webMethods Unveils Two-in-One Server

SAN FRANCISCO — Who says you can’t have it both ways? Internet software maker webMethods Tuesday unveiled a new partnership that combines its integration software in an application server.

In a deal with open source group JBoss, Fairfax, Va.-based webMethods said it is including its software platform in the latest version of the JBoss Java application server. webMethods says its new partnership makes it the first commercial organization to provide 24×7 customer support for JBoss.

“The thing that we saw is that people required business logic and J2EE-based applications tie into all of that,” webMethods CTO Jim Green told internetnews.com. “We charge for our integration system, but the app server basically comes for free. We got the app server from JBOSS for free and we didn’t think we should profit from their work.”

To augment the deal, webMethods is also premiering its webMethods 6.0 software at the Integration World show here. Version 6.0 has additional support for Java standards including Java servlets, Java Server Pages, JCA-compliant adapters, and JMS (Java Message Service). The company said it will also be addressing Microsoft .NET issues in the future.

JBoss’ Web application server software has already been downloaded 2 million times at an estimated rate of 150,000 times per month. They are believed to be the most widely used application server, even above IBM or BEA, according to industry publications.

BEA in particular has been trying for the last few years to begin a push into the integration market, however, webMethods says the app server is not the best platform for integration and BEA took the problem in reverse. By working with an app server, the company says it can let the customer do any necessary auxiliary coding.

“For the first time, users will be able to exploit the strength of a truly enterprise-class integration platform without giving up the convenience of building complementary business logic in J2EE. This can be accomplished without the need for an application server from a proprietary vendor,” webMethods chairman and CEO Phillip Merrick told attendees. “Our integration of the JBoss application server into the webMethods integration platform provides a unified solution with the power and convenience of the J2EE-based development environment for creating business logic, without the limitations and expense of J2EE application servers.”

Combining the JBoss application server within the webMethods integration platform will have numerous tangible customer benefits, say webMethods executives. For starters, webMethods says companies can save money by buying one server and not two. There will be less spent in licensing since the JBoss software is open source. The company also said its can save some hassles because the integration and development environments can be managed from the same management framework.

webMethods is currently toting its new partnership through its first customer win – office product supplier Corporate Express.

“After evaluating our integration needs, we determined that the best solution for handling those requirements is undoubtedly an integration platform. An application server alone could not have solved the integration challenges,” said Corporate Express CIO Monty Sooter.

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