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Sun and Liferay launch web-presentation platform

The collaboration aims to provide developers with web-presentation capabilities for GlassFish, Sun's open-source Java Platform Enterprise Edition application server
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Written by Adrian Bridgwater on

Sun used day two of its JavaOne developer conference in San Francisco on Wednesday to announce a new web-presentation initiative in association with open-source enterprise portal Liferay.

Sun said that the collaboration between the two organisations is designed to provide developers with lightweight web-presentation capabilities for GlassFish, Sun's open-source Java Platform Enterprise Edition (Java EE) application server. According to Sun, GlassFish is one of the most popular open-source application servers in the industry, with more than seven million downloads since its first release in May 2005.

Although free to download, Sun openly stated that it plans to sell services and support based on this new, jointly developed platform. In line with this news, the company also announced a preview release of a new technology intended to simplify website development that employs role-based access rights to both content and applications for portal security.

"The GlassFish community continues to grow and demand open-source, enterprise-class solutions. Our association with Liferay and its great platform is an example of multiple communities and partners working together to deliver on the Java software community's requests," said Mark Herring, vice president of marketing for software infrastructure at Sun.

In details released on its website, Sun described how the new platform will feature support for multiple programming languages and widget-syndication capabilities to allow web developers to host widgets, such as flight schedules or weather reports, within a web page with a single point and click.

Liferay used the conference to debut version 5.0 of its technology by hosting a session entitled "Building a Social Network with Liferay Portal" on Monday.

"Liferay is one of the most mature and active open-source communities for portal and web-presentation technologies, with more than 50,000 downloads per month and more than 8,000 registered users," said Brian Chan, creator of and chief software architect for Liferay.

"We've seen a big increase in demand for Liferay Portal running on GlassFish, and we saw this as a great opportunity to work with Sun's GlassFish and OpenPortal communities to offer enterprises more choices, flexibility and greater access to the latest technologies."

Sun distributions of the new web platform will be available under the Common Development and Distribution License (CDDL) and the Liferay distributions will be available under the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) licence.

In related statements made public on Wednesday, Sun also announced the availability of the technology preview release of the GlassFish Enterprise Server version 3 and new GlassFish Communications Server. The company is backing these releases up with a new partner initiative designed to provide developers, independent software vendors, and system integrators with access to a large number of frameworks and applications running on the GlassFish application server.

GlassFish Enterprise Server use is priced with a flat fee based on the number of employees in the organisation.

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