Lack Of Integration

Solution providers said the integration server's absence is a significant hole in JES, the first version of which is due this month. The suite includes an application server, portal, identity management server and other software for building and deploying enterprise-scale Java applications.



A look at how Sun's competitors tackle integration in their product stacks:


>> BEA Systems: WebLogic Integration
>> IBM: MQ and WebSphere Business Integration product families
>> MICROSOFT: BizTalk Server>> ORACLE: Oracle 9i and upcoming 10G Application Server contain integration capabilities
>> SAP: NetWeaver integration platform
>> FUJITSU: Interstage product family
>> NOVELL: ExteNd product family from SilverStream acquisition
>> SYBASE: Web Services Integrator, Integration Orchestrator, e-Biz Integrator and related products

"At this point, I really think Sun should look to buy a J2EE-compliant integration server if [its own] isn't forthcoming quickly," said Marc Maselli, president of Back Bay Technologies, a solution provider in Needham, Mass.

Maselli said the lack of a solid integration product in JES could hinder customers' adoption of the software stack, especially since Sun's chief competitors in the space,IBM, Microsoft, BEA Systems and Oracle,already ship integration software.

Sun's Project Ganymede, first reported by CRN in May, aimed to combine elements of the Sun ONE Integration Server B2B Edition and the Sun ONE Integration Server EAI Edition with functionality from iPlanet Process Manager, which Sun bought from Netscape. The goal of that project, which originally was to be completed by the end of this year, was to create J2EE-compliant integration software based on Sun's app server.

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Roger Nolan, senior director of marketing for integration products at Sun, said the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company changed the focus of Ganymede because engineers were troubled by the lack of code portability among integration products currently on the market.

Instead of creating another integration server that could not interoperate easily with comparable products, Sun has decided to wait for the adoption of a proposed standard called Java Business Integration, or JSR 208, which is now being considered by the Java Community Process (JCP), the Java standards body, Nolan said.


Nolan: Sun engineers were troubled by lack of code portability in products.

JSR 208 is a specification for building an integration server on the J2EE platform. Sun proposed the spec last December to the JCP, with the support of all the major integration software vendors except IBM, Nolan said.

Once JSR 208 clears the JCP, Sun plans to build its new integration server according to the standard, Nolan said.

Solution providers familiar with Ganymede tell a different story about why the effort stalled. They said several engineers on Ganymede quit because they no longer wanted to work on the project and suggested Sun buy an integration product from another vendor to fill the technology gap.

Nolan declined to comment on personnel changes related to Ganymede but said an acquisition by Sun in this space is not out of the question. "We're open to any and all options that can help us with our product delivery," he said.

Even without an integration server, some solution providers report interest in JES from their customers. Although the suite won't be generally available until this month, select Sun partners, such as Brighton, Mich.-based Dewpoint, have already built solutions on JES.

Other partners, such as Consultants Choice, a Houston-based solution provider, also report new deals in the pipeline.