Sun Illuminates its Web Services Progress

With eyes fixed on winning developer adoption for its Web Services platform, Sun Microsystems on Wednesday introduced the Sun ONE Web Services Platform Developer Edition, a package of software and tools needed to build Web Services applications.

Sun will formally unveil the integrated developer environment at a midday press conference where a massive price cut will be offered as a six-month promotion.

Roger Nolan, a senior director of product management for Sun’s Web Services Platform, told the Developer Edition package would include the company’s application server, portal server, identity server and integration server. It will also feature the Sun ONE Studio integrated development environment, its portlet builder and various other tips and tools that developers need.

The official release of the Sun ONE Web Services Platform Developer Edition comes with a special promotion. Starting April 1st and running for six months, Sun is offering the package for $1329 per developer seat. “This is a set of products that has a $36,000 list price value so this is a steep cut price promotion we’re offering,” Nolan said.

He said the package would provide all the necessary software from Sun that a developer would need to build Web services applications. At the press conference, Sun’s executives are also expected to announce a new Java specification for Web services integration.

Sun, which is locked in a dogfight with Microsoft and IBM for developer adoption of its Web Services initiative, said a key feature in the Platform Developer Edition rollout was the single-install capabilities.

Nolan said the Platform Developer Edition would significantly reduce the complexities of enterprise software development and, more importantly, cut down on costs associated with building Web Services-ready applications. “Customers want to get rid of the complexities. They want an integrated platform that will enable development and cut down on their costs. With this platform, everything works together. There is one price and one install. There won’t be a need to install a dozen different software programs to get going,” Nolan explained.

In addition to the development-ready servers, the new Web Services platform will also feature developer tools like the Sun ONE Studio Enterprise Edition for Java (for developing J2EE applications and Java Web Services); the Sun ONE Portlet Builder and the Sun ONE Connector Builder.

It supports integration technology based on J2EE, including Java Messaging Server (JMS) and J2EE Connector Architecture and all the API’s in the Java Web Services Developer Pack including JAXM, JAXP, JAXR, JAX-RPC, SOAP, WSDL and UDDI.

Nolan said future releases of the Sun ONE Web Services Platform Developer Edition would implement Sun’s Java Business Integration Java Specification Request (JSR), WS-I Web Services Profiles and other emerging integration standards.

Separately, the announced the launch of the Sun Developer Network, a program aimed at providing access to new content, training, support and technology access to developers.

Sanjay Sarathy, who directs the developer program for Sun, said the expanded portal would integrate community dialog, content and access to technologies.

The program, which is free to registered developers, has been broken up into four sub-sections covering content/communication, training, support and software distribution. Sarathy said the content offerings would include technical audiocasts, syndicated content from partners new sample applications and code snippets.

The program would offer online tutorials, access to books at cut prices and training material for developers to learn about, build and deploy services that span multiple technologies and standards. It will also feature an expanded list of newsgroups and connection with User Groups covering web services.

It would also serve as a portal for software distribution, giving developers access to Sun technologies and software through subscriptions and evaluation downloads, and via early access programs.