December 16, 1996 10 AM ET

Sun ships management upgrade, SNMP stack
By Paula Musich

  Sun Microsystems Inc. announced last week at Internet World that it has added two reference implementations of key parts of its JMAPI specification.

The latest version of the Java Management API, announced this fall, will be available to independent software providers by the end of the month, as will implementations of its database connectivity module and a Java implementation of the SNMP protocol stack.

Both are intended to help management application developers ramp up their JMAPI support faster and add valuable feedback into enhanced versions of the specification, said Chris Silveri, engineering manager for the JMAPI development effort in Menlo Park, Calif.

SNMP support helps preserve users' investment in SNMP agents, a key requirement for JMAPI's acceptance. "There are a lot of SNMP agents out there," Silveri said. "They will never go away. You can write a Java-based application and speak to agents using SNMP."

Instead of having to build Java agents for a router, users can write an application using the SNMP classes included in JMAPI and read the Management Information Bases, he said.

SNMP is necessary but not sufficient for one SunNet Manager user, who questioned the reliability of browser-based management.

"SNMP is where the world is at for network management right now, but I'm not sure I want to trust my network management to Java," said the user, who requested anonymity. "I keep reading that Java is really slick stuff, but if you go across browser platforms, there are bugs between the browsers on how it executes."

The database connectivity module initially will provide interfaces to Oracle and Sybase databases to allow Java management applications access to management data. Sun plans to add support for the Java database connectivity extension when it is completed, enabling applications to access any database that includes a Java database connectivity driver.

The implementations are a part of the Solstice WorkShop product, due in March, which combines the JMAPI specification and user guidelines with the Java WorkShop development tools.

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