm response from some developers. Some said they didnt see the need for it. Others said they were wary of the technology, particularly its security.

"I dont see it becoming very widespread. Im not sure how its going to work," Amine Chouicha, a systems analyst with the Chicago Stock Exchange, said at the JavaOne Developers Conference in San Francisco this month.

For Chouicha, its a matter of trust. He said he would be reluctant to expose his computer system to someone he doesnt know. He compared it to issues facing Napster, the music-swapping service.

"Theyre trying to adhere to copyright [laws], but they cant because people lie," he said.

JavaOne host Sun Microsystems Inc. continued the drumbeat of Project Jxta, the open-source P2P initiative its heading. At the conference, the Palo Alto, Calif., company announced it had contributed more open-source Jxta code to push for further application development on the platform.

The new source code is designed to help users find peers and share files more quickly. In addition, the Jxta Shell is designed to better manage interactions between users.

Sun officials also said the Jxta source code they released in April had been downloaded more than 50,000 times, and several companies—including iMulet Co. Ltd., Endeavors Technology Inc. and Consilient Inc.—are building applications on it.

One other company, Zaplet Inc., announced the availability of its Zaplet Appmail Suite Release 1.0. The Redwood Shores, Calif., companys technology uses e-mail as the vehicle for getting server-based collaborative applications—such as file sharing, scheduling and discussions—to people involved in various business processes.

In a twist on the usual P2P technology, Appmail can be created for and sent to anyone via e-mail, but the applications reside on a server. The e-mail creates a window to the server, which enhances security, CEO Alan Baratz said. "Its more secure than e-mail because the message never leaves the server," Baratz said.

Other security features include the ability to designate who can open Appmail and who Appmail can be sent to. Also, Appmail can be designed to delete itself after a set amount of time.

Version 2.0 will go into beta testing next month and will be released in October.

Additionally, NextPage Inc., of Lehi, Utah, said its NXT 3 P2P platform now runs on Solaris, and Irvine, Calif., company Endeavors announced the beta testing of its newest P2P platform, Magi Enterprise Version 2.0.