foe Sun Microsystems
is backing into Windows NT
support as it completes its July 1 purchase
of application server
Announcing that the acquisition closed, Sun's Java
chief Alan Baratz today named new application server customers including Countrywide Home Loans, Federal Express, and Australian phone
company Telstra, all of which will
use NetDynamics on Windows NT, among other operating systems. Loan
information service GetSmart.com has
purchased the application server to use on Solaris.
Sun now also offers a NetDynamics application server as an option on all
Sun servers running Solaris, and Baratz declared the NetDynamics platform
the key component of Sun's enterprise software strategy. Pricing is $3,500
for a developer package and $13,500 for deployment.
"NetDynamics is critical to Sun's software strategy, a core component of
Sun's software strategy is products that are delivered and well-supported
across all hardware and operating systems platforms," Alan Baratz,
president of Sun's Java software unit, said. He insisted that Sun chairman
Scott McNealy and chief operating officer Ed Zander, who frequently
ridicule Windows NT, are on board for including NT within Sun's strategy.
Baratz described an application server as middleware to connect
browser-based user interfaces with existing corporate applications. He
argued that application servers will be key to companies creating
"enterprise portals" on their internal networks.
Zack Rinat, former CEO of NetDynamics and now a Sun vice president running
that business, said NetDynamics had contractual obligations with customers
to support both Windows and Solaris. NetDynamics also supports other kinds
of Unix operating systems, including HP-UX and IBM's AIX.
Sun has not publicly discussed how much it paid for NetDynamics, but an
official familiar with the deal said it was worth $160 million to $170
million in stock plus unspecified additional payments.
The NetDynamics technology will serve as the basis for a full family of
servers that scale applications from embedded devices to consumer devices
and mainframes, Sun said, and integrate with legacy systems, databases, and
Steve Zocchi, director of marketing for the NetDynamics unit, suggested the
single NetDynamics app server today might be extended for embedded devices
such as gas pumps, oil well heads, manufacturing floor controls, and
Rinat indicated that the next version of NetDynamics, due to release in
March 1999, would include full support for Sun's Enterprise Java Beans.
Sun also will license Inprise's
VisiBroker Integrated Transaction Service, an object-oriented transaction
monitor for distributed applications. Inprise technology will be added to a
version of NetDynamics that will ship in the second half of next year.