Sun Teams With Ericsson on Java Platform

Sun Microsystems and Swedish telecom equipment provider Ericsson are joining forces to develop Java-based server applications that can run on wireless networks. The two companies announced a partnership during the opening session of the annual JavaOne developer conference in San Francisco.

For its part, Ericsson will contribute its Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) Servlet 1.0-compatible app server to the open-source GlassFish project, according to Rich Green, Sun's SVP of software, who spoke at the JavaOne keynote opener.

The Sun-sponsored GlassFish project was launched in 2005 to develop an open-source Java EE 5 application server. GlassFish is one of several community-type projects hosted on Sun's collaboration site. While GlassFish is focused on enterprise-level applications, the Ericsson collaboration will expand the project into applications delivered on mobile networks, Green said.

Multimedia-VoIP App Support
Green was joined onstage by Ericsson's Martin Harriman, VP of marketing and business development for the multimedia business.

"We realize that in developing new services around IMS, that will change the way people live their lives," Harriman said, "and we can't do that on our own."

About the partnership with Sun, he added: "This is a big step for us. We've never worked like this before."

SIP is a protocol used to set up communications sessions on the Internet. It's a key technology behind the IMS (IP multimedia subsystem) protocol, an internationally recognized standard that defines a generic architecture for offering voice-over-IP (VoIP) and multimedia services.

Ericsson will also contribute a variety of tools and expertise to support developer communities, as well as a possibility for developers to test their applications on a live IMS-based network, Harriman said.

Big Move to Open Source
Sun's Green applauded Ericsson for making the move to open source.

"For them to say the leading-edge technology that is going to power their next big round of business is going to be in open source is this huge quantum leap for a company like that," he said.

The Sun-Ericsson collaboration is likely to fuel the development of communications-based features in Java servers, said Ken Drachnik, community development and marketing manager for Sun's Open Source Group.

"SIP allows developers to build communication protocols on the application server," he explained, "which makes it possible to take things like VoIP and instant messaging and develop those directly in enterprise Java applications."

Sun CTO Bob Brewin showed off GlassFish v3 during the keynote, even though GlassFish v2 isn't set for release until later this year. GlassFish v3 will be "modularized," Brewin said, which will allow it to be used more effectively in embedded systems.

"The major breakthrough here is that it allows you to do things without necessarily having to be connected," Brewin added.

About the Author

John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached at [email protected].