April 26, 2004

Sun announces new free support for open source server companies

Author: Chris Preimesberger

Sun Microsystems Monday announced free J2EE 1.4 technical support for all open source app server companies, so they can make their products square with the new specifications. Sun also released a new, freely downloadable J2EE 1.4 Application Verification Kit (AVK). The new AVK tests for portability to J2EE APIs across Java-compatible application servers and applications -- including JBoss, Apache, and other open source servers.

Passed by the Java Community Process back on Nov. 18, 2003, the J2EE 1.4 specs are now officially available to developers. The J2EE 1.4 SDK is nearing the 1 million download mark, a Sun spokesman said.

Sun has been busy with new product releases lately, announcing the first J2EE 1.4-compliant app server on April 16, the open source NetBeans 3.6 IDE on April 14, and the new, graphical Java Studio Creator on March 31. Downloads of the Studio Creator recently passed the 30,000 mark, Sun vice president Joe Keller told NewsForge.

Representatives from open source server leaders JBoss, Apache Software Foundation, and Europe's ObjectWeb consortium were on hand Monday in San Francisco in a show of marketing support for the updated J2EE platform, mostly because Sun has loosened up its open-source-connected licensing terms in recent weeks.

ObjectWeb produces the JOnAS Java open application server, Version 3.3.6 of which was released March 8.

"The ObjectWeb consortium is pleased to take advantage of Sun's open-source friendly licensing terms through the Compatibility Scholarship Program," said Christophe Ney, president of the ObjectWeb consortium Executive Committee. "The grant of Sun's support extended to us at no charge will be of great help to certify the full compatibility of the JOnAS application server with the J2EE specifications. This is very important to our community of enterprise developers and users."

Keller told NewsForge that the open source community was demonstrating its support of Sun's enterprise Java platform, not on solely a domestic basis (with JBoss, Apache), but also on the international front, with ObjectWeb consortium, Trifork, Kingdee, INRIA, and Pramati, who were also in attendance Monday.

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