Sun to Open Source App Server, Service Bus at JavaOne

Sun Microsystems is set to make a number of announcements at the company's annual JavaOne developer conference this week at San Francisco’s Moscone Center. Among them:

- Sun is expected to announce it will make the source code for the Sun Java System Application Server, Platform Edition 9 available under its OSI-approved Common Development and Distribution License, sources inside the company disclosed.

Based on the latest Java Enterprise Edition 5 reference implementation, the Java AS PE 9 is a Java EE application server designed to deliver Java applications and Web services across disparate computer server networks. By open-sourcing the app server, Sun hopes to "streamline the evolution of a robust, commercial-quality Java EE compatible application server that is packed with new features and bug fixes," sources say.

Earlier this month, Sun launched the GlassFish Project, which made the app server's source code available under the Java Research License. That license grants some access, but prohibits full open-source privileges.

Sun describes the CDDL as a "direct descendant" of the 1.1 version of the Mozilla Public License. The company created the CDDL to free developers from the obligation to give their new code back to the developers of OpenSolaris. Sun's CEO Jonathan Schwartz has called it “a genuine attempt to lower barriers to entry.” Sun says it will make the first buildable source code for OpenSolaris available by the end of June.

- Sun also plans to announce extensive support for the Java Business Integration specification, sources say. Developed within the Java Community Process, JBI defines a standard container in which components from multiple vendors and various integration technologies can interact. The hope of JBI is that it will set the standard for integrating corporate resources in a service-oriented architecture. JBI defines a framework for plug-in components that comprise an integrated solution. Those components can be as anything from EJB containers to BPEL process engines, or adapters that expose applications or workflows as Web services.

The JBI was driven by Sun and an Expert Group of more than 22 industry vendors and individuals, including Apache, JBoss, IONA, Novell, Oracle, SAP, SeeBeyond, Sonic Software, Sybase, webMethods and TIBCO Software. The JBI spec extends the Java Enterprise Edition with a protocol infrastructure that supports a range of integration component models and bindings required by standards-based SOAs. The JBI 1.0 spec was approved by the JCP this spring. The first reference implementation is expected to ship later this summer.

Sun's implementation of the spec, the Java Enterprise Service Bus, was announced last week as part of the company's open-source initiative. The Java ESB will also be licensed under the CDDL. According to Sun, 19 enterprise infrastructure providers will join the company, which is becoming the first to deliver SOA JBI-based platforms and tools. Fourteen have committed to do so within the next 12 months.

- Sun is also simplifying the development process of Java-based applications by introducing new features to Java Studio and NetBeans tools platform. In response to developer feedback, Sun is: introducing an early access program for Java Studio Creator 2; previewing at the future release of Sun Java Studio Enterprise 9; announcing general availability of the Java Web Services Developer Pack 1.6.

The company hopes these changes will foster community collaboration and boost performance capabilities.

- Conference attendees will also get a look the latest roadmap for Sun's Java Platform, Standard Edition, and for the Java Runtime Environment. The company is offering developers an early taste of Java SE 7.0 by inviting them to join the community that's helping build the next release of Java SE, expected in 2006.

- Finally, Sun will be unveiling new features of the next edition of the Java Enterprise Edition platform, Java EE 5. The new version will make development easier and increase productivity for the Java community, sources inside the company say.

This year marks Java's 10th anniversary, and Sun is beaming like Dad on graduation day. The company might be forgiven some a bit of pride, given how far the programming language it created for PDAs and set-top boxes has come in a decade. Sun estimates Java now drives more than $100 billion of business annually. It counts 4.5+ million Java developers, 2.5 billion Java-enabled devices and 1 billion Java technology-enabled smart cards. Analysts at Ovum estimate that 708 million Java-enabled handsets were circulating by June 2005. And Java Community Process membership has reached 912.

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About the Author

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