Sun Microsystems is updating its SOA (service orientated architecture) and business integration software, adding a data management option and utilising enterprise service bus capabilities based around the JBI (Java Business Integration) specification. Event processing and business process management are featured as well.

Release 6 of Sun Java CAPS (Java Composite Application Platform Suite) adds the new Sun MDM (Master Data Management) suite, which can be bundled with Java CAPS 6 or acquired separately.

MDM suite provides a single view of customer data across disparate systems, Sun said. With the suite, users can utilise information across their organisations, identify the most valuable customers, and find opportunities to cross-sell and up-sell products and reduce operational costs, Sun said.

Single views can be provided whether the subject is a consumer, patient, citizen, or subscriber. A rules engine is featured for mapping of fields, said Mark Herring, Sun vice president of software infrastructure marketing.

With MDM Suite, Sun would vie with rivals like IBM and wants to make master data management simple and easy to use instead of being complicated, said analyst Michael Cote, of RedMonk.

"I actually haven't heard about Sun doing too much [with master data management], so that's an interesting new thing to hear from them," Cote said.

Java CAPS 6 enables users to leverage existing and new IT investments to build an agile infrastructure, Sun said. Components can be added and integrated in a modular fashion.

ESB capabilities in version 6 lets users build composite applications and connect with components and protocols in an SOA. The ESB in Java CAPS 6 features software gained via Sun's SeeBeyond acquisition. But with this version, the ESB supports JBI and Sun's Open ESB effort. In Java CAPS 5, the SeeBeyond ESB was based on proprietary software.

"What makes it open is it's an open-source community," Herring said. The new ESB "appeals to a much broader audience, a lot more developers, and users can easily access the technology," he said. Also, the new ESB reduces vendor lock-in, he said.

Business process management functions in Java CAPS 6 include support for BPEL (Business Process Execution Language) 2, improved performance and dynamic management of service endpoints. The event processor in the product identifies trends and patterns in real time to address business events and take corrective action.

Java CAPS 6 incorporates Sun's Glassfish Enterprise Server application server, which interoperates with .Net environments via the WSIT/Project Metro (Web Services Interoperability), which constitutes Sun's web services stack.

"You can have a Java component call out to .Net Web services," or vice versa, said Ashesh Badani, Sun director of SOA and Java CAPS.

The NetBeans IDE also is supported in Java CAPS 6.

Sun has pledged to open source all its software; components within Java CAPS 6 still can be acquired separately without paying a subscription fee. But the bundled package, which features customer support and includes MDM, costs US$100 to $120 per employee per year.

Separately, MDM is available for $80 (£41) to $100 per employee per year depending on support level.

Existing customers can still get version 6 of Java CAPS, while the product will be available to new users on 24 June.