JBoss Initiatives Signal Open Source Maturation

JBoss’ inaugural user conference and exhibition kicked off yesterday in Atlanta with two key announcements that analysts said signify a maturation of both JBoss and of open source.

The company launched the JBoss Open Source Federation to offer value-added services, technology infrastructure and marketing support for open-source projects that integrate with the JBoss Enterprise Middleware System and share the company’s vision. JBoss also announced a partnership with Covalent Technologies that will extend JBoss Professional Support to the Apache Web server.

“Certainly these are the sorts of thing that happen as companies mature,” Illuminata analyst Jonathan Eunice told LinuxInsider. “They stop taking just the low hanging fruit and start working in situations where they’ve got to tie into solutions leaders to make the opportunity work.”

A JBoss Federation

Bob Bickel, vice president of corporate strategy and development at Jboss, said the company launched its Open Source Federation to stimulate and support work around open-standards-based middleware.

“Over the past year, we’ve added a number of projects to the JBoss family,” Bickel said. “Now, by extending our vision of Professional Open Source to include third-party projects, we’re creating the conditions for rapid expansion of work around JEMS. The result will be an even stronger, more comprehensive open-source middleware offering for enterprise customers.”

Inaugural members of the JBoss Open Source Federation include Funambol, JasperReports, Unisys and XWiki. The federation provides infrastructure, ready access to information about third-party projects, professional open-source services and project launch assistance for companies wishing to open-source proprietary software.

The JBoss Forge infrastructure includes free hosting, project Web pages, task and project management, bug tracking, forums, wikis and blogs, documentation download, and e-mail notification lists. Integration with the JBoss Network for patch management, updates and upgrades will be added in the future.

Extending Support

Additionally, JBoss customers deploying JBoss Application Server and Apache Jakarta Tomcat can now receive production support for Apache Web Server through Covalent Technologies. As part of the deal, JBoss will become a member of the Covalent Certified Partners Program. The companies have also agreed to conduct joint marketing efforts to launch the new support offering.

Brad Murdoch, vice president of services, JBoss, said it was a logical decision to create and launch a new support offering around Apache: “The addition of the Apache Web server can dramatically add to the company’s customer base and enhance its position as a one-stop shop.”

“Open-source adoption in the enterprise continues to grow exponentially, and application servers are definitely at the forefront of the next wave,” said Mark Brewer, CEO of Covalent Technologies.

Beyond Java Purists

Illuminata’s Eunice said open-source adoption is indeed growing and these announcements represent a natural progression of rapidly expanding products. JBoss, he said, is straying from its core technology in order to extend its reach.

“JBoss reaching out to a second tier of customers that aren’t just the Java purists,” Eunice said. “The JBoss deal is a microcosm of the kind of deals that you are seeing going on around the industry right now. HP has a support deal for both JBoss and MySQL. Companies’ support organizations are maturing to embrace more than just Linux or JBoss.”

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