Sybase Licenses Sun's J2EE

Sybase has signed on with Sun Microsystems to license J2EE (Java 2 Enterprise Edition), a collection of nine Java software technologies used to manage server tasks. Sybase, a long-term Java partner, has been a key contributor to a number of Java technologies such as the JDBC data access API and the definition of Enterprise JavaBeans technology. Sybase joins InterWorld, Hitachi, Compaq and Art Technology Group, among others, as J2EE partners.

Sybase will first implement the J2EE standard in EAServer, its combination component transaction server and dynamic Web page server. The company expects to release a version of EAServer that is fully compatible with J2EE later this year.

By agreeing to license J2EE, Sybase is giving Sun a lift. J2EE, unveiled last December, was given a less than enthusiastic welcome by Sun's partners, many of which were already annoyed at Sun for failing to loosen its control over Java. IBM, Microsoft, HP, and BEA Systems, for example, have all been critical of Sun's reluctance to submit Java to a standards body. HP broke with Sun over the licensing of Java for embedded devices and still hasn't signed onto the J2EE program. Long-time Sun partner IBM has refused to embrace J2EE. Even Sybase seemed reluctant, waiting to become a J2EE partner until long after the release was first introduced.

J2EE caused an uproar primarily because Sun required that partners adopt all nine pieces of technology in the release. Many vendors wanted to obtain smaller chunks to avoid paying for unneeded technologies. Plus, payment itself was a sore issue. Sun requires partners to pay a 3 percent royalty on revenue they earn from J2EE products.

Faced with vendor resistance, and realizing perhaps that its policies have slowed widespread adoption of Java, Sun has become a bit more flexible and now allows companies to adopt J2EE in small pieces. That may well have brought Sybase into the fold, along with some of the other vendors, like InterWorld, that have recently signed onto J2EE.