Sun Opens Source on Java

Sun continues its open-source crusade by opening up key Java techologies

June 28, 2005

2 Min Read
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Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) today took another step down the open source road, by opening up the source code for its Java System Application Server and its Java System Enterprise Server Bus (see Sun Open Sources Key Java Techs).

To further underline its commitment, Sun is also donating 135,000 lines of source code from its Sun Java System Instant Messaging and Sun Java Studio Enterprise products for use by the open source community.

This is Suns second major foray into open source in recent months. Earlier this year, the vendor made the source code for the latest version of its Solaris operating system, Solaris 10, available under the Common Development and Distribution License (CDDL). (See Sun Opens Solaris and Sun Hits the Source.)

By opening up both Solaris and the Java technologies, Sun is attempting to lure more and more developers onto the platforms and create a groundswell of support. Like open-source Solaris, the Java products will also be available under the CDDL.

Why the sudden interest in open source? “Sun has had its back up against a wall for a while now,” says Roger Kay, vice president of client computing at IDC. “This is them trying to get back in the game essentially.”Certainly, Sun has not had it easy over the past few years. The vendor, a darling of the technology sector in the 90s, was hit extremely hard when the dotcom bubble burst. Since then, Sun has been feeling the heat from rivals such as IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) (see Is Sun Setting?).

”This seems like an attempt to take back the night by contributing valuable intellectual property,” says Kay.

Sun is not the only vendor opening its arms to open source at the moment, with a range of companies, including IBM and Computer Associates International Inc. (CA) (NYSE: CA) opening up their technologies (see IBM Donates to Open Source Community and CA Unveils Open Source Challenge).

But open source is no road to riches. Last year, when NDCF polled data center managers on this topic, just over half said that they were using Linux. But for many businesses, open source will probably coexist with proprietary technologies -- well over 40 percent of the respondents to the NDCF poll predicted an even 50/50 split between Linux and proprietary technologies (see Opening Up the Data Center and NDCF Linux Poll).

Sun was unavailable for comment for this article.— James Rogers, Site Editor, Next-Gen Data Center Forum

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