Sun Takes on .NET with Brazil
- By Scott Bekker
They’ve talked the talk, and now they’re walking the
walk. Sun Microsystems Inc.
has pooh-poohed Microsoft Corp.’s
since it was announced, and now Sun has released a competing development
platform for web applications.
Dubbed “Brazil”, the development platform is a
framework for communicating data between distributed servers and clients. The prototype
Sun has released is based on Sun’s Java programming language, but Sun suggests
that it may modify the framework for other popular web languages.
Sun initially designed Brazil as a web-based interface
for smart cards, like ones used in new public transit systems or at trade
shows, but realized the technology would be useful in a variety of situations.
Like .NET, Brazil offers integration between
applications and web pages, allowing complex applications to be delivered
through a web browser. One attractive feature is ability of developers to configure
URLs in applications, allowing dynamic content, but still enabling end users to
understand and remember web addresses.
Sun says that the constituent components of Brazil “snap
together” like construction toys.
Brazil consists of three components, Server, Request, and Handler. Server
and Request are the server and client components of an application, while
Handler is a means of specifying data between machines.
Sun plans to aggressively promote Brazil as an
alternative to .NET, sponsoring an analyst conference in early February to
convince analysts of its power as a development platform. Developers can
download a preview SDK at http://www.sun.com/research/brazil/ - Christopher McConnell
Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.