JBoss Grows Up

Now part of Red Hat, company reaffirms commitment to open-source middleware.

JBoss has grown up.

The force behind the "professional open-source" strategy has had its rite of passage and is now entering adulthood as a division of Red Hat.

At the JBoss World conference here the week of June 12, Marc Fleury, founder of JBoss and now senior vice president of Red Hats JBoss division, said JBoss is poised to move ahead as part of Red Hat and will continue to take a leadership role in driving open-source middleware into the enterprise. "Weve closed the transaction, and the money has moved," Fleury said during a press conference.

Fleury was referring to Red Hats $350 million acquisition of JBoss, which closed June 5.

At the conference, JBoss made several announcements, regarding items such as its move into the systems management space with an open-source strategy, the general availability of the JBoss Seam framework and new certification for SAAS (software as a service) applications.

Fleury said JBoss will open-source the core systems management agent in JBoss ON (Operations Network) to create and drive adoption of the companys open management platform.

"We are going to open-source parts of the JBoss Management Network starting with the agents," Fleury said. "We are going to open-source the agent architecture and go after the distribution model."

JBoss also will support and build a community of agents around Nagios agents, according to Fleury. Nagios is a major open-source management initiative.

Fleury said the JBoss open-source enterprise management strategy will be important in helping to put customers in charge of their IT infrastructures.

"Today, JBoss ON provides our customers with powerful management and monitoring capabilities for their Java and JEMS [JBoss Enterprise Middleware Suite]-based applications," Rich Friedman, director of product management at JBoss, said in a statement. "Now, were opening up JBoss ON to create a broad enterprise management solution that extends across platforms and middleware."

Moreover, Fleury said, in the long term JBoss ON and Red Hat Network will be brought together to form a unified management platform for customers of Red Hat Enterprise Linux and JBoss JEMS.

Harking back to the recent period of speculation about the future of JBoss, including the many reports that Oracle was a primary suitor for the company, "a lot of our customers let go a sigh of relief" when Red Hat and JBoss joined forces instead, Fleury said. "This is clearly a very natural merge of two leaders in the open-source space."

Indeed, Fleury said JBoss integration into Red Hat "is a message of continuity. Think of Red Hat as a bigger platform for us moving forward."

One of the first pieces JBoss has targeted at its partners is an integrated bundle of Red Hats Linux operating system with the JBoss application server and the Hibernate persistence framework, Fleury said. This will be an offering that has a clear and simple subscription model, is downloadable and upgradable via the Red Hat Network, will have a single SKU available shortly, and is ideal for channel partners, he said.

JBoss also announced at JBoss World the general availability of JBoss Seam 1.0, an application framework for Web 2.0 applications. Seam is where the Web 2.0 world meets the SOA (service-oriented architecture) world, according to Fleury. Seam integrates AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML), JSF (JavaServer Faces), EJB (En-terprise JavaBeans) 3.0, Java portlets, BPM (business process management) and workflow. Seam enables developers to build complex Web applications with annotated plain old Java objects, or POJO.

Seam 1.0 includes EJB-based development, an AJAX remoting layer for provision of remote services, declarative state management for application state, support for new types of stateful applications, support for process-driven applications and portal integration, company officials said.