WebMethods, JBoss On Verge of Total Integration

Wednesday said it has reached the penultimate step in its strategy to integrate the JBoss open-source application server with its
integration platform.

The Fairfax, Va., firm launched its JBoss
integration customer preview program, meaning webMethods will now roll out
the new capability to a select group of customers. Once the preview is
completed, the next step is to make the platform available to the public. There is no timeline for the public release, according to webMethods.

The development means the Java-based JBoss can now be integrated directly into the
integration server. This combination of the technologies will give customers
business and integration capabilities directly within webMethods’
integration software, so that they can write Web services and develop Java
applications from one platform. The double functionality also means
customers won’t have to buy an additional server, a crucial hook in a time
when IT managers are looking for added value without additional costs.

The deal doesn’t mean webMethods is ignoring other application servers from
the likes of IBM or BEA, but it does show that JBoss, which reaped more than
two million downloads in 2002 and an average rate of 250,000 downloads per
month in 2003, is the favorite. After all, webMethods, when this project is
finished, can say that it offers a free application server.

“While we will continue to fully support all leading application servers, we
recognize that tightly integrating JBoss within the integration platform
provides our customers with an incredibly flexible integration solution. The
free JBoss application server is ready for enterprise deployment, as is
evidenced by the ground swell of customer adoption,” said Kristin Weller,
executive vice president of product development, webMethods.

The fact that JBoss is free means customers will be able to reduce licensing
and operating costs because they won’t need to buy an application server,
and can manage their integration and development environments using the same
framework. Ideally, business processes will enjoy improved automation
because legacy and Java applications will be working in in the same process.

Marc Breissinger, vice president and chief architect, webMethods, said the
concept of bundling business logic with application serving is hardly new,
and that application server vendors have been trying to build integration on
top of their product.

However, he said they have yet to prove that this method solves enterprise
integration needs. Many experts believe this is difficult for a number of
reasons. Simply, webMethods’ argument is that trying to integrate dated
legacy applications to new application servers is harder than adding the
application server to the integration platform.

WebMethods embraces Java in all of its products and supports J2EE standards
such as: Enterprise Java Beans, JavaServer Pages (JSP), Java Connector
Architecture (JCA), Java Transaction API (JTA), Java Message Service (JMS),
Java Management Extension (JMX), Java Database Connectivity (JDBC), Java
Native Directory Interface (JNDI) and JavaMail.

WebMethods is also looking toward the future in trying to bridging the wide
gap between J2EE and Microsoft’s .NET development environments with its
integration platform.

Meanwhile, the namesake product of the Atlanta-based JBoss organization, 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.

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