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SunSoft NEO Debuts; Java-Enabled Web Access To NEO Applications Previewed; NEO OpenStep Available To Beta Users

New York, NY -- September 20, 1995 -- SunSoft™, Inc. today introduced its NEO™ product family, the first complete development, operating and management environment for object-oriented networked applications. NEO software (formerly Project DOE) allows companies to react more quickly to business change by making enterprise computing more flexible, and more adaptive to business needs.

Available in October 1995, the initial release of the NEO product family will provide all the necessary elements to immediately begin building NEO applications based on networked objects. Networked objects are modular application components or services that are distributed across a network and shared by numerous applications. These services are designed to be accessed by other services, as well as by a variety of clients: including workstations, PCs and even Internet browsers.

NEO products include Solaris™ NEO, which is binary-compatible with Solaris2.4, SunSoft's networked operating environment; WorkShop NEO™, which extends SunSoft's award-winning WorkShop development environment; and Solstice™ NEO tools for administering the object network and NEO applications. In addition, the NEO product family supports Microsoft Windows™ client interoperability, legacy application and database integration, and a powerful OpenStep™-compliant desktop and development environment for graphically constructing and deploying networked object-based applications. All OpenStep desktop and development functionality for NEO is included in a follow-on release available for beta testing Q4 calendar 1995.

Internet access to the NEO environment, via Web browsers using Sun Microsystem's recently-introduced Javatm (object-oriented programming language, was also previewed. By providing Web users access to the same robust computational services employed by internal users, SunSoft opens the door for true business applications on the Internet, including electronic commerce and home banking.

First Complete Environment

"NEO provides the first complete standards-based environment for a new class of more flexible applications," said Bud Tribble, SunSoft general manager of Object Products. "The result of several years of development and two years of field testing, only NEO has all the necessary components for developers to begin creating, running, managing and integrating true networked object applications into enterprise environments -- from a robust and scalable object network infrastructure to a comprehensive development environment to a full suite of object administration tools."

Solaris NEO -- High Performance Operating Environment

Solaris NEO is the runtime environment for NEO applications, adding networked object technology to the standard Solaris operating environment and leveraging such Solaris strengths as scalability and multi-threading for high performance on an enterprise-wide scale. All new Solaris NEO applications run side-by-side with existing Solaris applications.

Solaris NEO includes:

OpenStep -- a powerful runtime environment for graphical front-end applications based on OpenStep specifications. OpenStep is a market-leading object-oriented application environment and is supported on multiple platforms.

NEOdesktop™ -- a complete, easy-to-use desktop user environment based on the OpenStep standard. Includes graphical applications such as Windows Manager, Workspace Manager, Edit, Multimedia Mail and User Preference.

NEOnet™ -- a Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA)-compliant networked object infrastructure, encompassing an object request broker (ORB) and set of object services.

NEOshare™ -- an advanced networking environment that automatically finds, manages, and shares services over the network.

For administration, Solstice NEO object administration tools are bundled with Solaris NEO, supporting enterprise-wide system management of the object network and of the objects themselves. Administrators monitor application performance and status, as well as re-deploy resources without disrupting applications or users.

SunSoft has also licensed object data base technology from Object Design, Inc. (ODI) and embedded it within Solaris NEO to provide support for persistence, thus transparently preserving and recovering data that must persist between object requests.

WorkShop NEO -- Custom Applications For Competitive Advantage

WorkShop NEO, based on CORBA and OpenStep standards, provides an integrated suite of powerful object-oriented tools for programming a network. WorkShop NEO includes:

OpenStep Developer -- easy-to-use, object-oriented tools for graphically assembling three-tiered applications from pre-built, re-usable objects. OpenStep Developer includes the well-known Interface Builder and Project Builder.

NEOworks™ -- a comprehensive set of tools to develop CORBA-compliant, networked object applications. NEOworks includes a Network Object Constructor, OMG-compliant IDL compiler, Networked Object Debugger, and NEOshare Development Framework.

SPARCworks™ -- a suite of intuitive software productivity tools designed to increase developer productivity and software quality. SPARCworks includes such tools as source browser, software configuration management tools, and tools for multithreaded development.

Interoperability Partnerships

As a vehicle for enterprise-wide solutions, the Solaris NEO operating environment supports software connectivity to relational databases and Windows clients. Through a partnership with Persistence Software, Inc.™, NEOapplications can automatically access databases from such vendors as Oracle, Sybase, Informix and Ingres by mapping objects to relational tables for integration with NEO networked applications.

Interoperability between Windows desktop applications and Solaris NEO applications is provided through a partnership with IONA Technologies. IONA's Orbix product provides network access to powerful NEO applications for Windows applications that use Microsoft OLE.

Pricing & Availability

The initial release of the SunSoft NEO product family will be available in October, 1995. Solaris NEO 1.0 will include: NEOnet and NEOshare. Solstice administration tools for NEOnet and NEOshare will be bundled with Solaris NEO 1.0. Solaris NEO 1.0 pricing begins at $990.

WorkShop NEO 1.0. will include: NEOworks, SPARCworks, and SPARC compilers. WorkShop NEO 1.0 pricing begins at $11,995. Special promotional pricing will be offered for a limited time at $5,995.

The follow-on release of NEO will be available for beta testing in Q4 calendar year 1995. The follow-on release for Solaris NEO will add OpenStep and NEOdesktop. The follow-on for WorkShop NEO will add OpenStep Developer.

SunSoft, Inc., headquartered in Mountain View, Calif. is a subsidiary of Sun Microsystems, Inc., with offices worldwide. SunSoft's charter is to design, market, sell and support the industry's highest-quality software environment for enabling businesses to gain a competitive advantage through information systems. The products are licensed by SunSoft and distributed through major computer manufacturers and resellers worldwide. For additional information please call 1-800-SunSoft, prompt 1. Look for more information about SunSoft on the worldwide web at:

1995 Sun Microsystems, Inc. Sun, the Sun logo, SunSoft, the SunSoft logo, Solaris, Solstice, NEO, Java, WorkShop NEO, NEOnet, NEOshare and NEOworks are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. SPARC and SPARCworks are trademarks of SPARC International, Inc. All other product or service names mentioned herein are trademarks of their respective owners.
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