Efforts by IBM and Novell to push Java standards-bearer Sun Microsystems forward are winning support from users who believe the intervention will strengthen the technology and broaden its appeal.
IBM has talked with Sun and Java licencees, including Novell, about making several interfaces and services standard on Java application servers, according to Jason Woodard, IBM's program manager for Java technical marketing.
Chris Stone, a Novell senior vice president said the vendor has several Java-related initiatives for NetWare that it must pursue to meet customer demand. "We're all moving toward our opportunistic markets. . . . We can't wait," Stone said.
For example, Novell is working with Intel to improve Java performance on NetWare servers using Intel-based hardware, Stone said.
Those efforts to move Java along intrigue users, who said they don't face technical roadblocks now but foresee the potential for problems.
James Chong, vice president of site architecture and planning at Charles Schwab & Co in the US, said Sun is neither large enough nor versatile enough to handle all aspects of advancing a standard such as Java.
"Sun does have bandwidth issues, and it doesn't necessarily have the expertise in a few areas," he said.
"Sun should be welcoming the help. If both of these companies are held up because Sun's [Enterprise JavaBeans and application programming interfaces] do not live up to the task of supporting their environments, then they have to take it up themselves," said JP Morgenthal, an analyst at NC.Focus.