Is the sun still shining at Sun?

Right about the time I was thinking about heading out to Sun’s JavaOne event this time last year, I don’t think I could have predicted where the company would be sat now even at a stretch. But it appears to be very much a case of ‘business as usual’ (which I think is a welcome relief for many of us) so far.

Right about the time I was thinking about heading out to Sun’s JavaOne event this time last year, I don’t think I could have predicted where the company would be sat now even at a stretch. But it appears to be very much a case of ‘business as usual’ (which I think is a welcome relief for many of us) so far.

The company is pushing ahead with JavaOne, which will no doubt please Java engineers far and wide and just a few Duke fans too no doubt. Equally, Sun appears to be taking a ‘hey we’re still here and it’s all normal’ approach to its MySQL-based web services plans under what the company labels its Open Network Systems approach to Internet infrastructures.

Right now, we’re being showered with a variety of options for virtual desktop infrastructures with full (or at least rapidly developing) sets of online applications. Ah and they’re all so different aren’t they? One has great storage, one has great apps, one has great backing by third party developer communities, one is aligned for mobile and another has superior automation for billing and service packaging. In a word, web app delivery is hotter than ever right?

Last JavaOne we heard plenty about Sun’s open source application server GlassFish, which has now been available in version 2.1 since January of this year. The company’s strategy is to promote the creation of web apps using a combination of its GlassFish portfolio and MySQL Enterprise Server. This it says is a route to a faster data-warehousing platform with, “Up to three times more density for storing rich media than the competition at 70% off the cost.”

Oh really you say. Big claims indeed and with the backing of its new parent (can I call Oracle that?) one can only imagine these claims will get bigger. Perhaps Sun will know become known for ‘bigger’ statements in general.

Sun’s Systems Group spokesperson Lisa Sieker provides us with this statement, “Our Open Network Systems strategy solves two of the biggest problems facing customers today – improving efficiency and scaling to meet rapidly changing Internet infrastructures to deploy new web services. Our systems design integrates Sun Open Storage with networking and open source software to help increase application performance and achieve cost and energy savings. Add MySQL to that combination and you've got a scalable platform to accommodate millions of users.”

For my part and for what it’s worth, I have always found Sun to be a very focused company that usually panders to the real needs of developers. If their top brass could just stop saying “Hey! Java is everywhere!” and smiling so much that would be nice, but let’s not be too harsh.

Oracle on the other hand have never once (in my decade or so as a journalist) picked up the phone and called me to talk about developer issues. I once got invited to the UK Oracle User Group conference in Birmingham (which I covered), but that’s about it.

I am hoping that the Sun still shines.