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

JBoss has been a long-time
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.

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