IBM Lends a Hand to Geronimo

IBM has announced support for the Apache Software Foundation’s (ASF) Geronimo project to help users navigate the J2EE server. In addition to this open source assist, announced today at LinuxWorld in San Francisco, IBM said it contributed some of its Gluecode software to the Geronimo project.

The support services offered by IBM are intended to help end users resolve both development and deployment issues that they encounter with Geronimo.

“We’ve had customers that have said that they are comfortable just with Geronimo, but we’d love it if IBM would support them,” Scott Cosby, IBM’s Gluecode transition executive, told “On the other hand, customers have said they prefer Gluecode because of its value adds, stability and testing.”

Ultimately, customer demand was the driving force behind IBM’s decision to directly support Geronimo.

“We didn’t do this because we dreamed it up,” Cosby said. “We did this because customers were asking for it. [The community] said it would be great and would help to accelerate the community, the maturity and the acceptance of Geronimo as a viable platform.”

As part of its effort to make Geronimo more viable, IBM also today announced its contribution of the Gluecode Management Console, which provides a user interface for Geronimo.

Cosby said that the management console has already been contributed and accepted by the Geronimo community. Cosby said the contribution had been expected since earlier this year when IBM bought Gluecode, which is a J2EE server based on Apache Geronimo.

IBM has a particular affinity for the ASF. Cosby said its open governance model, process of project incubation and development, and policy and development guidelines are particular strengths. Geronimo itself graduated from the Apache incubator in June 2004.

“The model is very attractive,” Cosby explained. “If you go in and contribute code, you’re going to be able to participate whether you’re a big company, a small company or an individual. That openness in the community we feel is very important to driving innovation and a rich technology base.”

“Apache’s ability to repeatedly create an environment where this is possible is very very attractive to us and our customers. Their track record is something that speaks for itself.”

Though IBM through both Gluecode and its support services for Geronimo is an active participant in the development of the open source J2EE server, it’s not the only voice.

“We realize that the community in the democratic way it operates is vital to its existence,” Cosby said. “We may have an opinion on which directions the technology ought to go and we will voice that in the community, but it’s a wide diverse body and we’re just one of the voices in it.”

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