JBoss' Market Expansion

At JBoss World 2005 this week, the Atlanta-based company will unveil the JBoss Open Source Federation. The initiative is designed to seed its methodology into the market as a standard to help other open-source projects become "professional open-source companies" and to build a wider channel of OEM, ISV and systems-integration partners that extend, enhance and complement the JBoss Enterprise Middleware System (JEMS), which debuted in December.

"It's good to see them doing it," said Anthony Awtrey, CTO of Orlando, Fla.-based Ideal Technology, an open-source solution provider that deploys JBoss Application Server. "We don't use [JEMS] yet because we haven't gotten into the distributed environment, but there's a lot to be said for moving into the upper end where those services are valuable."

JBoss provides value-added consulting and support services for its Application Server and enterprise middleware stack and will expand its methodology and services to other federated open-source projects that support JEMS, said JBoss CEO Marc Fleury.

At the company's conference in Atlanta this week, Iona and six other open-source projects officially will join the federation.

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"It's not like Apache or SourceForge, which is more of a clearinghouse for open-source projects," Fleury said. "It's a professional open-source company that provides projects with supporting and training services for products that are compatible with JEMS. We'll be providing that infrastructure and will integrate support and services to help projects bring their products to market."

JEMS includes the JBoss J2EE-compliant application server, Hibernate object-relational mapping tool, Apache Tomcat JavaServer Page (JSP), jBPM workflow engine, JBoss Cache and JBoss Eclipse IDE.

JBoss recently decided it also will offer services and support for the Apache Web Server in addition to its existing support for Tomcat.

JBoss this month also signed an expanded multiyear agreement with Sun Microsystems to support J2EE and will announce an upgrade of its Hibernate object-relational mapping tool, one important component of the forthcoming Enterprise JavaBeans 3 specification, JBoss said.

Hibernate3 will make it easier to build applications that access relational databases and will convert that data into Java objects so business logic can be modified, the company said. This will make JEMS more competitive with proprietary offerings.

JBoss also plans to debut this year a major upgrade of its anchor application server. Version 5 will support EJB3 via Hibernate3 and also will be updated later to support Sun's J2EE 1.5 specification.

JBoss executives say the app server now offers database support, clustering, robust failover and the business workflow features needed to compete against IBM WebSphere and BEA WebLogic.