December 16, 2002 8:09 AM PST

BEA, Sun to package server, OS software

BEA Systems and Sun Microsystems have forged a deal to bundle BEA's WebLogic Java server software with Sun's Solaris Unix operating system.

Starting in January, customers who purchase the Solaris 9 operating system will have six months to evaluate version 7.0 of BEA's WebLogic Server software, which runs applications that are written to the Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) standard. The two companies said that the partnership is aimed at giving customers greater choice in Java application servers and Web services.

"For BEA, the (bundling) is another channel for customers to get the WebLogic server," Olivier Helleboid, president of BEA's products division, said in an interview last week.

The pact with Sun follows a similar bundling arrangement with Hewlett-Packard that BEA announced in September, in which the two companies coupled the WebLogic Java server with the HP-UX 11i Unix operating system.

For its part, Sun started to bundle its own Java application server, called Sun ONE Application Server 7, with Solaris in October. Once the BEA deal is effective in January, Solaris customers can evaluate and choose between Sun's and BEA's Java application servers.

"This initiative strengthens our relationship and underscores our commitment to customers to increase choice and reduce cost and time to deployment," Stuart Wells, senior vice president at Sun's market development organization, said in a statement.

Both Sun and BEA are seeking to gain market share in the hotly contested market for J2EE application servers, which form the software foundation for many custom-written business applications. BEA and IBM are fighting for the top spot in the J2EE market, while Sun is trailing in third position, according to market research firms.

 

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