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Sun Makes Open-Source Move, Patches Up IBM Relationship

At the JavaOne conference, Sun said IBM will renew its Java Standard Edition license and port its key middleware products to Solaris 10 for x86.

At the opening of Sun Microsystems' 10th annual JavaOne Java developer gathering, president Jonathan Schwartz said Sun was making its Java Application Server open source.

"You should assume this is the first of many steps" in the direction of open-source code, he told a gathering of 12,000 Monday at the conference at San Francisco's Moscone Convention Center.

Enlarging the library of Java open-source code "allows people to participate, it brings them on board, it enlarges the community," Schwartz said. And Sun is hoping that increasing the sales volume of its Java products will generate demand for them as a comprehensive set. Sun's Java Application Server is part of its Java Enterprise System, which also includes an integration server, directory server, and identity-management server.

In addition, Schwartz said Sun has patched up its sometimes-strained relationship with IBM. "Some of you may have noticed, we've had just a little bit of a chill in our relationship," he said in his opening remarks at the conference. In a rare acknowledgement, Schwartz said that IBM helped Sun establish Java 10 years ago in the enterprise. "They were there with us shoulder to shoulder at the beginning," he said.

IBM has renewed its license for Java Standard Edition, the core Java language, for another 10 years, Schwartz said. With a full Java product line of its own, IBM's renewal would seem to be a given. But behind the scenes, the tensions between the two have kept that issue unresolved. The resolution seemed to be a cause for celebration.

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