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Sun Takes on .NET with Brazil

They’ve talked the talk, and now they’re walking the walk. Sun Microsystems Inc. has pooh-poohed Microsoft Corp.’s .NET initiative 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

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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