Oracle sheds new light on future of Sun technologies

An updated FAQ provides information on Oracle's plans for GlassFish, NetBeans and other products

Oracle has provided new details about its plans for certain key Sun Microsystems technologies, including the GlassFish application server and the NetBeans application development toolkit.

The software giant announced plans to buy Sun earlier this year, but the deal is on hold while European authorities conduct an antitrust review. Meanwhile, users have questioned the fate of Sun software and systems under Oracle, with particular concern centering on the MySQL open-source database.

Oracle plans to "continue evolving" GlassFish, which is a competitor to its WebLogic application server, as well as provide active support to the GlassFish community, according to an updated FAQ on the acquisition.

In addition, Oracle "plans to invest in aligning common infrastructure components and innovations from Oracle WebLogic Server and GlassFish Enterprise Server" to benefit customers in both camps, according to the FAQ.

It was not clear Thursday when the document was updated. An Oracle spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The FAQ expresses a much more lukewarm commitment to NetBeans, saying only that it is expected to provide "an additional open source option and complement" to Oracle's tools, which include JDeveloper and Oracle Enterprise Pack for Eclipse. JDeveloper is part of Oracle's Fusion Middleware portfolio, which underpins the company's next-generation Fusion Applications. An initial Fusion Applications suite is expected next year after a protracted delay.

Sun's OpenOffice productivity suite will also see continued development and support as an open-source project under Oracle, according to the FAQ. The suite will "create a compelling desktop integration bridge for our enterprise customers and offers consumers another choice on the desktop," Oracle said. Like Sun, Oracle plans to offer "a typical commercial license option" for customers that want "extra assurances, support, and enterprise tools."

Oracle is also planning to preserve Sun's lineup of desktop virtualization software, which includes VDI, Sun Ray, Secure Global Desktop and VirtualBox, according to the FAQ.

Sun's identity management and SOA (service oriented architecture) software will be integrated into Fusion Middleware, the FAQ adds.

Finally, Sun's Ops Center system management product is "highly complementary" to Oracle's Enterprise Manager, and they are "expected to combine and deliver to customers the most complete top-down application and systems management environment from applications to hardware."

The FAQ, which is only a "general product direction" and "not a commitment to deliver any material, code or functionality," provides no new information about MySQL. Oracle has said it plans to continue developing the database and will spend more money than Sun did on it.

But MySQL is far from the only Sun technology with a loyal and concerned following.

"Many people have been wondering about GlassFish and NetBeans, especially the second," said Michael Coté, an analyst with Redmonk. "While NetBeans fell behind in the Eclipse/NetBeans battle long ago, in recent years there's been some nice innovations in the NetBeans world. ... It would be a shame to see it die on the vine."

While many users have expressed concern over the fate of MySQL, others have pointed to the various MySQL offshoots, such as the Drizzle project, as evidence the database's future is sound.

It's hard to say whether NetBeans has the same support, according to Coté. "I wouldn't think so, but there might be a passionate NetBeans fork-group I don't know about."

Meanwhile, with GlassFish, Oracle "stops just short of saying they're going to mingle the code bases," Coté said. "There's no universal, technical definition of what 'aligning' means. ... I'd assume they mean make them work with each other or somehow friendly with each other."

But others expressed skepticism over the pledges contained in the FAQ.

"I hope I'm wrong, but I am afraid this will only last (most likely) till the first quarter when Oracle fails to meet financial expectations," wrote a commenter on the Java developer blog Javalobby. "Cuts will have to follow and guess who will be up first. That's just how it works. Oracle can't maintain 2 or 3 competing product lines (and I can only imagine the amount of internal politics between JDeveloper and NetBeans teams, Glassfish vs Weblogic teams, etc)."

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags netbeanssunjavaGlassFishOracle

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Chris Kanaracus

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?