Sybase EAServer 3.6.1 achieves J2EE certification


News: Sybase EAServer 3.6.1 achieves J2EE certification

  1. EMERYVILLE, Calif., Oct. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Sybase, Inc. (Nasdaq: SYBS - news), a leader in the application server marketplace, today announced that Sybase® EAServer has successfully passed the Sun Microsystems Java(TM)2 Platform, Enterprise Edition (J2EE?) technology compatibility Test Suite. EAServer is one of the first application servers to offer full support of the J2EE technology-based standard.

    With EAServer's J2EE compatibility, it provides application developers with numerous programming benefits, including:

    robust cross-platform and backwards compatibility
    easier development and deployment of distributed applications
    seamless enterprise systems integration
    faster runtime performance
    a new, improved, more flexible security model
    ``With EAServer's full support of J2EE technology, developers get the best of both worlds: a server optimized for building departmental or enterprise applications and an open, standards-based model that provides maximum flexibility for future deployments,'' said Raj Nathan, senior vice president and general manager of Sybase's Internet Applications Division. ``When deploying components to EAServer, J2EE technology also gives developers cross platform portability, making the components accessible to other applications. This new version of EAServer also offers a highly-integrated, secure, and open platform for Web application development.''

    ``Combining J2EE technology with a scaleable server like EAServer, and an integrated development environment allows companies to develop applications in Internet-time,'' said Mark Pfeifer, president of Corporate Technology Partners, a Sybase solutions systems integrator. ``EAServer 3.6.1 delivers on Sybase's commitment to the full J2EE technology-based standard.''

    EAServer provides complete support for J2EE technologies, including Enterprise JavaBeans(TM) (EJB(TM)), Java(TM) Servlet, Java Naming and Directory Interface(TM) components, Java Transaction Service, Java Transaction API, and JDBC(TM) technology. In addition, EAServer provides seamless support for virtually any type of client including CORBA, XML, HTML, DHTML, any ActiveX client, C and C++, and PowerBuilder®.

    Pricing and Availability

    EAServer 3.6.1 is currently scheduled to ship next month. Customers with earlier versions of EAServer can download the update from the Sybase Web site. They may also request a CD by calling (800) 8-SYBASE. The product is packaged in four editions: Developer Edition, Small Business Edition, Advanced Edition and Enterprise Edition. Deployment pricing starts at $2,995. More information and the update download are available at

    About Sybase, Inc.

    Headquartered in Emeryville, CA, Sybase, Inc. is one of the largest global independent software companies. Sybase helps businesses integrate, manage and deliver applications, content, and data anywhere they are needed. The company's products, combined with its world-class professional services and partner technologies, provide a comprehensive platform for integrated, end-to- end solutions in mobile and embedded computing, data warehousing and Web environments. Sybase focuses especially on EP solutions, which give businesses the ability to extend their enterprise to customers, partners and suppliers by converting stored data into useful information, which can be integrated and personalized in a continuously available environment for use anywhere at anytime. Sybase customers represent the industries leading the global economy, with strong concentrations in financial services, public sector, telecommunications and healthcare. The company's Web address is

    Sybase and PowerBuilder are registered trademarks of Sybase, Inc.

    Sun, Sun Microsystems, the Sun logo, Java, Enterprise JavaBeans, JDBC, Java Naming and Directory Interface and J2EE are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the United States and other countries.

    Special Note: Statements concerning Sybase's future products in this press release are by nature forward-looking statements that involve a number of uncertainties and risks and cannot be guaranteed. The words ``expected,'' ``will,'' ``shall'' and similar expressions relating to Sybase and its management may identify forward-looking statements. Such statements are intended to reflect Sybase's current views with respect to future events and may ultimately prove to be incorrect or false. Factors that could ultimately affect such statements include possible disruptive effects of organizational changes, shifts in customer or market demand for Sybase's products and services; rapid technological changes; competitive factors; delays in scheduled product availability dates (which could result from various occurrences including development or testing difficulties, software errors, shortages in appropriately skilled software engineers and product management problems); and other risks detailed from time to time in Sybase's Securities and Exchange Commission filings, including but not limited to its annual report on Form 10-K and its quarterly reports on Form 10-Q (copies of which can be viewed on Sybase's web site).

  2. anybody give some idea what it takes to pass the certification? Has big blue got certified? Can we as a developer or customer when evaluating a j2ee server, how much weight should we put on this factor?
  3. It is very intense. There are about 3,000+ tests total touching every aspect of J2EE compliance. Passing the J2EE test suite is a signficant signal as to the true portability and spec support. Only Sybase, iPlanet BEA and ARTG are branded, not IBM, not SilverStream etc. None are shipping today AFAIK. Sybase will ship next month.

    I know a certain competitor's CEO who says J2EE is the SQL of app servers. I think he is very very wrong. If J2EE and the branding process are only as good as SQL, they will fail. What makes J2EE different are the branding tests. In SQL each vendor read the spec, and implemented it to the best of their ability. But in J2EE we have the branding tests to VERIFY that the vendors implemented it right. That combined with the blueprints and the reference implementation source code help assure you the developer have chosen a product that is going to be portable and more importantly PREDICTABLE. You will KNOW how your code is going to run.

    In my opinion J2EE branding is a must have in choosing an application server. That is why Sybase has made the very large engineering investment into acheiving the branding and being one of the first shipping branded servers on the market.

    Dave Wolf
    Internet Applications Division
  4. This is a very important aspect of choosing an application server, but not the only one. It is also important if you intend on doing J2EE development. I worked on a project over a year ago with EAServer for the U.S. Navy and had a lot of success, but we were not doing J2EE development. At the time, EAServer was third in application server market share but almost last in Java/EJB compliance. It worked well for us because we had a big investment in PowerBuilder development and the biggest niche advantage for EAServer is it is the only application server product that supports building components in PowerBuilder, Java, and C++. The side effect of that is that Sybase is late in the market getting up to speed on the J2EE certification.

    We reviewed EAServer 3.5 this summer against WebLogic and iPlanet and it could not compete for J2EE development. The product only supported EJB 0.4 when others were already supporting EJB 1.1. Now, EJB 2.0 is about to be released and I bet EAServer won't support it until the next release past 3.6.1. BEA WebLogic and IBM WebSphere are currently the two leaders in the J2EE application server market. IBM WebSphere is J2EE compliant, but there is a big conflict going on right now because IBM and many other vendors want Sun to release the J2EE over to a separate standards body. The current Java community process is controlled by Sun. IBM is a major contributor to the J2EE spec.

    Don't get me wrong, I think EAServer is a great product and this 3.6.1 release finally gets Sybase to the point that they can compete with BEA, IBM, and others in the J2EE market. The market is growing so fast, it's hard to tell who will come out on top. I think in the next 9-12 months you will see a small hand full of vendors take the bulk of the market share and that will be you short list to choose from. It is highly probable that Sybase will be on that list.

    If you are comparing vendors on J2EE compliance, J2EE exists in different versions. All the components that make up the J2EE spec are given their own version numbers as well (e.g., EJB 2.0, JDBC 2.0, and the like). There are also a lot of other factors involved in application server selection like ease of installation, configuration, and administration; fault tolerance, clustering, and high availability; resource management (caching and pooling); transaction management; scalability and performance; and many others. Below is the URL of an article written about application servers which includes a checklist of items you should consider in you evaluation process.
  5. Charles,

    I agree J2EE certification is indeed only a part of the evaluation process. My point however is there is a major difference between obtaining a J2EE branding and implementing the spec.

    For instance, lets take IBM as an example. IBM has implemented all facets of the J2EE spec. But they are NOT compliant, or branded. To be branded one must take and pass all the J2EE test suite, as well as be a licensee. To date IBM has not passed these tests. So they are NOT compliant. This is INCREDIBLY important to understand the difference. You might refer to an article I did in cooperation with Sun last summer:

    Lets again take SQL as an example. Here is a spec, owned by ANSI a standards body. SQL's promise was a standardized interoperable query language. I now challenge you to show me a single SQL statement, just a single one, that will run on all the major database vendors, yet doesnt effect the transaction..... Come on, give me one. Ive made that challenege all over the world in speaches to about 10,000 people at this point. And not a single person has ever come up to me to point one out. Now wait. SQL is a great standard, owned by ANSI, not a vendor, built for interop. How can it interop so poorly? Because ANSI missed the ball, that JavaSoft and J2EE hit square on, the compatability tests. So IBM is no different here then SQL. Without the tests to assure they have followed the spec, it means zilch. IBM is to date not a J2EE branded product, they have not passed the tests and you do not get the biggest advantage J2EE provides, which is predictability.

    So I think the branding is a very important aspect of your overall decision. As you say, market leaders like Sybase, BEA and iPlanet are the first J2EE branded products. These leaders can now concentrate on not only building and chasing API's but adding true enterprise class features to their product set. This is however where Sybase is different. Our approach is NOT to be the first to implement every spec. We have not implemented EJB 2.0 for one big reason.... ITS NOT DONE YET. Why imeplement a spec in draft form? Its gonna change, and break, and warp. Why trap customers into that. Chasing API's does not solve business problems, enterprise class services built on finalized specifications does. (As a side note correction to your response, EAS 3.5 did indeed have EJB 1.0 not 0.4. We actually had 1.0 support before even IBM).

    I just want to drive home that there is a huge difference between implementing the spec, and passing the test suite. If a vendor claims to be fully complaint, challenge why they havent passed the tests. They take only a day or so to run. If that vendor indeed is fully J2EE, then why cant they pass the tests to prove it?

    Dave Wolf
    Internet Applications Division

  6. Does such/similar J2EE certifications exist for IDEs?
    If yes, what is the URL I can information from?
  7. As far as I am aware, no. I know on our side for instance, we did run J2EE tests as part of our QA on the IDE. For things like proper formatting of JAR files, XML DD's etc. However no true branding exists on the tools side. A very good point, Ill work to raise to JavaSoft.

    Dave Wolf
    Internet Applications Division
  8. What we are seeing in the market is that your choice for an IDE is tied somewhat to which application server you choose. This is mainly because a lot of the IDEs have nice hooks into them for good integration with the app servers. Sybase's EAStudio is integrated very well with EAServer, WebGain Studio is integrated well with WebLogic, and other IDEs are similar. Our big criteria is to use a tool that helps build as close to 100% pure Java and J2EE code. Things to look for are what base classes you EJBs inherit from if you create them with a wizard. EAStudio is probably the best inetgrated package. Both PowerBuilder and PowerJ use the exact same wizards to step through the process of deploying components into EAServer. WebGain Studio is also a great IDE, which includes Visual Cafe.
  9. Dave,

    I definitely think having the compatability tests and certification is definitely a way to keep J2EE from going in the direction that SQL did. You will probably never be able write SQL to cover every possible database, but you can probably write some simple SQL that covers most major databases (Anyway, back to the original topic).

    In regards to IBM, you and I both know that IBM gave a large percentage of input into the J2EE specs, but IBM is holding out of doing the certification on purpose because they don't like the idea of Sun having control over the specs. It's the same as CORBA being owned by a standards body and COM being solely owned by Microsoft. If Sun would give the specs to a standards body and still require the certification process, IBM would probably be happy to certify their product. This is a big issue because IBM's WebSphere is tied for first place with BEA's WebLogic in market share for EJB application servers. If IBM decided to say forget Sun and have their own standard version of J2EE, you would end up with a major split in the J2EE arena. Microsoft would just love that to happen.

    Sorry about the reference to EAS 3.5 being only EJB 0.4 compliant, but the 3.1 version which was the current version until the beginning of this year was only 0.4 compliant and the 3.5 version was only EJB 1.0 compliant when other products were already EJB 1.1 compliant and CERTIFIED, which was a spec that was ALREADY DONE. I don't think you have to be the leader in the market for spec implementation, but don't run close to the back either because this market is getting too competitive to afford to be in that position.

    I personally think EAServer 3.6.1 is in a much better position to capture market share because of the J2EE certification. It will hurt IBM to continue down this path in a stalemate mode unless they decide to join in with J2EE or make their own standard. We are in the process of selecting an EJB application server and EAServer is on the short list and WebSphere is not, mainly because of that issue. My main point was that a year ago EAServer would not have even been a consideration for us for doing Java/EJB development, but is now a strong candidate.

    On a separate not, I just wanted to let you know you were a big help to me and my team in my previous job while we were implementing a web-based system on EAServer for the U.S. Navy. The EAServer news group offered more help than most other avenues.

    Chuck Kiefriter
    Senior Software Engineer
    Nielsen Media Research
  10. Good Comments Chris, and I tend to agree with most all of them. Although, I dont believe that IBM's hold out is really over Suns ownership of J2EE and Java. I think its about paying licence revenues to a competitor, as well as having to release sales figures to a competitor. But thats just my position, and does not reflect my companies position or Sun's.

    On the market share side, the analysts seem to disagree about whether IBM is tied with BEA or not. There is little doubt that a fragment between these leaders is not in the development communities best interest. We as a community should let IBM and SUN know this, and propose a peaceful solution. As an aside, Gartner and Giga in recent reports do see EAS as a market leader, and in some cases (GIGA) tied with IBM. I attribute this heavily to J2EE support coupled with enterprise class services.

    In any case, thanks for your kind words, and Im glad to see such a positive reaction in the market place to our J2EE branding.

    Dave Wolf
    Internet Applications Division