Sun offers collaboration tool

Sun Microsystems Inc. threw its hat into the collaboration ring in April when it released its Sun Open Net Environment (ONE) Business Collaboration platform that allows its users to communicate on projects and share information. This solution combines the functionality of six Sun ONE products – the Sun ONE Messaging Server 5.2, the Sun ONE Calendar Server 5.1, Sun ONE Instant Messaging 6.0 client side, Sun ONE Portal Server 6.0 and Sun ONE Identity server 6.0.

Via a Web-based portal through a single-sign-on authentication, users can access the platform remotely from any wireless devices that supports wireless markup language (WML) or compact HTML (cHTML) – that means both wireless access protocol WAP and iMODE devices are supported, said Frances Newbigin, regional manager Sun ONE Canada in Toronto.

Also, administrators can control what the user has access to and enforce company policies.

E-mail can scale to over 10 million users, the company says and e-mails can be converted into fax and short message service (SMS) messages. In addition, Microsoft Corp. Word documents can be converted into HTML.

Other messaging services include instant messaging through Sun ONE Instant Messaging 6.0 also released on Monday. It allows users to communicate securely in real-time so users can chat, hold conferences, be provided with alerts and news, be polled and transfer files. New features include the ability to archive and retrieve old messages, pop-up notifications of events and deadlines and the ability to filter out spam and viruses.

The platform also enables users to manage schedules, share resources and be notified of events and deadlines and search through disparate unstructured content.

Companies can combine their collaboration capabilities on a single server, or divvy it up to a small number of servers.

Ronald Gruia, program leader, enterprise communications solutions at Frost & Sullivan Canada in Toronto said in the instant messaging arena Sun’s biggest contender would be Microsoft with its upcoming enterprise-class messaging product, code-named Greenwich. Although Greenwich is not yet on the market, Gruia said companies such as Siemens have already developed applications on beta-versions of this enterprise-scale-messaging product.

However, Gruia did say that Sun is providing different sets of application program interfaces (APIs) and a software development kit for the developer community. He said it is also supporting different platforms and Java.