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Sun plans Orion package for developers. (APP Dev News Review).

Sun Microsystems Inc's planned Orion integrated software stack will feature a developers' "package", enabling programmers to easily and conveniently build applications and web services.

Vice president for developer tools and Java software Rich Green told ComputerWire that Sun is planning an Orion bundle that grants programmers building enterprise-class software and services the freedom to use relatively small devices, such as laptop computers.

He was unwilling to provide technical details, but called the concept a "packaging thing". The developer bundle is expected this Fall.

Orion is Sun's project to cut both the price of business software and complexity of its installation. Orion is also designed to help ISVs better synchronize supporting product releases.

Sun expects to achieve this by integrating 14 server, internet and N1 data center products with the Solaris operating system.

In doing so, Sun is unifying its own internal software product development cycles while giving customers just a single software stack to install. The company wishes to move away from the concept of multiple release dates and software patches.

Sun has said that companies installing the Orion mammoth will be able to simply turn off unwanted features and swap-in offerings from rivals. Orion's pricing has yet to be announced, but Sun has hinted this would be based on the number of employees a customer has.

Much of the public attention around Orion has, to date, focussed on the mighty server-based runtime bundle itself.

But Green said developers would also be catered for. Sun's "package" is expected to be delivered as an Orion developer edition--developer editions are a common feature in product areas such as application servers.

Developer editions often provide programmers with a cut-down software stack and limited license enabling them to build and test their applications in a controlled environment. This avoids a full-scale deployment of trial code, which may result in downtime of vital systems and cause administrative headaches.

"The notion is you want to build enterprise class applications that deploy on Orion and want to work with them on your laptop. To test the applications you need some runtime on the machinery," Green said.
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Publication:MarketWatch: Application Development
Date:Jun 27, 2003
Words:349
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