Sun eyes former BEA customers with SOA offer

Sun Microsystems is eyeing the SOA-related business of Oracle Fusion and former BEA middleware customers with a special offer to those adopting Sun’s Java CAPS (Composite Application Platform Suite) for SOA.

Sun believes users of WebLogic, the former BEA middleware platform and Java container acquired by Oracle, will be disenchanted with reported price hikes. They also will be concerned about uncertainty over Oracle’s plans for the product line, according to Sun. Oracle set out a product road map for BEA products on July 1, but Sun believes the plan raises questions about the fate of specific products.

Under Sun’s plan, the first 20 qualified WebLogic or Fusion customers who buy Sun SOA products will be given free WebLogic adapters for communicating between existing WebLogic software and Sun’s SOA platform, said Ashesh Badani, Sun director of SOA and business integration. A qualified customer is one that has an existing deployment, is considering additional purchases, and is determined by Sun to be the most conducive for interconnecting with Sun SOA technology. Interested parties can register at a Web page set up by Sun.

“You can take advantage of your existing infrastructure today,” Badani said.

“What this is, if you will, [is] a campaign that we’re running,” Badani said. Sun prices for those in the program remain locked for 12 months, he said.

Java CAPS features technologies for enterprise service bus, business process management, data management, and event processing. The GlassFish application server and NetBeans IDE also are included. Version 6 of the technology costs as much as US$120 per year per employee and includes support.

Oracle’s reported raising of BEA product prices right when IT budgets are decreasing makes Sun’s Java CAPS an attractive alternative, according to Badani.

Sun will find success with its effort, an analyst said.

“My overall impression is that Sun has seized upon a legitimate market opportunity here, stemming from the usual FUD surrounding the rationalization and integration of two such daunting product portfolios (Oracle and BEA) and more uniquely the purported price increase Oracle announced for WebLogic in July,” said Brad Shimmin, principal analyst at Current Analysis, in an e-mail. “Sun is hoping to make some inroads with existing and potential WebLogic customers that may find Oracle’s road map and pricing structure too daunting.”

Oracle declined to comment when asked this week about recent price hikes in the WebLogic and Fusion lines.

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