Sun Rebrands Software Products

Everybody Sun ONE Now

Sun Microsystems Inc. said yesterday it is re-branding its major software products under the Sun Open Net Environment or Sun ONE name.

When Sun first introduced the Sun ONE initiative in February 2001, it was widely regarded as the Unix powerhouse’s answer to Microsoft Corp’s .NET initiative. Like .NET, Sun ONE uses the nascent XML standard as a means for server- and client- side applications to communicate with one another. Sun ONE differs from .NET in one major respect, however -- it uses the more open Java development platform, rather than Microsoft’s competing C#, which was introduced with .NET.

Yesterday, Sun announced that it would consolidate many of its software brands, including the iPlanet application server and the StarOffice productivity suite, under the Sun ONE brand name to raise awareness of Sun’s software products. The announcement coincides with a new print and broadcast media campaign promoting the Sun ONE initiative.

“It made sense to coalesce all these brands under the Sun ONE brand,” says Sanjay Sarathy, director of product marketing for developer enablement for Sun ONE. He believes it will simplify brand awareness among technologists and others, who may have been confused with different product lines such as iPlanet and Forte.

One reason Sun was able to consolidate its major brands, according to Sarathy, is that its cross-licensing agreement with AOL Time Warner expired, leaving the product solely in Sun’s hands. With no ties binding the product, the company is now free to call it whatever it wants. The iPlanet Web Server is now the Sun ONE Web Server, the iPlanet Portal Server is now Sun ONE Portal Server, and the iPlanet Application Server is now Sun ONE Application Server.

The application server in particular could use more exposure. Although Sun developed the J2EE standard, which is quickly becoming the standard for middleware, Sun’s own application server lags in the market. BEA and IBM lead the market, while Sun, Oracle, and HP’s Bluestone division battle it out for third place.

Microsoft’s aggressive promotion of .NET on TV and in print has established it in the minds of many as a one-stop-shop for enterprise integration. The Sun ONE name may provide a similar idea for Sun’s previously disparate software products. “Part of the compelling story behind Sun ONE… is it provides an overall platform for integration,” Sarathy says.

Other products rebranded Monday include the Forte IDE, the ChiliSoft ASP software, and the StarOffice Office Suite. Forte becomes Sun ONE Studio, ChiliSoft becomes Sun ONE Active Server Pages, and StarOffice will be branded under the Sun ONE name.

One thing that does not change with Monday’s announcement is Sun’s commitment to open standards, Sarathy says. Sun will continue to use Java and other standards to help enterprise integrate their existing infrastructures. “We continue to retain the idea of being able to integrate with third-party products,” he says.

About the Author

Chris McConnell is Product and Technology Editor for Enterprise Systems.