Project Orion and Project Rave: What Developers Want


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It's the first day of the SunNetwork Conference 2003, and the Sun development community here has already heard a lot of good news. Here's an update on Project Orion and Project Rave -- two projects headed your way to bring new levels of productivity and simplicity to your development style.

Project Orion is a three-part solution that includes the Sun Java Studio Enterprise for development, Sun Java Enterprise System for deployment, and Project Mad Hatter for Linux and Solaris desktops.

Project Rave is a visual development environment for a wide range of developers that extends Sun's complete development solution.

At the Top: A New System, Approach, and Model for Enterprise Software

For IT managers, the Java Enterprise System is a new approach to reducing the cost and complexity of network services software. It can be described as three broad-based elements:

  • A new, integrated, open-standards-based software system that delivers a core set of enterprise network services, including network identity, portal, communication and collaboration, application and web, availability and security services
  • A new development, test, delivery, and services approach to meeting business needs
  • A new business model that provides a single subscription and price for the software system, maintenance, support, consulting, and education services

For developers, Java Studio Enterprise is the offering you want to explore. It's the comprehensive, simple, productive, and cost-effective developer system designed for the Java Enterprise System. Java Studio Enterprise gives developers four major offerings:

  • Integrated development tools
  • Integrated Java Enterprise System software
  • A developer-optimized experience
  • Complete developer services

With this combination, Java Studio Enterprise customers can develop Java standards-based, enterprise-class applications and Web Services fully integrated with the Java Enterprise System.

Up-to-Date Development Tools and Enterprise Software

The integrated Java Studio tools include a full Java integrated development environment (IDE), Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB) support, Web Services creation and composition, simple test-client generation, and wireless client integration.

The core Java Studio IDE also includes an integrated Application Framework for fast application development, an integrated Connector Builder for developing Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition (J2EE) connector architectures, and an integrated Portlet Builder for developing portals.

"These tools are tightly integrated with the Java Enterprise System, enabling developers to test and debug applications within the environment they will be deployed to," says Milind Pansare, group marketing manager for Java Studio Enterprise.

The included integrated Java Enterprise System, licensed for development, accelerates the develop, test, debug, and deploy cycle. It includes directory and identity servers, a portal server, web and application servers, a message queue, messaging, instant messenger, calendar, and clustering.

"With this combination of features, developers can rest assured that their tools and runtimes are all up-to-date and compatible with the latest J2EE and Java Web Services standards from Sun."

Quick to Install, Easy to Use

"We wanted to deliver a complete developer-optimized experience," says Pansare.

Using the development DVD, a developer can be up and running with a complete develop, test, debug, and deploy platform in just 30 minutes.

Pansare adds, "The system offers the flexibility of loading the development platform on one machine -- say, a development laptop -- and putting the servers on other machines. Or, you can load it all on a single machine."

To further simplify development, Java Studio Enterprise includes an installer with express configuration, end-to-end reference applications, J2EE BluePrints, a comprehensive collection of code samples, a consistent API, full documentation, and a quick-start guide.

Developer Services Onboard

Java Studio Enterprise comes with a prepaid premium access subscription to Sun Developer Network's portal dedicated to Java Studio Enterprise developers.

With this access, developers get a lot of resources, such as responsive developer-to-developer email support, managed forums, regularly scheduled product updates, and an ongoing program of content that includes web chats, webcasts, and virtual code camps.

"It's a rich, continuous connection to Sun's expert resources and a vibrant developer community," says Pansare.

Welcome Predictability

Developers generally agree that planned, regular periodic releases are best. "The Java Studio Enterprise releases align with the Java System Enterprise releases to ensure that customers can develop and deploy compatible applications," says Pansare. "It's predictable, in line with Java Enterprise System, and that's good."

Welcome Affordability

The Java Studio Enterprise is priced as a relatively small addition to the price of the Java Enterprise System.

"Developers get the software bits, maintenance, upgrades, and services all for one low annual price," says Pansare. "This is a milestone achievement, a complete package that is different from anything else in the industry."

The third component of the Java Enterprise System, Project Mad Hatter, was also a star at the conference today.

What is Project Mad Hatter?

It's Sun's integrated open-source-based desktop environment, here now for your viewing pleasure.

Designed as a secure, low cost alternative for the Linux and Solaris operating systems, Project Mad Hatter features all the necessary desktop applications, including a new version of StarOffice personal productivity suite, the latest version of Sun's Java technology, the GNOME intuitive user interface, Evolution mail and calendaring, and Gaim instant messaging.

Project Mad Hatter will provide interoperability with Microsoft Office and Exchange, we well as Lotus Notes productivity and communications tools, along with the enhanced security and authentication services of Java Card technology and Sun's infrastructure software.

"We have already seen significant opportunities in the government, military, education and vertical market areas such as call centers and retail banking," said Curtis Sasaki, vice president of engineering, desktop solutions, Sun Microsystems. "While many of the specific components exist today, we couldn't simply bundle all these tools and call it a viable alternative. Sun has done a significant amount of integration work and will be providing full worldwide support for the solution."

Project Rave: Streamlined Development

Announced in June at the JavaOne 2003 Conference, Project Rave promises Java developers a new set of resources to greatly simplify Java development.

When it's introduced at early access later this year, Project Rave will offer a wide range of corporate, departmental, and workgroup developers higher development productivity through rapid and easier development, and simplified deployment.

"We want to deliver a Java development environment in which the tools do the heavy lifting, freeing developers to focus on an application's functionality rather than its plumbing," says Jim Inscore, Project Rave's product marketing manager.

Safety in Standards

"We also want to ensure that there are Java technology standards to support this style of development," says Inscore, "such as JavaServer Faces and JDBC Rowsets." The JavaServer Faces specification (Java Specification Request 127) specifies Java Server application GUIs. Inscore says, "This will help Project Rave users simplify a lot of browser-based development and therefore develop rapidly." Similarly, the JDBC Rowset Implementations specification (Java Specification Request 114) will be a boost for database access projects. It provides a mechanism for passing tabular data between distributed tiers and components, enabling developers to represent SQL queries as Java objects. "JDBC Rowsets in Project Rave's visual environment will make it a lot easier to develop and extend database queries," says Inscore.

Get Visual and Build Your Vision

"These and other specifications -- in a design environment where you have a visual design palette of objects that can be dragged and dropped onto user interfaces -- simplify, accelerate, and standardize development," says Inscore.

"Project Rave is a great environment," he says. "You have visual representations of things like Web Services and database access, and a visual organizer for the components of your project. It's a complete out-of-the-box experience that includes the Platform Edition of the Sun Java server and a development database so you can build an application without having to go out and wire up the resources yourself. It's designed to address the needs of folks who have a lot to do, not much time to do it, want to do it in 100% Pure Java, and want to maximize their productivity."

Stay tuned for more details. In 2004, Project Rave will be available through a variety of channels -- online and mail order from Sun Microsystems, and through Sun sales reps as well as retail stores. Sun is also planning a wide range of initiatives to support a product and service ecosystem around Project Rave.

See Also

Sun Java Developer Program Updates - Now Available on Video! Rich Green, VP, Developer Products, talks about the Java Platform Development, Project Rave, Tarra Studio Enterprise, and how Java Technology has returned to the desktop.

Sun Java System
Sun Java Enterprise System
Sun Java Desktop
Sun Java Studio
Java Studio Enterprise
Sun Java Desktop
Sun Software Overview datasheet (PDF)
Sun ONE Content Delivery Server