Marc Fleury is back.
The flamboyant former CEO of JBoss is joining the board of advisers of Appcelerator, an Atlanta-based company focused on enabling developers to rapidly build cross-browser RIAs (rich Internet applications) that combine with SOA (service-oriented architecture) technologies. Appcelerator is an open-source platform.
Fleury's thus far subtle return to the business via Appcelerator is also something of a reunion for some of the former JBoss team members.
The news of Fleury's enlistment to advise and throw his name behind Appcelerator comes a week after the company announced that Ben Sabrin had joined as vice president of strategy and business development. Sabrin was the first non-founding employee at JBoss and was the company's vice president of sales prior to its acquisition last year by Red Hat.
Capping the element of reunion is that Jeff Haynie, Appcelerator's CEO, was also a core contributor to the JBoss middleware platform, though he was not an employee of the company. Haynie co-authored the JBoss Remoting technology.
Click here to read more about Marc Fleury's exit from Red Hat.
"I like helping here," Fleury told eWEEK. "I can help with their open-source approach, and I'm happy to help with the messaging."
However, Fleury added coyly: "You know I'm retired, right?"
Asked if Appcelerator was simply trading on his name, Fleury said that he hoped so. "If my name can help to bring them some visibility, then that's what they need," he said. "But this is a good little product and a solid team here."
The Appcelerator Platform "allows you to more rapidly build SOA environments or SOA-enable your enterprise applications," Haynie said in the same interview.
He said Appcelerator officials refer to the SOA-ready RIAs the platform enables as service-oriented user interfaces, or SOUIs.
Appcelerator supports a message-oriented capability and features a standards-based development environment that supports Java, .Net, Ruby, PHP and Python development. The product is partially based on the Spring Framework.
On the client side, the platform enables mock object-based development to enable developers to separate client- and server-side development efforts.
Appcelerator started life in 2006 as Hakano, a Web 2.0 and RIA consultancy. The core technology for the Appcelerator Platform came out of lessons learned from Hakano's consulting efforts.
"We've been using the product for a year doing consulting for our customers," Haynie said.
He said the company plans to announce more products in the first quarter of 2008, including "an Eclipse-based development environment that understands RIA capabilities."
Haynie also said Appcelerator has produced its own agile development methodology, which the company uses internally and calls "visual use case development."
It was Fleury's open-source expertise that Haynie sought when he asked Fleury to help out with Appcelerator.
"We're from the ground up, an open-source model," Haynie said. He said Appcelerator is a "full open-source GPL offering."
Haynie said he views Adobe Flex as his product's primary competition. In the open-source community, Laszlo is a competitor, Fleury said.
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