Sun Microsystems improved its integration capability with Microsoft Windows NT this week with the acquisition of application server company Netdynamics, estimated to cost up to $200 million.
The purchase of the privately-held company provides Sun with software products that sit between the database or corporate network and the Web server, handling requests for data from the Web server and the flow of traffic into the Web server.
Netdynamics has 170 employees and last year reported turnover of only $13.3m, although it claims a customer base of over 650 companies. Financial details of the purchase were not disclosed by Sun.
The key for Sun is that the majority of Netdynamics customers are NT users. By adding the company's products to its portfolio, Sun is starting to address what analysts believe is the company's biggest weakness - its limited interoperability with Windows NT.
Netdynamics also backs Microsoft's Common Object Model component development framework as well as Java. Sun says it will incorporate support for its Enterprise Javabeans software.
"The combination of application server software and Enterprise Javabeans components will be a powerful tool for corporations wanting to tap into pre-existing systems and expedite deployment of new applications over the Web," said Alan Baratz, president of Sun's Javasoft division.
However it does mean Netscape, a Java licensee, will face further competition in the Web server market as it is developing similar application server products following its acquisition of Kiva.
Netscape continues to claim its Web and commerce software is intended to scale to enterprises, unlike Sun and Microsoft's more departmental focus.
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