JBoss Tackles Tough SOA Problem With Arjuna-HP Tech Acquisition

JBoss today said it has acquired distributed transaction monitor and Web services technologies from Arjuna Technologies and HP. JBoss plans to open-source these offerings for its Enterprise Middleware Suite (JEMS).

JBoss executives believe the strategic move will propel JEMS further into the high-end market long dominated by proprietary application platforms. In fact, Shaun Connolly, vice president of product management for JBoss said the acquisition sends a strong, clear signal to the market.

“JBoss is committed to enabling the JEMS stack for the high-end market and cementing its position as the leading open-source platform for SOA, or service-oriented architecture,” Connolly said. “We’re doing this by developing our own products as we did for clustering, embracing open-source projects as we did for business rules, and acquiring proprietary software and open-sourcing it as we are now doing for distributed transactioning.”

Tapping Transaction Engines

The acquisition includes Arjuna Transaction Service Suite, which adds distributed transaction processing capabilities to the JEMS stack. JBoss said this would appeal to enterprises in sectors such as financial services and telecommunications where “five-nines” availability is crucial.

Arjuna Transaction Service Suite capabilities include support for multimodal transaction processing across client/server, Internet, mobile and wireless, SOA and event-driven architectures and the ability to handle high transaction volume across diverse middleware environments straddling CORBA, J2EE and Web services,

Ron Schmelzer, a senior analyst at Zapthink, told LinuxInsider that the acquisition shows a continuing trend among SOA vendors to consolidate functionality.

“The meta trend here is that enterprises are not looking for a lot of point solutions,” Schmelzer said. “Even though they want interoperability, they don’t want to have to deal with hundreds of vendors.”

Bridging the Gap

JBoss also picked up Arjuna’s Web Services Transaction implementation, which supports both Web Services Transaction and Web Services Composite Application Framework. The company said it delivers another key component of JBoss’ expansion into SOA.

With Arjuna’s Web Services Transaction implementation as a core product, JBoss said JEMS bridges the gap between companies like Microsoft and Sun, and remains true to its inherent flexibility and platform-independence.

JBoss expects to release Arjuna Transaction Service Suite and Arjuna’s Web Services Transaction implementation as a set of open-source JEMS offerings in the first quarter of 2006.

Schmelzer said the areas of transactions around SOA continues to be an unsolved problem and JBoss’ acquisition of Arjuna technologies means the company is planning to make SOA more consumable.

“The technology acquisition is notable. It’s not commodity stuff by any means,” Schmelzer said. “JBoss is clearly ahead of the curve. This, in conjunction with some other initiatives around SOA, may help show people the completeness of their platform.”

Going for Brain Power

As part of the agreement, Mark Little, Ph.D., Arjuna’s chief architect and one of the original creators of ArjunaTS, joins JBoss as director of standards. Little will spearhead JBoss’ continued efforts in setting industry standards and lead technical strategy for JBoss ESB and the distributed transaction monitor.

“JBoss is already a driving force of consolidation in Java and, given its ambitious vision, will likely be doing the same for SOA,” said Little, who is one of the primary authors of the OMG Activity Service specification and participated on the J2EE Activity Service for Extended Transactions Expert Group. Little said JBoss now offers a powerful SOA solution for any enterprise.

Little adds credibility to JBoss SOA efforts, according to Schmelzer. He said, “JBoss is not an intellectual lightweight anymore. We’ll have to see how they make use of that talent.”

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