Glassfish expands to communication servers

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Ericsson code donation kickstarts expansion beyond application
server
.

Sun Microsystems and Ericcson have teamed up to create an IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) server as part of the open source GlassFish Java application server, the two companies unveiled at the JavaOne tradeshow in San Francisco.

To kick-start the project, the telecommunications provider has donated code for its Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) Servlet to the open source project.

The new IMS server is part of a strategy to expand Glassfish into the market of communication servers.

"People are fixated on [Glassfish] being an enterprise transaction system. However, it is really much more useful for many other realms," Sun Microsystems executive vice president of software Rich Green said in the opening keynote at the JavaOne conference in San Francisco.

"Using the Glassfish technology, the fundamental container technology, as a server side technology to power the next generation of communication from the server to the mobile device to the desktop to the people around the world is where we are going next,"

The SIP standard sets up communication sessions using a range of technologies, with the choice of medium depending on availability. Technologies that can support SIP include internet telephones, mobile phones, instant messaging and video messaging.

SIP also allows for presence awareness, informing a user seeking to contact a co-worker whether they are available, travelling, on the phone or in a meeting.

Ericsson is new to the field of open source software, the company's vice president of marketing and business development Martin Harriman admitted at the tradeshow. But it realised that it needed a broader community to create a communications server that would have broad appeal.

"If we are going to develop an ecosystem around IMS that is really going to change how people live their lives, we can't do that on our own. This is a big step for us," Harriman said.

Ericsson has taken ownership of the SIP project within the Glassfish project.

Sun launched Glassfish as an open source project in June 2006. The software is based on Apache's Tomcat application server and is governed by the CDDL open source licence.
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