By Nick Patience Sun Microsystems Inc’s Java evangelist Miko Matsumura has left Sun and has joined BizTone, formerly known as Datek and a subsidiary of Madura.net, a Malaysian company, to show the world that Java really is suitable for enterprise applications. Matsumura is president of the US operation and VP strategy of the whole company, […]
By Nick Patience
Sun Microsystems Inc’s Java evangelist Miko Matsumura has left Sun and has joined BizTone, formerly known as Datek and a subsidiary of Madura.net, a Malaysian company, to show the world that Java really is suitable for enterprise applications. Matsumura is president of the US operation and VP strategy of the whole company, reporting to CEO Darryl Carlton. Having been poached by Sun from HotWired in 1995, Matsumura says he had been in contact with BizTone for some time and liked what it was doing. BizTone will launch its first products in late January: a set of ERP applications, obviously written in Java , but also using Sun’s Jini proprietary distributed network platform, which is yet to launch. BizTone is the first enterprise software company to license Jini, says Matsumura. The idea is to take the transaction engine of ERP applications and put them in hosted environments. BizTone will not do the hosting, that will be the work of service providers such as telcos, ISPs and banks, but it will write and install the applications. Matsumura says the company will not charge for the software or its installation, but plans to make its money from taking a percentage of the transactions, by which it does not mean database hits, rather auditable transactions. The first set of application components will be financial, comprising general ledger, accounts payable and receivable, procurement and so on. It is also readying modules for currency translation, project costing and billing. By using Java, BizTone achieves both security and scalability, reckons Matsumura. Doing ERP transactions over telephone lines will obviously make some banks and its customers nervous, but the distributed architecture enables the company to offer what it calls utility grade of service, so if a line should fail, the transactions are able to pool locally and then be uploaded when the connection is restored. And Jini will enable the applications to scale arbitrarily claims Matsumura. For example, should financial transactions start to overload a server for whatever reason, Jini will enable the BizTone applications to fork and create a second object and migrate it to another server. The software also uses some of the Java Spaces object ‘marketplace’ software technology Sun has developed, which enables applications to grab applications for other locations. BizTone uses this for part of its dynamic load balancing functionality. BizTone has signed about ten service providers so far, mostly in Asia, but as the product is still in beta, they do not want their names divulged just yet. The company built its flagship product using its own BizTone builder IDE, version 2.0 of which is currently under development. It also has BizTone 3270, a Java application to do terminal emulation through a browser. BizTone’s major minority investor so far is Japan’s Nomura/Jafco but the company is just completing its second round of funding now. It is also in the process of deciding on a location for its US headquarters and is weighing up either Cupertino or Palo Alto. Its main offices at the moment are in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Melbourne, Australia, employing about 50 people in all.