Sun Unveils New Portal Server

The Sun ONE Portal Server 6.0 adds identity management and support for leading Java application servers.

Sun Microsystems Inc. on Monday pushed its Web services vision further with the announcement of the Sun ONE Portal Server 6.0, a new version of the companys portal server with identity management and support for leading Java application servers.

John Fanelli, Suns product director for communications and portal products, said the Sun ONE (Open Net Environment) Portal Server 6.0 is built on and includes the Sun ONE Identity Server.

Fanelli said the new portal server also supports a range of J2EE (Java 2 Enterprise Edition) application servers, including Suns own Sun ONE Application Server, IBMs WebSphere application server and BEA Systems Inc.s WebLogic application server. The portal server also supports Suns Sun ONE Web Server and runs on the Solaris, Windows and Linux operating systems.

For developers, the Sun ONE Portal Server 6.0 features a set of developer tools to help build portal applications, or "portlets," Fanelli said.

By including the Sun identity server, Sun aims to give users secure policy-based access to applications, Fanelli said. It also enables users to consolidate management of users and applications, including personalizing content and service delivery, he said.

Formerly known under the iPlanet name, the Sun ONE Portal Server features a set of tools that were once known as Suns Forte tools, including the Sun ONE Studio Portlet Builder plug-in for developing portlets.

"We designed this release by looking at what developers have asked of us," Fanelli said. "Pre-packaged portlets dont always meet customer needs. They want to have ones that meet their needs or to be able to build their own. They can do that with the plug-in."

In addition, the new portal server features support for the J2EE Connector Architecture for EAI (enterprise application integration), Fanelli said.

The portal server also features a single sign-on capability, which extends the products EAI capabilities.

Fanelli said Sun chose to support more than just its own application server environment because "people have bought into J2EE as a platform, but they are scared of being locked into a portal choice, like with IBM or BEA."

In addition, Fanelli said the new portal server includes a Web services portlet that delivers "out-of-the-box" support for Web services and enables users to create Web services user interfaces based on Web Services Description Language descriptions.

He said Sun has more than 385 customer wins for its portal server, including extensive installations at Bell South and at General Motors Corp., both for employee portals.

The Sun ONE Portal Server 6.0 will be available in August, Fanelli said. Additional application server support will be announced in December, and additional operating system support will be announced in the first half of next year.