The Middleware Company Zaps JBoss Ties in Spat over Postings

It says it has severed relations with the professional open-source company because its CEO allegedly posted bogus messages-but JBoss says the only news is that it has yanked an ad campaign with TMC.

The Middleware Company, a software consultancy that also runs a middleware knowledge network and community , announced Friday that it has terminated its business ties with professional open-source company JBoss.

JBoss Inc. and its CEO, Marc Fleury, have been under fire in recent weeks in the Java and open-source communities for allegedly posting fake messages around the Internet promoting the company and attacking its competitors.

Sources and published reports said JBoss employees, including Fleury, posted messages to popular Java sites such as TheServerSide and JavaLobby anonymously or under bogus names.

"The Middleware Company attempted to diplomatically work through differences that arose from recent events," Cara Solman, a spokeswoman for The Middleware Company Inc., said in a statement.

"However, the instability and unprofessional conduct from Fleury eroded the companys optimism for reaching resolution. The Middleware Company regrets the inconvenience this may cause JBoss.

"As a company that stewards communities and performs research, we must balance the needs of vendors and individuals who make up the ecosystem we serve," the statement continued. "We will continue news coverage and editorial in a neutral manner on technology, events and vendors. We will aggressively address any attempts to lower the value of our communities."

The two companies have fussed over these issues for the past several weeks. Salil Deshpande, CEO of The Middleware Company (TMC), of Mountain View, Calif., recently called for an end to the war of words.

"TheServerSide communities [which are run by TMC] are not the only place that this may have been happening, and JBoss is not the only organization that should be scrutinized," Deshpande said.

/zimages/4/28571.gifClick here to read more about Deshpandes point of view.

At the same time, JBoss CEO Fleury said the dispute was "really a non-issue. Besides, we cant expect to continue to be successful and have people cheer us on all along the way."

Joe McGonnell, director of marketing at Atlanta-based JBoss, said TMCs announcement wont have much effect.

"I really dont think there is anything of importance here," he said. "TMC has stated that they will continue news coverage and editorial in a neutral manner, and JBoss has committed to continue providing news as warranted."

But McGonnell disputed TMCs statement that it was the one that ended the companies business relationship. "The only thing that has changed is that JBoss made a business decision last Monday to end our banner ad campaign on [run by TMC].

"The only regret that we have is that the TMC statement comes at a time when JBoss is attaining such important milestones," McGonnell said.

"For example, just in the past two weeks, the following have occurred: CA [Computer Associates International Inc.] and JBoss announced plans to create a complete solution comprising open-source software that addresses the need for high-performance storage in conjunction with J2EE-based Application Servers, and Versata [Inc.] and JBoss announced new strategic marketing, certification and support agreement."

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