java.net launches Partner Network today.
You may have noticed a very subtle change on the java.net 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 java.net.
That's because today we launched the java.net Partner Network. In short, this is a way for java.net to recognize and reward companies that contribute to our community. Simply stated, the more your company contributes to and participates in java.net, the more benefit there is for your company.
Why a java.net Partner Network?
Since our launch, java.net 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 java.net 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 java.net 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 java.net. That page was a place for companies that wanted a link on java.net. 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 java.net Partner Directory that is just a part of how we are expanding what java.net will offer companies that join our community.
What is a java.net Partner?
Any company that links to java.net, submits ongoing content, or runs a project hosted on java.net 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 java.net.
- 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 java.net.
- Silver Partner - Starting a project on java.net and contributing source code is a very valuable and appreciated contribution to java.net. Companies that do this are Silver Partners. Silver partners and above are eligible to host private projects on java.net 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 java.net, and in the case of Platinum, a java.net 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.
java.net 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 java.net Partner Network, companies that have achieved a partner level of Silver or higher (which means they have at least 1 public project on java.net) 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.
Gold and Platinum partners each receive their own Partner web page on java.net. 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 java.net, 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.
Platinum partners receive a java.net sub-domain URL for their Partner Page. It takes the form of [companyName].java.net and the DNS entry is managed by java.net.
How is the java.net Partner Network run and managed?
As the java.net 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 java.net 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 java.net Partner Network than can be put in a single weblog entry. I'd suggest visiting the java.net 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 java.net, now is a good time to join. If your company is already participating in java.net, then you may already be a java.net 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 java.net.