Sun Releases JCAPS 6 with MDM Suite

On Tuesday Sun Microsystems released the latest version of its business integration and service-oriented architecture package. Version 6 of the Java Composite Application Platform Suite (JCAPS) bundles several technologies designed to provide "an open and extensible platform" for developing software infrastructures using an SOA approach.

JCAPS 6 is built on a modular enterprise service bus (ESB) based on the Java Business Integration (JBI) standard in Sun's Open ESB project. ESBs often serve as foundation for a service-oriented architecture (SOA), enabling different components to connect with each other through messaging, mediation, routing, etc. The suite also bundles an intelligent event processor with the ability to identify trends and pattern in real time, plus new business process management features that support BPEL 2, support for the latest version of the Sun's GlassFish enterprise server and support for the NetBeans integrated development environment (IDE).

"This is the next evolution of our platform and one of the only open source offerings of its kind," said Ashesh Badani, director of Sun's SOA group.

Also available in this release as an optional part of the JCAPS 6 bundle is Sun's first master data management (MDM) offering. The MDM suite, also available as a stand-alone product, is designed to provide a 360-degree view of an organization's "master data," the data that define a business entity (customer, subscriber, citizen, etc.). MDM refers to a series of processes designed to ensure that master data is kept up to date and coordinated across an enterprise. As Sun puts it, "With the ability to create single views of their master data and support for various industry models, organizations can benefit by identifying their most valuable customers and implementing opportunities to cross-sell and up-sell their products and services."

The MDM suite is based on Mural, an open source project based on technology Sun acquired three years ago with its purchase of application integration company SeeBeyond. In JCAPS 6, Sun updates SeeBeyond's Integrated Composite Application Network (ICAN) technology.

"MDM is something that had existed in SeeBeyond software since the mid-'90s," observed Dan Sholler, vice president of research at Gartner. "We just didn't call it that back then."

This version of JCAPS is the first to fully exploit that acquisition, Sholler added. In fact, he sees JCAPS 6 as Sun's first true application infrastructure suite. "The original version of JCAPS wasn't really a suite," he said. "They just sort of put a whole bunch of stuff in a bag. This version is made of things that were designed to work together."

Sun claims that JCAPS is the first software suite of its kind with true open source credentials, and that's a fair claim, Sholler said. "We've seen a growing interest when it comes to SOA-style infrastructure in open source," Sholler commented. "The attitude toward open source has definitely changed in the recent past. More companies are taking open source solutions seriously for mission critical situations. Sun might be poised to take advantage of that change."

"Open source is core to our strategy of increasing our market penetration," said Mark Herring, Sun's vice president of software infrastructure marketing. "It allows us to reach developers and companies that would never have thought of it before. It's about acquiring new customers while providing the same advantages to our existing customers. It's one of the big reasons we went down the open-source path."

About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at [email protected].