JBoss Adds Librados for ‘Beyond J2EE’

Open source firm JBoss Group Tuesday aided its efforts to spread its a Java-compatible application server with the addition of a new co-marketing agreement.

Under the agreement, Librados has joined the JBoss Preferred Affiliates Program. The San Ramon, Calif.-based firm, which makes J2EE-standards based application integration software, said it will offer either royalty-free source code to independent software vendors (ISVs) or extremely low-cost software to customers with its pure J2EE product offering on JBoss.

The partnership is part of what Atlanta-based JBoss executives say is an attempt to move “Beyond J2EE.” The company has been embroiled in a conflict with Sun Microsystems over J2EE’s next version (v1.4), of which JBoss refuses to conduct compatibility tests and pay a “multiple 6-figure” licensing fee. And while the two sides are in negotiations, JBoss founder and CEO Marc Fleury is moving forward without Sun’s blessing.

“Librados’ suite of application integration products will allow Java developers to extend and expose backend functionality to the JBoss server or XML and Web services environments,” Fleury said in a statement. “Pairing Librados’ sophisticated real-time integration software with our stable, scalable, application server, is a powerful, cost-effective combination for Java developers requiring a flexible, standards-based approach for web-enabling applications.”

Recently, JBoss took the wraps of the developer edition of JBoss 4.0, which is the company’s first attempt at an aspect-oriented programming (AOP) framework.

Through the partnership, using the Librados Enterprise Integration Component Server (EICS) and a family of pre-built JCA Adapters, JBoss says Java developers can perform simple or complex application integration quickly and easily from the JBoss server or a Web server environment.

“Many customers have saved money by using the JBoss application server, and now they no longer have to spend it on application integration,” said Librados’ CEO, David Richards. “This partnership gives customers and ISVs a low-cost, royalty-free application integration package. Librados and JBoss will continue to drive the high cost out of middleware.”

Other JBoss “Preferred Affiliates” include Alignment Software, AltoWeb, Cysive, GemStone Systems, Gluecode Software, Oak Grove Systems, SpiritSoft, and webMethods , which has been a longtime supporter of JBoss.

Following in the footsteps of the Linux operating system and Apache web server, JBoss is the third major open source project to achieve significant adoption in enterprise IT. The company boasts its Web application server software has already been downloaded 2 million times at an estimated rate of 250,000 times per month and are believed to be the most widely used application server, even above IBM or BEA, according to some industry publications.

JBoss is gaining momentum as open source products continue to gain traction in many IT markets. Its free price tag has made it an attractive development platform for J2EE-based applications.

“Although open source for complex integration middleware is still unproven, it is natural that open source application servers follow the same evolutionary path as mainstream application servers and begin to include integration features,” said Gartner Research Director Benoit Lheureux. “We have long predicted the gradual commoditization of integration middleware such as adapters and the JBoss-Librados open source arrangement is further evidence of this trend and will help reduce the cost of integration, particularly for opportunistic IT projects.”

Forrester Research also points to JBoss as just another sign that open source will erode licensing fees for application servers in 2003. The firm says cost-conscious software vendors are expected to ditch expensive licensing deals with companies like BEA, IBM and Sun to gain access to source code and to save money.

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