Sun, JBoss Still at Odds Over J2EE

JBoss claims Sun is 'stonewalling' the company in its attempts to resolve the dispute over compatibility issues.

The standoff between Sun Microsystems Inc. and The JBoss Group LLC over Java 2 Enterprise Edition compatibility continues, with both sides pointing fingers.

Although both Sun and JBoss had signaled a willingness to come to terms on the issue of J2EE compliance, "its a bit stalled and [Sun is] back to stonewalling us," said Marc Fleury, president of Atlanta-based JBoss Group.

Sun has claimed that JBoss, the maker of the open-source JBoss Java application server, is trading off the J2EE name without having passed certification as compliant based on a suite of J2EE compliance tests.

Sun brought the issue of JBoss J2EE compliance to the fore in March, saying JBoss is competing unfairly with the rest of the J2EE community by selling its product without getting certified and was at risk of splitting the Java community.

Fleury said his attempts to resolve the issue have gone nowhere. "I called to set up a meeting during JavaOne [June 10-13 in San Francisco], and theyre back to stonewalling me. Its difficult," said Fleury, a former Sun engineer, noting that licensing the text suite is expensive. "Its expensive [in cost], and its very expensive peoplewise," he said. "And our customers dont care."

A source at Sun said the test suite costs "five figures," but that Sun has offered JBoss one of the best deals the company has ever offered on the suite.

"We signed a nondisclosure agreement with Sun about this whole thing, and then Sun went to the press," Fleury said. "We dont want to negotiate this in the press."

Yet Fleury said he thinks the two sides will work out the issue. "Eventually well get it and well pass the certification," he said.

A Sun spokesperson was not available for an official comment.