iPlanet is Sun Microsystem's solution for a Web server and related programs intended to allow an enterprise to take advantage of the Internet. A joint venture with Netscape Communications, the iPlanet suite competes with similar offerings from Microsoft (and its Internet Information Server - IIS) and Apache, which provides the most widely-installed Web server.
iPlanet includes e-commerce services, portal services, communication services, Web and application services,integration services, and user management services. Commerce services provide enterprises with the ability to deploy secure selling, and bill presentment and payment. Portal services allow enterprises to authenticate employees, suppliers, and customers who wish to access applications, content, and data on a customized portal using a browser and a dial-up Internet connection. Communication services enable Internet Service Providers (ISPs), telephone companies, and enterprises to provide messaging, calendar, and e-mail services using a single phone number.
Web and application services provide users access to applications, databases, and Web pages. iPlanet is aligned with Sun Microsystems' Sun Open Net Environment (ONE), its vision of services on demand using Web-based applications. iPlanet also allows companies to communicate with each other using Extensible Markup Language (XML), XSL Transformations (XSLT), HTTP, Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP), and Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP).