Sun/SeeBeyond Deal May Impact Java Devs

With Sun's $387 million buyout of SeeBeyond, Sun's Java world now extends to the world of integration - even with non-Java assets. It also may signal a boost in just how much attention Java/J2EE devs should pay to integration tasks. Take a first look at the dev impact on the Sun/SeeBeyond deal with Sun Software's CTO, among others.

Tags: Integration, Java, Sun, Standards, SeeBeyond, News, Enterprise Service Bus,

With Sun's $387 million buyout of SeeBeyond, Sun's Java world now extends to the world of integration - even with non-Java assets.

In news of the buy-out, Sun categorized SeeBeyond as a Java-based "composite applications suite" that helps enterprise IT integrate disparate applications. While SeeBeyond does have an installed base of some 2,000 customers many in the F500, the company has been struggling to grow in an increasingly competitive middleware integration market with rivals that include Tibco and webMethods.

Sun President and CEO Scott McNealy said SeeBeyond's latest Integration Composite Application Network suite of integration and management tools (ICAN 5.0) will become a sixth product suite for Sun's Java Enterprise System. McNealy also left little doubt that Java-based integration will be an increasing important theme moving forward, both for Sun and even for Sun partners and Java/J2EE developers.

"We used to have to have two different environments, one for traditional 'build your applications' and one for integration," McNealy said during a concall to discuss the SeeBeyond buy. "Now we've combined those two different skills and tools sets into a common converged environment. We looked around hard and we didn't see anything that has the capabilities that ICAN 5.0 has."

Other Sun execs told IDN that Java devs should brace more integration-driven opportunities and focus. "For a long time we've heard the talk hat SOA is coming to the table," Hal Stern, Sun's vice president and CTO for Sun Software told Integration developer News. "Now, devs will have a range of choice for how they want to get there, whether they start small with web services and WSDLs, or get heavily into loose-coupled architectures using AJAX and now with higher-level tools for business integration," Stern said.

We asked Stern if "integration" was a now a project responsibility that devs should be worried about. "I don't think 'worried' is the word. But, for sure, there are going to be a whole host of new choices for them when looking at integration or SOA projects."

Analysts Also See Java Integration Trends
Looking at the SeeBeyond buyout news in the context of other recent news related to new standards for ESBs (Enterprise Service Bus), Peter Abrahams of Bloor Research sees growing momentum within Sun to promote more Java-based integration:

"The IT industry has been integrated through standards and a significant new standard was unveiled. The Java Business Integration (JBI) specification was recently approved by the Java Community Process (JCP). This specification defines how integration components, such as transformation and workflow engines, will interoperate in a standards based way. Based on this emerging standard, Sun has announced the Java System Enterprise Service Bus (ESB)," Bloom said.

"These two announcements will help create a standard definition of the functions of an ESB and their implementation in a Java environment," he added. More on Bloom's take on the Sun/SeeBeyond deal is available here from IT-analysis.