Open-Source Options Catch On with More Developers

Easier programming is on the horizon as open-source components are showing promise for more developers.

As open-source software stacks emerge as viable alternatives to proprietary solutions for many users, several open-source components are showing promise for developers.

The Java-based Spring lightweight container framework and The Apache Software Foundations Geronimo application server are catching on with more developers and will be integrated in an upcoming version of Gluecode Software Inc.s open-source application platform, according to sources.

In addition, there is discussion to integrate Spring with BEA Systems Inc.s WebLogic application server, the sources said.

Rod Johnson, the London-based founder of the Spring open-source project, said key to the Geronimo/Spring integration strategy is making J2EE (Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition) programming easier. J2EE has been notorious for its complexity, and companies such as BEA and Sun Microsystems Inc. have tried to address this with tools.

The integration would "absolutely" simplify J2EE development for all developers, Johnson said. "A more productive approach, without sacrificing power, is desirable for all developers, however skilled," he said. "The surface complexity subtracts from the power of the platform."

Meanwhile, Gluecode, which offers Gluecode Joe SE (Standard Edition), a version of its application framework for the lightweight-container market, is readying a new version of Joe for the enterprise. Gluecode Joe EE (Enterprise Edition) will feature close integration with Spring, said Jeremy Boynes, chief technology officer at Gluecode and a lead contributor to Apache Geronimo.

/zimages/2/28571.gifClick here to read about the debate over the relevance of J2EE.

The Los Angeles-based company said it will release Joe EE next quarter and will provide a preview of the technology early in the quarter.

Brent Siler, IT director at EXP Pharmaceutical Services Corp., said Gluecode Joe has helped his organization better address customer needs and has positioned EXP to take advantage of Web services and SOAs (service-oriented architectures).

Siler said EXP uses Joe "in a customer-facing Web portal that allows customers to access their data in a much more timely manner. It also helped us relieve a pressure point in that we could more quickly address our customer needs."

Meanwhile, Johnson would not comment on integration efforts between Spring and WebLogic.

However, he said: "As an application framework, Spring does not aim to be an application server but to provide a superior programming model, which allows effective use of the capabilities of any environment."

Meanwhile, sources said BEA and Spring developers are in talks to integrate the technologies. Officially, BEA, of San Jose, Calif., said it is too early to get specific.

Open-source components stack up

  • Spring open-source lightweight Java container framework simplifies J2EE development
  • Spring will integrate with Apache Geronimo application server
  • Gluecode will provide integration with Spring in an upcoming version of its open-source infrastructure stack
  • Spring and BEA WebLogic integration is under discussion

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