Comm Suite 6: What, You Haven't Heard of Communication Center (aka Kendo) Yet?

Update, 4/24/08: In typical Sun fashion, we've renamed the product. It's now called "Sun Convergence."

There might be someone out there using, or interested in using, or just interested in learning about our Communications Suite product, who hasn't heard about our new , Communication Center (code named Kendo), that will ship as part of Communications Suite 6 later this year. This short write-up is intended for those of you who need an introduction to this new product.

Communication Center Server High Level Overview

Here's the architectural picture of the Communication Center server.

As this picture shows, Communication Center is a web application, using HTML and JavaScript code. As a web application, it needs a web container. You must use Application Server 9.1 Update 1 as your web container.

The Communication Center server provides core functionality, including:

  • Authentication, authorization, and logging
  • Single Sign-On (of two varieties: Access Manager SSO and Messaging SSO)
  • An interface for administration
  • LDAP service (for pools, failovers, and Comms schemas)
  • Basic monitoring functions

Communication Center is a proxy service for mail, calendar, IM, and address book access services.


Default authentication is accomplished by using the Directory Server LDAP directory, though Communication Center also supports Access Manager. For the Communications Suite 6 Beta, you need to run Access Manager in Legacy mode. Realm mode is planned for the Revenue Release of Communications Suite 6.

Configuration Management

No fancy GUIs here, you use the iwcadmin CLI to perform administrative tasks for the server. Those of you who have administered Messaging Server by using the configutil command will feel right at home. Configuration is XML based. Communication Center supports some limited remoted administration as well. Note: To configure the Instant Messaging gateway, you still edit the existing httpbind.conf file by hand. See
Overview of the Communication Center Command-Line Utility for more information.


You can perform basic, real-time application monitoring of Communication Center. For example, you can get statistics on uptime, number of users, connection details, LDAP connections, and so forth. Also, because Communication Center supports Java Management Extensions (JMX), you can use the Java Management Console, for instance:

Some Interesting Instant Messaging Features

  • The Instant Messaging Gateway that ships with Communication Center will include support for avatars.
  • Scalable IM service provided by leveraging Grizzly and Comet support.

Looks promising...

Will there be an emergency exit (->migration tool) for MS-Exchange available towards Communication Suite 6?

Posted by Mika on March 19, 2008 at 07:23 AM MDT #

We already have a tool called SGMT that works now and should work with Comms 6 as well.

See see Escaping Vendor Lock-in: Life After Microsoft Exchange ( for more info.

Posted by Joe Sciallo on March 19, 2008 at 09:25 AM MDT #

Sorry, wrong link. Use this:

Posted by Joe Sciallo on March 19, 2008 at 09:26 AM MDT #

Will there finaly be small license packs available for people mad enough to want something like that for a < 50 users setup ? In my area the minimum package seems to be 1k users which is a bit drastic and extreme ;)

Posted by Michal Bielicki on March 20, 2008 at 05:07 AM MDT #

Sorry, we don't provide a small license pack. The truth of the matter is that we're simply not set up on the support or sales side to handle a large number of small users.

Posted by Joe Sciallo on March 21, 2008 at 08:22 AM MDT #

I hate this comment.
That's exactly the problem Sun should be looking to solve.
Everyone at Sun spends way to much time trying to find companies with $10+ million IT budgets.
If you are going to compete then you need to compete at all levels not just when the user count hits 1000.
It is this attitude that drives potential customers to your competitors. And it's just not Exchange any more in the messaging/calendar/collaboration world.
Moreover is this not the opposite message Sun is trying to convey to smaller firms with the "Sun Startup Essentials" program.

Posted by AveJoe on March 24, 2008 at 12:27 PM MDT #

I second the comment from AveJoe.

Instead of starting an SMB initiative with MS-Exchange you should be pushing your own products...

Posted by Mika on March 24, 2008 at 05:39 PM MDT #

I also agree with AveJoe, but see other causes, primarily Sun's lack of management focus. So many good products, with huge monetization values, have been left to die on the vine... From PCNFS, SMIT, mailtool, and calendartool, to SunFreeware, Blastwave, ... most of all Cobalt. You have to wonder if Sun really employs anyone who can bring a software product to market, I mean a software product that doesn't directly lead to hardware sales.

Posted by Mikado on April 12, 2008 at 04:18 PM MDT #

I'm part of the comms team at Sun and I have to agree with the comments made here by Mika and AveJoe. It drives me nuts when Sun pushes Exchange when we have a solution that is better for a huge chunk of the population.

If you're a small site and you really want to run Sun comms, keep in mind that you can download and use the software for free. And there's some pretty fine support on the info-ims mailing list...

Posted by Jeff A on April 24, 2008 at 08:06 AM MDT #

Thanks Jeff.

To subscribe to info-ims:

Posted by Joe Sciallo on April 24, 2008 at 08:11 AM MDT #

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