Solaris Applications Take Another Step Forward to "Write Once, Run Forever" With Sun's New Test Suite and Certification Program

Lowers Cost and Delays of Qualification and Upgrade of Application Environment

MENLO PARK, Calif., June 11, 1997, - Sun Microsystems, Inc. today announced it has taken a bold step to confront a long-standing challenge in the application development process: how to make certain that applications keep running when the operating system or hardware is improved or enhanced. Sun's solution for its Solaris™ operating environment is a freely-available test suite that analyzes applications for compliance and a certification program "seal of approval" to those who demonstrate compatibility.

"This is a big step closer to a world in which you can write and test an application once, and ignore other changes in the environment such as new operating systems or networks," said Rob Gingell, Sun Fellow. "By removing the potholes from the upgrade process, we can minimize a major disruption and source of cost and delay to people who depend on these applications to run their business and we can return the resources that such tasks consume to allow people to make their business more successful."

End-users can upgrade applications with confidence because the test suite helps ensure binary compatibility with the Solaris operating environment. Binary compatibility helps enable day-to-day business applications to run without disruption. Developers will also see improvements in time-to-market delivery of applications because they can test and release applications in parallel with the latest version of Solaris, including the new Web-enhanced Solaris operating environment release with over 100 new capabilities in the areas of reliability, accessibility, safety, speed, expandability, and ease-of-use.

"We applaud Sun's initiative in this critical area of software compatibility, portability, and certification," said Michael D. Sowers, director of Quality at Cadence Design Systems, Inc. "Having the ability to perform static analysis of binaries for compatibility with various Solaris releases allows our R&D and product validation engineers to be even more productive in delivering our high quality products."

The Solaris ABI Test Suite and Certification Program provide the tools and process to help ensure upward binary compatibility for Solaris business applications.

Sun's ™ Catalyst Developer Program group, a key liaison between Sun and its third-party application developers, offers the ABI (application binary interface) test suite free-of-charge through Sun's Web site at This group also manages the Solaris Certification Program. Developers interested in joining the Catalyst Developer Program can go to or call 1-800-945-6111.

Solaris Certification Program: How It Works

Participants in the Solaris Certification Program use Sun's ABI test suite to ensure that their software is written to allow binary portability from one Solaris release to another. The ABI test suite suggests fixes for code identified as a potential problem area for applications running future releases of the Solaris operating environment.

Developers whose applications pass this test suite and complete certification program requirements qualify to use a "Solaris Compatible Logo" that gives customers a higher degree of certainty that the software they buy today will continue to run on subsequent versions of Solaris.

To assist developers, Sun has also embarked on an extensive developer education program, including clear guidelines, a list of common portability mistakes, and a comprehensive Web site that covers the details of the certification program--all aimed at keeping porting and certification costs to a minimum.

Since its inception in 1982, a singular vision, "The Network Is the Computer™," has propelled Sun Microsystems, Inc.,(NASDAQ "SUNW"), to its position as a leading provider of hardware, software and services for establishing enterprise-wide intranets and expanding the power of the Internet. With more than $8 billion in annual revenues, Sun can be found in more than 150 countries and on the WorldWide Web at

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