Sun Microsystems has taken another step in its mission to spread the Java gospel with the launch of seven new Java "centres of excellence" in the UK. The Java Centres will bring the number to a total of 13 across the UK. Each has a specific industry focus, covering sectors such as finance, insurance, retail, commercial, government and the arts. Companies that join the centres are inducted into the five step Road to Java programme designed to help them understand the benefits of Java before going on to develop business applications in the much-touted language. The centres are equipped to demonstrate a range of applications from data warehousing and financial trading to Java kiosks, electronic commerce and digital art. Each centre has to meet strict criteria to gain accreditation and ensure that customers benefit from high levels of technical expertise. Sun's director of marketing and technologies, Martyn Lambert, quoted figures from Forrester Research estimating that over half of companies plan to include Java in their IT strategies within a year, while four out of five aim to use the language for mission-critical applications within two years. He said Java centres are the key to enabling corporate IT managers to put such plans into action. "These centres will enable us to work with IT executives to develop those applications within a safe environment," claimed Lambert. "We are focused on enabling businesses to be confident in their investment in this technology and on providing a support network for companies wishing to develop leading edge applications." The new Java Centres provide similar capability to those opened earlier, but with a greater focus on the technical design, proof of concept and delivery of Java-based solutions. Sun: 01252 399570.
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