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JBoss Rolls Rebuilt Portal 2.0

JBoss started its JavaOne Conference party a week early with the second iteration of its portal application.

Launched ahead of the conference next week, the JBoss Portal 2.0 is in many ways a full-fledged portal offering. It features a unified user interface for different applications and content, using Java industry standards.

The previous version was was based on PHP , an HTML scripting language used to create dynamic Web pages.

Version 2, however, has been been built from the ground up using the industry standard Java Specification Request 168 (JSR-168), the Java portlet API specification.

Shaun Connolly, JBoss vice president of product management, expects the new portal offering to take off well beyond the 27,000 downloads that version 1 gets on a monthly basis. In addition to the features found in the application, he said, the free download will fare well against competing products by IBM and BEA Systems , which can cost anywhere from $30,000 to $50,000.

"We're essentially a platform that's going to provide equivalent and if not better quality in a professional open source model," he said. "We really see this making a major impact in that market space."

JBoss Portal 2.0 also comes with a host of new functionality. Added is single sign-on support through Java Authentication and Authorization Service (JAAS, pronounced "Jazz"), to log into the disparate applications within the portal at one time. Administrators can also manage security and functionality through a Web-based administrative browser.

The application also allows users to run more than one portal instance inside a portal container as well as deploy portal instances in a clustered environment. The portlets themselves can be created using JavaServerFaces (JSF), MyFaces or Spring MVC. The portal product also comes with a message board portlet for collaborations.

The JBoss Portal is one of seven open source applications making up the company's JBoss Enterprise Middleware System (JEMS) suite. The company offers the software as a free download and makes revenue off the support and services subscription it sells to companies.

Officials are also getting ready to release new versions of three other JEMS products -- JBoss Application Server 4, Hibernate 3 and JBoss Eclipse IDE 1.5 -- that incorporate the soon-to-be-standardized Enterprisse Java Beans 3.0 (EJB 3.0) specification. The technology, used to create the business logic in a program and access back-end data through the upcoming Java Persistence API , is one of the cornerstone technologies to be incorporated into J2EE 5.0 , expected to be released this summer.

JSF 1.0, another component in the upcoming J2EE 5.0, and EJB 3.0 will be incorporated into JBoss' new app server, allowing developers to write Web applications and then tie it into EJB's business logic component and Java Persistence API.

The Atlanta-based professional open source company also expects to launch its implementation of Enterprise Java Beans 3.0 (EJB 3.0) in several JBoss projects next month.

Officials added an EJB 3.0 project wizard and a port of the open source Hibernate project into the JBoss Eclipse IDE 1.5, while Hibernate 3 itself will get a facelift through support of EJB 3.0 Annotations, Entity Manager and Java Persistence API.

Connolly said the company will have a final draft version of its EJB 3.0 specification available at the start of the JavaOne conference next week, with a final release scheduled to launch as soon as the final specification is approved through the Java Community Process (JCP) in July.