Lutris Technologies Out of Java App Server Business


Lutris Technologies has thrown in the towel in the Java application server business.

Lutris CEO and President Yancy Lind said Thursday morning that Lutris, a former open-source consulting firm that had most recently been operating as a J2EE licensee and vendor of J2EE app servers, has bowed out of the market because of consolidation.

"It's been a difficult time for us," Lind said. "People have been buying from the big guys [so we've decided to exit the app server business. If you can't win, it's time to move on to new areas."

Lind said Lutris has made some personnel changes but still exists as a company and will be selling source code to its products, which includes the Enhydra Application Server 4, to customers that have shown interest.

"There are a few companies that have asked to license source code to products and we're talking to them," Lind said.

Lind added that Lutris is examining its technology and its business to decide in which market the company will re-emerge.

"We're going to go into a restart mode and take our core technology assets and repurpose them for a new market," said Lind.

Lutris is no stranger to transformation. The company gained renown in the late 1990s for its Java- and XML-based Enhydra Application Server, which was available through open-source licenses as an alternative to more expensive app servers.

In 1999, Lutris became embroiled in a public feud with Sun Microsystems over J2EE licensing, claiming Sun's stiff Java licensing fees precluded open-source companies from taking advantage of the Java brand. After about a yearlong fight, Lutris became a J2EE licensee last year, consequently shifting its strategy to a vendor model that sold products mainly through the channel, with only a small professional services arm.

CRN was first alerted to the company's change in strategy early Thursday when the Lutris Web site said the company now "sells source code for complete J2EE application servers, midrange 'super servlet' Java application servers, and 100 percent Java database engines." Further, the site, which previously consisted of multiple pages showcasing products, customers, news and the like, now only occupies the top of one page, announcing Lutris' new business and directing users to contact Lutris at an e-mail address.