UPDATE: Sun releases business collaboration platform

Sun Microsystems Inc. threw its hat into the collaboration ring on Monday 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.

“So I think the biggest competition for Sun will be Microsoft because of the fact that Microsoft caters so much to the developer community,” he said.

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.

The cost of the Business Collaboration platform is available now and pricing is dependent on the size of deployment. As well, each product that is part of the platform can be purchased as standalone products. To run the Business Collaboration platform, a Solaris platform is needed as all six products support Solaris.

However some of the other Sun ONE products contained in the platform also support some or all of Windows, Linux, Mac OS Hewlett-Packard Co.’s HP-UX, and HP-AIX. Right now the only product that doesn’t support Microsoft Windows is the Sun ONE Portal Server 6.0, but support for Windows and Linux will be added mid-calendar year 2003 at which point Windows the Business Collaboration platform would be fully Windows-ready.

For more information visit www.sunmicrosystems.ca.