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Oracle, Sun aim Java tools at Microsoft

The two companies launch a joint campaign to promote a set of new tools that easily converts Microsoft-based software into Java software.

    Oracle and Sun Microsystems have teamed up to try to snatch away Microsoft's customers.

    In a bid to convince Microsoft developers to support the Java programming language, Oracle and Sun announced they are jointly marketing a set of new tools that easily converts Microsoft-based software into Java software. Java is supported by Oracle, Sun, BEA Systems, IBM and others as competition for Microsoft's own proprietary method of writing software.

    The new software tools will translate Microsoft Active Server Pages (ASPs) into Java Server Pages (JSPs) without forcing developers to rewrite their software code. The rival technologies both allow "dynamic" Web content--content that repeatedly changes, such as stock quotes or weather forecasts--to appear on Web pages. The new tools are aimed at moving customers to Oracle's application-server software, technology that runs e-commerce and other Web site transactions.

    The Sun-Oracle partnership will also involve two existing products aimed at persuading developers to migrate from Microsoft technology to their products. Oracle previously released tools that allowed businesses looking to store their data to switch from Microsoft's SQL Server database to Oracle's database. Sun previously released tools for moving businesses from the Microsoft Windows operating system to Sun's Solaris operating system.

    "We're putting it together all the way from applications to data to the operating system level," said John Magee, senior director for Oracle's 9i product marketing.

    The Oracle-Sun announcement comes on the same day that Microsoft's Tech Ed 2001 software-developer conference starts in Atlanta. As part of the partnership, the companies are offering consulting services to help developers move from Microsoft to Java. The migration tools for databases and operating systems are available now, while the tools for converting Microsoft's ASPs into JSPs will be available in two months, an Oracle representative said.

    In January, Microsoft attempted to woo Java developers with a set of tools that translate Java software so it can support Microsoft.Net, the company's new strategy to move its Windows operating system and software to the Web.