Sun's SOA Takes Flight With Kitty Hawk

The company hopes a 'federated' approach will expose core capabilities as a collection of reusable services.
SAN FRANCISCO -- Sun Microsystems has launched an initiative to bring more service oriented architectures into its core software products.

Dubbed ''Project Kitty Hawk'', the venture will help bridge the gap between business processes and Web services. Though built on similar principles, SOA is not the same as Web services, which indicates a collection of technologies, such as SOAP and XML. SOA is more than a set of technologies and runs independent of any specific technologies.

Sun is no stranger of SOAs. It worked to support them in the late 1990s to describe JINI, a lightweight environment for dynamically discovering and using services on a network. The company currently achieves interoperability in part through standards like WS-I Basic Profile and SOAP. In addition, the company allows adapters through its J2EE Connector Architecture.

Now, using a combination of a shared services model and ''federation approach'', Sun said Project Kitty Hawk will help IT organizations create an enterprise-wide view of their services infrastructure. At the same time, the technology coming out of Project Kitty Hawk is expected to help a company fine tune how it manages service-level agreements, security policies, and identity and user management.

''The whole notion of building applications is to build a network. We're building tools for the higher level of abstraction that you would use to connect all systems including legacy infrastructures,'' Joe Keller, Sun vice president Java Web services and tools told ''We're reaching a flash point for people to use these more generally. They are starting to look at the applications that are more flexible and the ones that can respond to change by taking this approach.''

Sun said it is already working on the two-year plan to phase some elements of the project into its the Sun Java Enterprise System and Sun Java Studio Enterprise developer tools by mid 2005.

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