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Why Sun is unable to compete?

 
Hussein Baghdadi
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Hi.
Java application servers market is dominated by WebLogic, WebSphere and JBoss.
Why Sun historically is unable to compete with those application servers?
If SJSAS has a graphical installer, impressive performance and considerable support, why Sun is facing hard time?
Thanks.
 
Pradeep bhatt
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Sun probably lacks skilled professionals mainly architects. The product quality isn't good.
 
David Heffelfinger
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John,

Up until recently, SJAS wasn't available as a free download nor open source, this is now the case (in the form of GlassFish), this gave JBoss a leg up in the open source arena.

Websphere is built by IBM, a name a lot of companies trust, there is an old saying "nobody got fired by buying from IBM". It is my impression that Websphere tends to be behind the curve in supporting the latest Java EE/J2EE specifications, I suppose it is popular because managers trust IBM.

Weblogic has been around for years, a lot of companies standardized on it. It also comes with its own development tools that try to trap you into their product, generating code that conforms to BEA's proprietary APIs and is not easily migrated to other app servers. For this reason, I imagine a lot of places are "trapped" in Weblogic.

These three are so entrenched in big enterprises, that even Oracle, with all of its billions, has only been able to make a small dent with their own application server.

All in all, I think it is a very good thing that we as developers get to choose between several implementations of a standard. This makes vendors compete and try to outdo each other, and we are the beneficiaries of this competition.

David
 
Pradeep bhatt
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Some of the proprietary features have been really useful.Foe e.g. Weblogic had startup/shutdown classes which was useful for my project in 2002.

Since Sun is managing the JSR and call it a standard , making it easier to port etc it's product managers may be less inclined to come up with proprietary features. IMHO, it marketing is not great and also they don't seem to come with new ideas. They are devoting their energy towards JSRs. comments?
 
David Heffelfinger
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I don't really understand the assessment that Sun's products aren't good. Sun gave us Java, without Java, we wouldn't even be having this conversation right now.

Regarding Sun coming up with new ideas, JSRs have only been around for a few years, before Sun used to make all the decisions regarding the Java language, therefore all new ideas for the language came from Sun. Because of this, Sun was accused of having too much control in the direction of the Java language. JSRs were a way to open up participation from other companies and individuals. Sun certainly participates in JSRs.

Something is as widely successful as the Java language and platform is bound to receive heavy criticism, no matter what. Before Sun was accused of having too much control, now I'm hearing them being accused of not coming up with any new ideas.

In any case, I think we are getting a bit offtopic here. I think SJAS/GlassFish is used widely, but their customers just don't make a big fuzz about it.

The GlassFish users mailing list receives about 1,300 messages a month, and I suspect only a tiny fraction of all GlassFish users ever post any messages there.

David
[ November 30, 2007: Message edited by: David Heffelfinger ]
 
Rohan Dhruva
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That was insightful, David .. I've heard this Sun-bashing too much these days !
 
Pradeep bhatt
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The intention of OP was to know why Sun did not have a great share in JEE app space. Correct me I am wrong.

I don't really understand the assessment that Sun's products aren't good. Sun gave us Java, without Java, we wouldn't even be having this conversation right now.


100 % agreed

I have heard lot of people saying positive things about GlassFish. I am planning to download the server and try it today.
 
Ulf Dittmer
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Originally posted by Pradip Bhat:
I have heard lot of people saying positive things about GlassFish.

That being the case, what were you basing your earlier statement of "The product quality isn't good." on?
 
Pradeep bhatt
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Originally posted by Ulf Dittmer:

That being the case, what were you basing your earlier statement of "The product quality isn't good." on?


I should have been more clear. I was refering to earlier Sun products Sunone app server and iPlanet. Are only the Sun developer's involved in GlassFish dev or outsiders can participate as well.
 
Hussein Baghdadi
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Originally posted by Pradip Bhat:
Sun probably lacks skilled professionals mainly architects. The product quality isn't good.

This a powerful and inaccurate statement to made.
 
David Heffelfinger
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Originally posted by Pradip Bhat:

Are only the Sun developer's involved in GlassFish dev or outsiders can participate as well.


GlassFish is open source, therefore anyone is welcome to contribute to it. That being said, it is worth noting that a lot (most?) GlassFish developers are Sun employees.

David
 
Ken Boyd
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Originally posted by Pradip Bhat:
Sun probably lacks skilled professionals mainly architects. The product quality isn't good.


man that is one big false statement heard on javaranch.
 
Rohan Dhruva
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Agreed .. I don't know what prompted Pradip to say that !
 
Pradeep bhatt
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Has anyone worked with iPlanet app server ? It wasn't easy to use.
 
Ulf Dittmer
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iPlanet was a Netscape product, which was killed off pretty quickly after Sun bought it, if memory serves.
 
Rohan Dhruva
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Wow, iPlanet has quite a nice history .. Check out - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPlanet -- it's still being sold, it seems ..
 
Pradeep bhatt
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Originally posted by Ulf Dittmer:
iPlanet was a Netscape product, which was killed off pretty quickly after Sun bought it, if memory serves.


Yes it was a Netscape product. If I am not wrong even Sun developers contributed to the code.
 
Pradeep bhatt
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Originally posted by Rohan Dhruva:
Wow, iPlanet has quite a nice history .. Check out - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPlanet -- it's still being sold, it seems ..


It may be the iPlanet web server which may be still be sold. It wasn't the problem but the app server was the one.
 
Rohan Dhruva
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Originally posted by Pradip Bhat:


Yes it was a Netscape product. If I am not wrong even Sun developers contributed to the code.


Yes, as the wikipedia link says, it was a sun and netscape joint collaboration sort of a thing ..
 
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