Sun Microsystems has released a package of software and tools for developers intended to jumpstart their efforts at building Web services applications. The product is a few months behind schedule but to spur interest the company is offering a steep promotional discount.
Sun also highlighted new training materials and online resources for developers.
It announced a new Java specification for Web services integration that passed a preliminary stage in the Java Community Process this week.
Called the Sun ONE Web Services Platform Developer Edition, the developer package includes Sun's application server, portal server, identity server and integration server, as well as its Sun ONE Studio integrated development environment, its portlet builder and other tools.
It aims to provide all the Sun software a developer would need to build Web services, an emerging computing model that uses standard languages and protocols like Extensible Markup Language (XML) and Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) to link different types of business applications together. Sun is competing in the market against more established software vendors such as BEA System, Microsoft, IBM and Oracle.
"Basically it's everything you need for development of Web services through proof-of-concept," Sun's senior director for Web Services Integration, Roger Nolan, said.
The offering should make it easier for developers to build Web services applications because the various products are tightly integrated and can be installed as one.
A focus was to include tools for security and identity management which were required for important enterprise applications, Sun officials said.
"It's not just a bundle of stuff; we've done a lot of testing and we believe this is the most integrated and complete Java development environment out there," Nolan said.
The license for the products doesn't cover pre-deployment testing or actual deployment, Nolan said. For that, customers had to go back to Sun and buy a full license.
The package would be available for Microsoft Windows and Solaris versions 8 and 9.
Sun expected to offer a Linux version in the future, officials said.
The package was first announced in June 2002 under the name Sun ONE Developer Platform. Sun officials at the time said it would be released in the fourth quarter, making it about three months behind schedule.
The product was delayed because Sun wanted to make sure it met "the highest quality control standards," Nolan said.
This week marks general availability of the developer package.
In addition, for six months starting on April 1, Sun would offer it at a promotional pricing of $US999, Nolan said. After that time it would carry a list price of $5,000.
Bought separately, developer licenses for the products would cost $36,000, he said.
The release comes as Sun prepares to launch version 7 of the Enterprise Edition of its Sun ONE application server, which it had said it would deliver by the end of the month.
The developer package includes the Standard Edition of the product which should be adequate for most developer needs, according to Nolan.