Yesterday, I spent almost the entire day on the phone talking about Service Oriented Architecture…and then I got a headache…that is not a condemnation of SOA, it is just that too much of a good thing can make you sick (I guess). Anyway, one of the interesting meetings I had was with Sun Microsystems. I will tell you that my expectations were not especially high since I tend not to think about Sun as a software company and certainly not a company that focuses its energy on SOA.
Well, I was delighted with my conversation with two of the product leads. Sun has a checkered past in terms of enterprise software. Ironically, some of the early innovations in distributed computing came out of Sun Microsystems. I remember a project in the early 1990s called Neon (not the same as the middleware company). Neon was a distributed platform for applications development and deployment. It was quite ahead of its time. The only problem (there were probably others but it never got that far) was that it was designed to only work on a Sun operating system.
Fast forward another decade. Sun has made numerous attempts to get into the software business. The latest was a few years ago when it acquired SeeBeyond, a middleware based computing environment that was very popular in the financial services market. After the acquisition I assumed that SeeBeyond would go into the heap of other noble attempts to become a software heavyweight. In my conversation the other day, I was surprised to learn that, in fact, Sun has been hard at work creating a SOA platform based on SeeBeyond. It seems pretty complete. So, I guess I will be watching Sun Microsystems again.