RealTime IT News

Open Source JBoss Wooing BEA Customers

Open source group JBoss Tuesday released a free port it says will have BEA Systems customers asking, "what if the best app-server were free?"

The Atlanta-based JBoss, which makes a J2EE-friendly application server, said the latest enhancements to its JBoss 3.0 product result in equal or better performance, security and developer productivity to comparable WebLogic products without inherent licensing constraints and financial costs.

JBoss 3.0 is a no-cost fully J2EE 1.3-based server that includes JBoss/Server, the basic EJB container and JMX infrastructure; JBossMQ for JMS messaging; JBossMX for mail; JBossTX for JTA/JTS transactions; JBossSX for JAAS based security; JBossCX for JCA connectivity; and JBossCMP for CMP persistence.

The new JBoss self-serve port includes the porting tool and documentation free of charge. A fee-based full-serve port features consultation from expert JBoss developers, who are available either on-site or working remotely. Both ports will be available next week

"JBoss is a mature, proven application server running or embedded in thousands of business-critical applications," said Marc Fleury, founder of JBoss.org and president of JBoss Group. "JBoss is rapidly emerging as a standard development technology due to its ease of use and modular design. Enterprises porting applications to JBoss will find quality technology and services that exceed the offerings from commercial software vendors, without being encumbered by licensing restrictions until the end of time."

JBoss says BEA, on the other hand, has to charge customers for its WebLogic Enterprise Platform, comprised of BEA WebLogic Server, BEA WebLogic Portal, BEA WebLogic Integration and BEA Liquid Data. The company has been trying for the last few years to begin a push into the integration market to combat IBM's WebSphere product line. The two have been trading barbs on a regular basis ever since the release of WebLogic 7.0 and WebSphere 5.0.

Yet on the sidelines, it's JBoss that has been gaining market share. With more than two million downloads in 2002 alone, JBoss said it is rapidly becoming the application server of choice. According to some industry publications JBoss has the most widely used application server, even above IBM or BEA.

The move away from large name app server products like WebLogic is becoming more the norm, with companies like Fairfax, Va.-based webMethods jumping on the JBoss ship.

Forrester Research says it's just another sign that open source will erode licensing fees for application servers in 2003. The firm expects cost-conscious software vendors to ditch expensive licensing deals with companies like BEA to gain access to source code and to save money.