Skip to main content launches Partner Network today.

Posted by jbob on May 9, 2005 at 12:55 PM PDT

You may have noticed a very subtle change on the homepage. On the left side navigation, under the "Get Connected" section, it used to read "People and Organizations". It now reads "People and Partners". This is a small change in verbiage, but a big change for companies that participate in

That's because today we launched the Partner Network. In short, this is a way for to recognize and reward companies that contribute to our community. Simply stated, the more your company contributes to and participates in, the more benefit there is for your company.

Why a Partner Network?

Since our launch, has put a lot of focus on individual contributors to our community. That remains to be very important because it's the collaboration among individuals that makes healthy and strong. 130,000+ members and 1900+ projects later, it is time to encourage more companies to engage our members by participating in the open collaborative development happening on and reward them for contributing their people, time, and code.

Up until today, we had an underutilized "Member Organizations" page that goes back to when we first launched That page was a place for companies that wanted a link on Other than that, there was no other interaction with the community and no other value to the companies that linked. We have replaced that page with a new Partner Directory that is just a part of how we are expanding what will offer companies that join our community.

What is a Partner?

Any company that links to, submits ongoing content, or runs a project hosted on qualifies as a partner. Just as there are multiple levels of participation possible, there are 5 Partnership levels. The Partnership levels increase as the participation increases and each level builds off of the lower levels:

  • Basic Partner - This is an entry level partnership for companies that only want to swaps links with

  • Bronze Partner - This is a step up from Basic for companies that submit linked projects to our project directory and provide ongoing submission of content to

  • Silver Partner - Starting a project on and contributing source code is a very valuable and appreciated contribution to Companies that do this are Silver Partners. Silver partners and above are eligible to host private projects on for a fee.

  • Gold and Platinum Partners - These are premium partnership levels and require an annual partnership fee (Silver, Bronze, and Basic are free). They also provide exclusive benefits including an individual partner web page on, and in the case of Platinum, a sub-domain URL. There are alot of other perks for Gold and Platinum partnerships.

There is also a Partner Level matrix available to easily compare the 5 levels.

Private Projects has a policy that discourages individuals from starting private projects. This is because we are trying to foster community collaboration. However, companies have told us that it would be valuable if they could set up private projects, in addition to their public projects. This might be used for their own internal use or for collaborating with their partners and customers in a gated manner to protect intellectual property or to achieve non-disclosure. As part of being in the Partner Network, companies that have achieved a partner level of Silver or higher (which means they have at least 1 public project on are eligible to start private projects for an additional per-project fee.

Silver and Gold partners may start private projects for their own use and may not share them. Platinum partners may share their private projects. That means that a Platinum partner can pay for a private project on behalf of their customers or partners.

Partner Pages

Gold and Platinum partners each receive their own Partner web page on This is a page that the Partner can brand and has editorial control over the content. The only restriction on the content is that is abides by Guiding Principles of, has technical merit (no advertising), and is relevant to Java. We have set up a Sun page as an example of what a partner page looks like. Sub-Domain

Platinum partners receive a sub-domain URL for their Partner Page. It takes the form of [companyName] and the DNS entry is managed by

How is the Partner Network run and managed?

As the CTO, I will oversee this Partner Network. However, governance has been established that will allow the Partner Network to have a single seat on the Management Board and there will be a Partner Board for discussions and recommendations on the future of the Partner Network. Partners will be as actively involved in how the Partner Network is run as they wish.

More Information & Joining

There is a lot more detail about the Partner Network than can be put in a single weblog entry. I'd suggest visiting the Partner Network Information page for all of the details you will need. You can also contact the Partner Network Information mail list if you have specific questions.

If your company has been thinking about participating in, now is a good time to join. If your company is already participating in, then you may already be a partner and don't know it yet! Make sure you join and reap the benefits.

Thanks again to all of the companies that contribute to