JBoss Buys Technology from HP, Arjuna

The company plans to open-source the applications and use them to build out its JBoss Enterprise Middleware System platform.

JBoss Inc. Monday announced the acquisition of Web services and transaction management technology from Hewlett-Packard Co. and Arjuna Technologies Ltd., with plans to open source the technology and blend it into the JBoss open-source middleware stack.

Atlanta-based JBoss is acquiring the technology to build out its JBoss Enterprise Middleware System platform, which features key middleware technology, including the JBoss application server, JBoss Portal, the Hibernate development framework and others.

The move to acquire the commercial technology and open-source it follows JBoss CEO Marc Fleurys long-stated strategy to blend together best-of-breed open-source and commercial technology—which the company would then open-source—and build out the platform to support user needs across the application lifecycle.

And with this move, JBoss gains technology from HP and Arjuna, as well as engineering talent expert in Web services transactions, including Mark Little, former CTO of Arjuna, who will join JBoss as director of standards and head up the JBoss enterprise service bus effort.

"We acquired the rights to the technology and some key folks," said Shaun Connolly, vice president of product management at JBoss.

The technology is basically a distributed transaction management solution suitable for use in industry segments such as financial services, telecommunications, and insurance—"anywhere that a lot of transactions occur and there is a need for a distributed transaction processing manager," Connolly said.

The technology will be branded as JBoss Transactions and will support the emerging Web Services Transactions specification, Connolly said. And the technology has proven interoperable with technology from IBM and Microsoft, he said.

"Weve had clustering for a while, now we have full distributed transaction management technology," he said.

Connolly called the acquisition and integration of the technology into the JBoss stack a "shot across the bow of the commercial vendors." Moreover, the addition of the new transaction management technology "removes another obstacle our customers face."

Connolly touted JBoss pure Java solution with the newly acquired technology, as opposed to competitor BEA Systems Inc.s strategy, which relies on the companys Tuxedo transaction management solution.

"If you dont need to pay those high maintenance and licensing costs for Tuxedo, why do it?" Connolly said.

JBoss Transactions will be available in the first quarter of 2006. Meanwhile, Little will get to work on completing the JBoss ESB solution, which is scheduled to be released in the second or third quarter of next year, Connolly said.

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Meanwhile, although Arjuna has sold off its core technology, the company will refocus its efforts around the technology to become a JBoss partner, providing training and consulting services around it, Connolly said.

Eric Newcomer, chief technology officer at IONA Technologies plc., of Waltham, Mass., who has worked with both JBoss and Arjuna, said of the deal: "I think its a great move for JBoss. The Arjuna guys, and Mark Little in particular, have a great track record with transaction processing and messaging software, and should provide a significant infusion of talent and technology to the JBoss Group.

"I would also hope that Mark Littles appointment as ESB technical lead will give Iona and JBoss another opportunity to discuss potential synergies with Celtix [Ionas open source ESB project] and the SOA Tools project [from the Eclipse Foundation."

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