Sun offers integrated Web platform

The GlassFish application server is the basis of Sun's mostly open source GlassFish Portfolio platform

Sun will roll out on Tuesday a primarily open source Web application platform based on the GlassFish Java application server.

The platform, called Sun GlassFish Portfolio, features open source technologies that have been productized and pre-integrated. Besides the application server, Sun GlassFish Portfolio also is built on open source projects like the Apache Tomcat servlet container, the Ruby and PHP languages, and the Liferay Portal. The components have been tested and offer increased productivity and faster time to market, Sun said. Mission-critical environments and departmental applications can use the platform, the company said. All components of the suite except Sun Enterprise Manager are offered via open source.

[ Related: Sun's open source Java gets mixed reviews ]

"The reason why we think [this product offering] is important is, for customers trying to build applications today, if they want to take an open source way of doing it, it becomes an integration nightmare for them," said Mark Herring, vice president of marketing for middleware at Sun. Users have had to make sure the different components work together, he said.

"We've just done that work for them," Herring said.

Specific components include:

* GlassFish Web Stack, an integrated LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, Perl/PHP/Python) stack offering a lightweight Web solution. The stack also includes Tomcat, the Memcached memory object-caching system, and support for PHP, Ruby, and Java. The stack functions with Red Hat Enterprise Linux, which the user must download separately or already be using.

* GlassFish Web Space Server, based on Liferay and featuring Web site development capabilities

* GlassFish ESB, a lightweight enterprise service bus for departmental and SOA deployments

* The GlassFish 2.1 application server

* Enterprise Manager, a closed source product for managing the GlassFish Portfolio. This software may be open sourced over time. Sun, Herring said, wants to make the "on ramp" to all its software open source, but there may be some additional features not open sourced.

Sun anticipates GlassFish Portfolio will be used for primarily Web-facing and business applications, leveraging such content as customer data.

GlassFish Portfolio is sold via subscription-based pricing, starting at $999 per server.

As an add-on to GlassFish Portfolio, Sun is offering GlassFish Communications Server, a telecommunications-grade foundation for converged multimedia applications. Service providers can offer services such as VoIP, instant messaging, and interactive gaming for business and consumer devices. Communications Server was developed jointly with Ericsson.

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