Sun's infinite pricing scheme reaches . . .

Sun's infinite pricing scheme reaches . . . . . . Linux, Windows and even HP-UX for its integrated Java Enterprise System package. The JES components include application, portal, directory, identity, Web and other servers as well as a fistful of Java-based tools for deploying online applications. Currently Sun's "infinite" pricing policy applies only to its Solaris operating system and lets organizations license the array of Java components on an annual subscription basis at US$100 per employee. You can still license software the old-fashioned way, says Stephen Borcich, executive director for Java enterprise technologies at Sun Microsystems Inc. "It's more complex, but it's your choice," he says. By the end of June, Sun will extend its unique pricing model to Linux users and in late 2004 to HP-UX and Windows fans. Companies that use the tools to extend applications to end users on the Internet or throughout their supply chains incur no extra charges. Furthermore, in June, Sun will offer developing nations a similar plan for the JES components at 33 cents per citizen. And in a move to attract more developers, later this year programmers anywhere in the world who buy Java Studio Enterprise will get a free Opteron server. Previously, the giveaway was good only for U.S.-based coders.

Dump shelfware while tracking . . .

. . . company software usage down to the component level. That's the promise of this week's release of FLEXnet Manager from Macrovision Corp. in Santa Clara, Calif. "Most companies have no clue about how software is being used," claims Daniel Greenberg, Macrovision's vice president for worldwide marketing. Market research company IDC backs up Greenberg, noting that 67 percent of you don't bother to track your software assets. Given the billions upon billions of dollars spent on software each year, that seems a bit of an oversight. FLEXnet manager drops a small agent on machines whose licenses you want to manage and keeps tabs on who's using what and when, giving you a better handle on how to distribute applications. You can even use it to track your own custom apps -- a help when you want to bill back departments. Speaking of billing, FLEXnet Manager even has a reporting tool for the CFO so the finance department can plan expenses more accurately. Pricing starts at $20,000.

Indian SAP project managers "jumping . . .

. . . ship," which frustrates companies that went offshore with their ERP operations. That's the claim from Christopher Carter, CEO of Carter Consulting Inc. in Hales Corners, Wis. But it has also helped him to "bring on more remote American SAP workers" to manage ERP sites from afar. But not that far. They work from their homes across the U.S. He says that the best Indian project managers are being lured away by the likes of IBM and SAP AG, which have set up shop on the subcontinent, and it's creating chaos for users. Carter pays his SAP consultants $75k to $80k per year, but they run two to four SAP installations remotely. So, depending on your situation, send him your résumé or your business. He's looking for both.

Security's a snap with appliances . . .

. . . that integrate with a managed service. By the end of June, ClearPath Networks Inc. in El Segundo, Calif., will ship five Secure Network Access Platform (SNAP) appliances that can handle between 10 and 500 concurrent user sessions, depending on the model. Designed for branch offices and midsize operations, the SNAP devices deliver integrated firewall, antivirus and other network security tasks, all overseen in ClearPath's round-the-clock network operations center. Pricing starts at $595 for the appliances, and CEO Cliff Young says monthly subscription costs for the managed service can average as little as $145.

Software development tool to give . . .

. . . managers better insight into a project's process. Tracy Ragan, CEO of Catalyst Systems Corp. in Glencoe, Ill., says the 6.4 release of OpenMake, scheduled for late this year, will let managers "spy on the development team" with a slew of new reporting tools that can show how often software builds are performed and what kinds of files are being generated during the builds. OpenMake already lets developers bypass the time-consuming scripting process needed to build an application under development into its most up-to-date condition, which is vital for projects being worked on by multiple developers. OpenMake can already cut 80 percent of the time it takes to create a build file. With the impending reports, Ragan says, IT managers can keep a closer watch on a project's schedule.

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