Iona to add 'Forte for Java' to J2EE app server

Sun Microsystems Inc. and Iona Technologies Inc. announced a deal Monday enabling Iona to integrate Sun's Forte for Java toolkit with Iona's J2EE (Java 2 Enterprise Edition) application server.

The result is an IDE (integrated development environment) with J2EE as the core that includes Java tools as well. "We're trying to create an offering that spans the whole sphere for business integration," said Simon Pepper, Iona's director of J2EE products for the Dublin, Ireland-based vendor.

Indeed, two weeks ago Iona spent US$270 million to buy the business-to-business integration vendor Netfish Technologies.

Iona's Pepper said that customers are looking for reliability and scalability foremost in an application server.

"Once they have gotten that, the next thing they demand is ease-of-use," he said.

Analysts have maintained for months now that application server vendors need to broaden their offerings to compete in the red-hot market.

Several new product announcements from BEA Systems on Monday at its e-World 2001 conference in Dallas serve as evidence that such motion is underway.

The application server market leader BEA expanded the reach of its platform with not only a new high-end version of its application server, but also new campaign management software, as well as a program to enable companies to integrate with exchanges.

Forte for Java from Sun will ship integrated with the 2.0 release of Iona's application server, slated to appear at the end of April or early May.

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