LAS VEGAS—JBoss has grown up.
The force behind the self-proclaimed “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, Marc Fleury, founder of JBoss and now senior vice president of the JBoss division of Red Hat, 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 quipped during a press conference at JBoss World, which is running through June 15.
Fleury was referring to Red Hats acquisition of JBoss, which closed June 5. This years JBoss World marks the debut of JBoss as a division of Red Hat, a match that Fleury, many of his individual project leaders and Red Hat officials refer to as “a perfect fit.”
Moreover, at the conference JBoss is making several announcements, including 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, among other things.
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.
JBoss will pursue an open-source strategy of promoting open agents, building a community and encouraging pervasiveness of its management platform, he said.
“We are going to open-source parts of the JBoss Management Network starting with the agents,” he said. “We are going to open-source the agent architecture and go after the distribution model.”
JBoss also will support Nagios agents, according to Fleury. Nagios is a major open-source management initiative. “Were going to build a community of agents around this open-source base,” he said.
Fleury said the JBoss open-source enterprise management strategy is important in putting 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,” said Rich Friedman, director of product management at JBoss, in a statement. “Now, were opening up JBoss ON to create a broad enterprise management solution that extends across platforms and middleware. Our open-source strategy around the agent will deliver a seamless management environment that works with any management system and brings more choice to our customers.”
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.
Fleury harked back to the height of the rumors about where JBoss might land, as many reports saw Oracle as the primary suitor for the company.
“Now that this is done, a lot of the company is at peace with this new home for JBoss,” Fleury said of the general buzz around the companys possible buyers before Red Hat moved in to snatch JBoss up for some $350 million. “A lot of our customers let go a sigh of relief.” he 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 toward 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 targeted at partners 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.
And Seam enables developers to build complex Web applications with annotated plain-old Java objects.
Moreover, the simplicity of Seam 1.0 will enable easy integration with other JBoss SOA technologies and Java Business Integration in the future, the company said.
Seam 1.0 includes EJB-based development, an AJAX remoting layer, declarative state management for application state, support for new types of stateful applications, support for process-driven applications and portal integration, the company said.
JBoss also announced it is extending its certification program to SAAS providers, Fleury said. The Certified SAAS Program is meant to support companies that develop and deliver their products as solutions using JEMS, Fleury said. The JBoss certification uses testing tools and a methodology for certifying performance and interoperability. And certified SAAS partners will be able to access monitoring and management capabilities through JBoss ON, the company said.
“As a longtime JBoss partner thats been supporting JEMS in our on-demand software infrastructure, we see the value in being JBoss-certified,” said Jeremy Bauer, chief technology officer at Success Factors, in a statement.
Fleury also spoke at the event of various JBoss projects to watch, including the JBoss Web project. “JBoss Web is a Web server alternative effort to combine the native performance of APR [Apache Portable Runtime] and the Java manageability of Tomcat,” said Fleury.
JBoss Web is “a revolutionary approach to the integration of .Net and Java,” he said. Essentially, it enables developers to support ASP applications and also now PHP.
Another JBoss project to watch is the JBoss ESB (Enterprise Service Bus), Fleury said. Fleury said JBoss has acquired an ESB technology, built using JBoss technology, from an insurance customer that has used and extended JBoss own technology.
“We acquired an ESB from one of our insurance customers,” he said. “Its going to greatly accelerate delivery” of JBoss, he said.
Delivery of that technology is slated for the fourth quarter of 2006, Fleury said.