Sun Microsystems is mulling the option of bundling the iPlanet app server in for free with Solaris, according to IDG News Service. The news wire quotes Sun software boss Pat Sueltz as confirming that iPlanet would form part of a bundle in the future, but reports that no final decision has been taken at Sun to give the app server a zero-dollar price tag.
And that's the big question. BEA currently provides the most popular application server on Solaris, and throwing in iPlanet at no extra cost could damage the relationship between the two. One of Sun's proudest boasts is that unlike the Beast, it doesn't cut the ground from under its partners.
However, just because something is bundled for free, there's no guarantee it ends up getting used. Think yacc(1).
The fact that Sun spent this morning reassuring BEA that the two were still best buddies shows how
important the relationship is. On the other hand, and quite tellingly, Sun has refused to kill the story by unequivocably denying any intention to bundle iPlanet for free. So ominously for BEA, all options would appear to remain open.
This week Sun announced a bundle which throws in a free developer license for iPlanet's app server as part of its 4CD Sun ONE starter kit. ®