IBM Touts Open-Source App Server over JBoss

The company claims its WebSphere Application Server Community Edition, based on Apache Geronimo, is gaining market share three times as fast as JEMS.

BERLIN—While JBoss gets ready to announce new components of its JBoss Enterprise Middleware Suite at the JBoss World Berlin conference here, archrival IBM has let loose with word that based on a recent survey, IBMs open-source Java application server is gaining market share in a certain segment three times as fast as JBoss products have.

An Evans Data survey showed that IBMs WAS (WebSphere Application Server) Community Edition, sometimes referred to as WebSphere CE or WAS CE, is gaining market share rapidly, said IBM, based in Armonk, N.Y.

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According to the Evans Data study, in just a year WebSphere CE gained 16 points of market share with developers who use the Eclipse open-source development platform, compared with a 6.6 percent gain for JBoss. IBMs open-source application server software is based on Apache Geronimo. IBM took over the core technology for the WebSphere CE when it acquired Gluecode Software in 2005.

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However, JBoss officials here maintained that as JBoss has consistently produced one of the Java application server market share leaders for a number of years, IBMs offering has nowhere to go but up. Indeed, in the past, Marc Fleury, senior vice president and general manager of the JBoss division of Red Hat, has dismissed WebSphere CE as "WebSphere Childrens Edition." And observers maintain that IBM is not about to allow its entry-level solution to cannibalize sales of its enterprise edition of WebSphere.

Yet, Evans Datas second annual Eclipse Global Enterprise Survey reflected gains for the IBM entry-level application server. Moreover, earlier in November IBM announced that more than 600 ISVs and systems integrators have joined IBMs WebSphere Application Server Community Edition partner initiative since it was launched six months ago. And more than 200 ISVs have developed new software applications that support WebSphere CE, while more than 250,000 copies of WebSphere CE have been downloaded and over 300,000 CDs distributed, mainly in China, India, Russia and Thailand, the company said.

IBM said Linux distributors have also embraced the IBM open-source application server. Mandriva, formerly known as Mandrakesoft, bundles WebSphere CE with Mandriva Corporate Server. RedFlag Linux in China agreed to distribute WebSphere CE with both RedFlag Desktop and RedFlag Server. And Novells ISSLE (Integrated Stack for SUSE Linux) includes WebSphere CE and IBM DB2 Express-c, IBM said.

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