Sun plans to port its complete iPlanet Application Server development environment to Linux by the end of Q2, in a move it says is driven by customer demand.
To date, Sun has only offered selected elements, including Forte for Java integrated development environment (IDE) and iPlanet message queue and content generation.
But it has still not committed to providing the full software suite which includes deployment of live systems, despite the fact that the whole suite is already available on Sun Solaris, Windows, IBM AIX and HP-UX.
The iPlanet Integration Server for deployment is also available on IBM OS/390.
"This has been driven by customer demand, especially large customers," said Steve Elliott, Sun Open Net Environment senior technical architect. "They often want to develop on Linux then deploy on Solaris."
Sun has still not decided whether to offer deployment capability on Linux while acknowledging no technical barrier exists. Solaris and Windows remained Sun's tier one deployment environments, he said.
"There has always been an ambiguity in Sun's strategy," said James Governor of analyst Illuminata. "It would like every customer to run on Solaris and will tell you it is the way forward. But Linux has hurt it over the last year, with IBM being the main driving force."
Sun posted losses of more than £300m in the last quarter, with sales down nearly 40 per cent on the same period in the previous year.
There is still a reticence among enterprises to deploy very large applications in Linux, because of remaining management and control weaknesses.
"The segmentation between development and deployment is sensible because that's how enterprises operate," said Governor.
"Sun has got to be canny with its money. But it is a company that manages to annoy the Linux folks all the time."
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