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Sun Releases Flagship Sun Studio 11 Free to Developers

  • December 8, 2005
  • By Vlad Kofman
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If you are a hardcore C, C++, or FORTRAN developer on the Solaris or Linux Operating Systems you should be celebrating. Sun Microsystems has improved its excellent flagship product "Sun Studio" and removed all its previous pricing models. The latest version 11 provides all of the features enterprise developers had to pay for in the past - now free of change. Sun Studio 11 even adds more features and enhancements.

C/C++ or Fortran developers who did not want to pay for the commercial Sun Studio product often resorted to free open-source alternatives such as GCC compilers and GNU Emacs editor. However even some die hard GCC fans now have a compelling reason to switch to the very solid, enterprise level Sun Studio 11, that has contributed to over 15 world record performance benchmarks in 2005.

Product Description

Sun Studio 11 is a set of several compilers and tools that together comprise an enterprise suite targeted for native development on Solaris OS. Integrated into a fully featured IDE are

  • C, C++, and Fortran Compilers
  • Advanced graphical debugger (dbx)
  • A Suite of Performance Analysis Developer Tools
  • Utilities such as Cscope, Cflow, Dmake, Ctrace, DumpStabs, and more
  • A set of Command-line Tools

The version for Linux, which includes the IDE, debugger, and performance analysis tools, does not included compilers from Sun, but, instead, is compatible with GCC compilers. (A preview version of Sun compilers for Linux is also available).

Main Strengths

The main strength of the product is the compilers that allow developers to leverage the latest in parallel programming and maximize throughput on multi-core systems. Even single-threaded applications gain in performance as the compilers can identify opportunities to parallelize execution and automatically, without source-code changes, produce back-end code to take advantage of this. Out of the box the product allows to recompile your existing source code with an average of 10-15% performance improvement without changing a single line of code.

The new code and product's optimizing compilers also can take advantage of the new OpenMP APIs and Fortran 2003 to even further improve optimizations and performance in the scalable 32-bit and 64-bit applications targeted for Sun's newest hardware platforms, including the latest Opteron and Intel-based multi-core UltraSPARC, x64, x86 platforms.

New and Enhanced Features

Sun Studio 11 software is a complete develop/debug/tune solution. Some of its out of the box features include:

  • Multi-platform support, compatible with gcc, Visual C++, C99, OpenMP.
  • Visual fully-featured IDE, advanced graphical debugger, and performance tools
  • Takes advantage of multicore, multiprocessor, and multithreaded technology
  • Highest Performance on Sun Platforms
  • Sophisticated Performance Analysis Tools for code tuning
  • Simple migration path
  • Free license model

A complete list of Sun Studio 11's new features and enhancements can be found at http://docs.sun.com/source/819-3682/1.html

Sun's Future Direction

By removing any price tags from its flagship software development tools such as Sun Studio 11 (and Sun Java[tm] Studio Creator) and continuing to improve and enhance these tools, Sun made is a very bold and shrewd choice. Its strategy is to get into the enterprise and mid-size development shops early on by providing free quality software tools. Sun is betting on the fact that as the number of developers for its platform (and using its tools) grows so will the training, support, certification and support level services. The need for Sun hardware to run all of the software created with these tools should also increase down the line. As the full solution provider, Sun is well positioned to provide support for all services models including proof of concept services, training, certification, middleware and hardware support.

Download the Product

To download the product you only need to be registered with the Sun Developers Network (SDN), get more information about Sun Studio 11 at http:www.sun.com/sunstudio11. You can download the product at http://www.sun.com/software/products/studio/buy.xml.

Conclusion

Sun Studio 11 is a very robust application suite for native C, C++ and Fortran development on Solaris and Linux OSs. If the free price tag is not enough reason to start using the application, then the performance optimizing features for multi-threaded applications targeted for multi-core UltraSPARC, x64, x86 platforms should be. Another major advantage and a very compelling reason to switch is the Visual fully-featured IDE with advanced graphical debugger. Sun's decision to remove pricing models from its high-end development tools should be very good news for the Solaris developers.

About the Author

Vlad Kofman is a Senior System Architect working on projects under government defense contracts. He also has been involved with enterprise-level projects for major Wall Street firms and the U.S. government. His main interests are object-oriented programming methodologies and design patterns.

Resources

Wikipedia online: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/

Sun Studio 11 Product Page: http://www.sun.com/sunstudio11




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