IBM, Novell, Oracle, Sun Microsystems and Sun-Netscape Alliance Spearhead Standardized Java Technology Certification for Developers

Cupertino, Calif. - May 17, 1999 - IBM, Novell, Oracle, Sun Microsystems and the Sun-Netscape Alliance today announced that they are collaborating to establish standards for knowledge and skill levels for enterprise developers in the Java(TM) technology. All companies participating in the initiative anticipate that they will accept each other's certification tests as part of the program. Information on the initiative can be found at

"It's very exciting to see the industry come together to address a consistency in skills assessment," said Ellen Julian, senior analyst, International Data Corporation. "This certification is an important aspect for corporations building core technologies based on the Java platform. This initiative will help grow the pool of Java technology professionals available on a variety of platforms and benchmark their abilities."

According to the Java Technology Road Map for 1999, issued by GartnerGroup (Java Technology Road Map for 1999, 09 April 1999, M. Driver, D. Plummer, Y. Natis), 1999 marks a transitional period in which the Java platform begins its shift from an early-adopter technology to a mainstream platform for IT solutions. Because of this significant shift, this initiative was formed to promote common standards for the skills validation of Java technology developers at three levels. In addition to these jointly developed and cross-recognized skills, the initiative expects to identify a commonly accepted group of prerequisite certification examinations at levels ranging from programmers using the core Java programming language to developers of enterprise applications.

This proposed, cross-vendor initiative comes at a critical time as businesses are working to hire or retrain enterprise application professionals. In addition, IT professionals can anticipate the flexibility to develop and validate Java technology skills required for their specific jobs while gaining recognition in the industry. This multi-vendor certification was designed to support a heterogeneous environment.

The initiative expects to provide a common roadmap defining skills on three specific levels.

This initiative is designed to provide a ready supply of trained developers for enterprise applications and he rapidly expanding e-commerce market. IT may also significantly reduce retraining investments for both employers and developers. The recognition by the participating companies of each other's training and testing methods, as planned by this initiative, is based in the tradition of the Java technology's openness and portability, allowing developers to be "Certified Once, Valued Everywhere" and resulting in a larger pool of qualified Java technology developers in the industry. The certification exams are expected to be delivered by Sylvan Prometric(R) worldwide.

Member companies participating in the initiative expect the certification efforts will give employers a means of validating the skills of their employees. The common skills roadmap will also provide employers with solid guidelines for training employees on the Java platform.

"Ernst & Young believes in and is committed to certification. In the ever-changing technology environment, we want our clients to know that our professionals have a high level of competency, and certification is one aspect necessary to achieve their confidence," said Colette Coad, global Java service line leader from Ernst & Young. "This proposed initiative helps ensure skills acquisition critical to succeed in today's marketplace."

About IBM
IBM is the world's largest information technology company, with 80 years of leadership in helping businesses innovate. IBM Software offers the widest range of applications, middleware and operating systems for all types of computing platforms, allowing customers to take full advantage of the new era of e-business. The fastest way to get more information about IBM Application Development certification programs is at More information on IBM's Java initiatives is available at

About Novell
Novell, Inc. (NASDAQ: NOVL) is the world's leading provider of directory-enabled networking software. Novell solutions give businesses total control of their private networks and the Internet, simplifying the management of user access and identity. Novell's worldwide channel, consulting, developer, education and technical support programs are the most extensive in the network computing industry.

For information on Novell's complete range of products and services, contact Novell's Customer Response Center at (888) 321-4CRC (4272), or visit Novell's Web site at Press may access Novell announcements and company information on the World Wide Web at

About Oracle
Oracle Corporation is the world's leading supplier of software for information management, and the world's second largest software company. With annual revenues of $8.3 billion, the company offers its database, tools and application products, along with related consulting, education and support services, in more than 145 countries around the world. For more information about Oracle, please call 650/506-7000. Oracle's World Wide Web address is (URL)

About Sun Microsystems, Inc.
Since its inception in 1982, a singular vision, "The Network Is The Computer(TM)," 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 $11 billion in annual revenues, Sun can be found in more than 150 countries and on the World Wide Web at

About the Sun-Netscape Alliance
America Online, Inc. and Sun Microsystems, Inc. formed the Sun-Netscape Alliance to provide easy to deploy, comprehensive enterprise and e-commerce solutions to business partners and other companies competing in today's Net Economy. The alliance product portfolio provides customers with the industry's most scalable, integrated infrastructure software and a family of production ready e-commerce applications. The products are offered on the industry's most widely available product platforms, including DEC, HP, IBM, Linux, SGI, Microsoft Windows and Sun. The alliance software product portfolio includes: messaging and calendar, collaboration, web, application, directory and certificate servers. The alliance also offers a family of production-ready applications for e-commerce, including commerce exchange, procurement, selling and billing.

Founded in 1985, America Online, Inc., based in Dulles, Virginia, is the world's leader in interactive services, Web brands, Internet technologies, and e-commerce services. America Online, Inc. operates: two worldwide Internet services, America Online, with more than 17 million members, and CompuServe, with approximately 2 million members; several leading Internet brands including ICQ and Digital City, Inc.; the Netscape Netcenter and AOL.COM portals; and the Netscape Navigator and Communicator browsers. Through its strategic alliance with Sun Microsystems, the Company develops and offers easy-to-deploy, end-to-end commerce and enterprise solutions for companies operating in the Net Economy.

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