Sun Makes Application Server Free

Sun Microsystems took a page from Microsoft's book on Wednesday by making its application server middleware free.

The move could help Sun gain market share against other competitors on the Unix and Linux platforms, namely IBM. But the move also helps neutralize an advantage Microsoft has enjoyed by bundling application server functionality, via COM+, at no extra charge in the Windows 2000 operating system. Some analysts have urged users to look seriously at using Windows 2000 as an application server for the cost savings alone.

The Sun case is different since Sun's application server is available outside the Solaris operating system. Sun does bundle it within the recently released Solaris 9. But the Sun ONE Application Server, Platform Edition, is now available as a free download for Windows, Linux and a Unix platform competitors HP-UX and IBM AIX.

Sun will charge for support and can also get revenues from non-Solaris platform customers who use the Sun ONE Developer Platform as their integrated development and testing environment.

The Sun application server requires 256 MB of RAM and 500 MB of disk space. It runs on Windows 2000 or Windows XP, and supports SQL Server 2000 as well as Oracle and Sybase databases.

More information on Sun ONE Application Center, Platform Edition, can be found at

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.