What's Sun ONE, again?

by Steve Anglin

Related link: http://www.oreillynet.com/cs/weblog/view/wlg/1435

According to InfoWorld, the Sun ONE Studio 4, will be the successor to Forte for Java, which features Web services including a new UDDI-based registry product/service. This announcement is the latest on the Sun ONE evolution, or is it?

Remember when Sun ONE was Sun's platform for Web services? I do, especially with Simon Phipps keynote last year at O'Reilly's Java Enterprise Conference. Sun ONE was to be the Web services bridge between Java and Sun's Solaris OS and server hardware. Of course, Web services is more more than that, but I think that was the plan. I think it was supposed to be positioned at the same level as .NET. Now, it seems that Sun ONE is a marketing slogan for much of Sun's middleware and software solutions.

Currently, Sun ONE consists of Solaris OS (and maybe a Linux flavor currently supported by the new Cobalt servers), Sun ONE Web application server (use to be iPlanet/Netscape app server), Sun ONE Studio IDE, and more. Bundling Solaris 9 with the app server is a key indication that Sun is aggressively addressing the middleware market. I suspect that Linux will be key for Sun to really make headway with its current Sun ONE strategy. Expect to see Sun ONE Web application server bundled with the Studio and other software, perhaps database, etc. This seems to be the trend with other Web app server vendors: bundles Web app server as suite of softare, also known as extended Web app server middleware/software.

While this may be a plan to seek immediate revenue on Java software, this will, if not already, cause friction with many of Sun's Java licensess such as BEA, IBM, etc. Moreover, it may affect the long-term viability of Sun's software licensing revenue model.

While Sun ONE has evolved into a viable and competitive product suite, the original intent and message of Web services seems lost, other than the Web services features and tools found in the Sun ONE Studio and other Sun ONE products. And I'm not sure if this message is one that can be found again using the Sun ONE brand. I'm sure it's possible, but it will be difficult for Sun.

What do you think? What's Sun ONE? How do you think it's perceived?