RealTime IT News

JBoss Buys Arjuna Transaction Suite

Professional open source vendor JBoss continues its climb up the middlware stack with the purchase of a distributed transaction manager critical for mission-critical Web services environments.

The organization acquired for an undisclosed amount the Arjuna Transaction Service Suite (ArjunaTS) from U.K.-based Arjuna Technologies and Hewlett-Packard Monday.

The technology is a high-end component in the middleware suite that ensures applications like databases in a distributed computing environment get the information it needs. These transaction services are a required element in transaction-heavy environments like financial services and telecommunications, where the organization might need to store information in both an Oracle and SQL Server database, and make sure its accomplished.

JBoss has been a long-time partner with Arjuna, first striking a partnership with the company in March 2003 to embed the ArjunaTS in their application server to compete against BEA Systems and its Tuxedo transaction manager.

JBoss will open source the technology and add it to its JBoss Enterprise Middleware System (JEMS) as a standalone project, JBoss Transactions, and as an add-on component to the JBoss Application Server, sometime in the first quarter of 2006.

JEMS, an effort launched in December 2004, is made up of the JBoss Application Server, Hibernate, JBoss Portal, JBoss jBPM, JBoss Eclipse IDE, JBoss Cache and Apache Tomcat.

Officials expect to make the transaction add-on available as an optional download for JBoss Application Server 3.x and 4.x users when it's finished testing, allowing them to swap out and upgrade their JBoss Java Transaction API (JBoss JTA). The technology will be a default element in JBoss Application Server 5.0, due in mid-2006.

ArjunaTS, outside its technology benefits, is a key acquisition for JBoss and JEMS, which is trying to extend its reach into the enterprise against competitors like IBM and BEA.

"Really the only knock they had on us was full robust distributed transaction management," said Shaun Connolly, JBoss vice president of product management, "because we do clustering and we do fail-over, caching and all the other high-end stuff. This was definitely the remaining knock that they could point to and this sort of blows that [criticism] away."

Mark Little, Arjuna's transactions and messaging chief architect, will move over to JBoss to shepherd the integration into JEMS, leading the tests and builds leading up to JBoss Transactions and the add-on component within the JBoss Application Server.

While at Arjuna, Little was responsible for the company's involvement with several Web standards efforts, including OASIS' Business Transaction Protocol (BTP) and Java Specification Request 156 (JSR-156), an API for BTP and WS-Transaction.