Microsoft, JBoss Play Nice

The two companies last week said they will enhance interoperability and deepen the integration between the Windows Server and the open-source JBoss Enterprise Middleware System (JEMS). At the operating system and middleware layer, Microsoft and JBoss both compete directly with IBM, which purchased open-source middleware firm Gluecode earlier this year.

TECHNICAL COLLABORATION>> JEMS will be optimized for use with Microsoft Active Directory&s integrated sign-on, federated identity features
>> The two vendors also will team up on projects related to Web services interoperability and systems management technology

According to Microsoft, the technology engagement includes “technical assistance and guidance” that will optimize the performance of JBoss with Microsoft Active Directory&s integrated sign-on and federated identity capabilities, as well as improve the performance of JBoss& Hibernate object/relational mapping tool and Enterprise JavaBeans 3.0 on Microsoft&s SQL Server.

Microsoft said the pair also will collaborate on Web services interoperability using the WS* standards endorsed by Microsoft, while JBoss will develop a JBoss Management Pack for the Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM) platform.

“The announcement was somewhat surprising but not really that significant because Microsoft is just giving ‘guidance and assistance& and not participating in any JBoss open-source activities,” said Dave Gynn, Application Infrastructure Practice Manager at Optaros, an open-source consulting firm in Cambridge, Mass. “I&m happy that JBoss and Microsoft are not being antagonistic to each other, but this partnership has no meat.”

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Others say, however, the technical cooperation will benefit partners and customers who use JBoss& Apache-based software stack on Windows.

“The solution we develop is built around performance and the tighter the integration, the better the product performs,” said Joe Casper, senior vice president of product development at FCG, a $300 million systems integrator and developer in Long Beach, Calif. “This demonstrates Microsoft&s willingness to accept open-source products that integrate carefully with their products and provides, for the first time, their stamp of approval [for an open-source product].”