JBoss Alliances Target BEA, IBM

JBoss Alliances Target BEA, IBM

March 5, 2003

The JBoss Group is continuing its push to put together a complete software stack that will enable the JBoss application server to compete with the likes of IBM's WebSphere and BEA's WebLogic Server.

The privately held Atlanta-based professional services firm that specializes in the open source JBoss application server this week teamed up with Stuttgart, Germany-based portal vendor abaXX Technology to offer an integrated application server and portal offering.

Although not so widely used in the United States, AbaXX is a well-known name in Europe. It is used in portals for enterprises that include Credit Suisse, Dresdner Bank, and BertelsmannSpringer.

JBoss is also targeting BEA's Tuxedo transaction manager, and has formed an alliance with Arjuna Technologies, which is headquartered in Newcastle, United Kingdom. The JBoss Group will embed Arjuna's Transaction Service (ArjunaTS) and Message Service (ArjunaMS) components into a version of JBoss.

ArjunaTS, a Java-based distributed transaction management system, is the former core transaction software from Hewlett-Packard and Bluestone Software. The combination of JBoss and Arjuna will support distributed transactions using two-phase commit, enabling distributed transactions to span application server instances and multiple heterogeneous data sources. The XA-compliant message service allows Java messaging service (JMS) application code, including message-driven Java beans, to participate in distributed transactions.

The new partnerships follow on the heels of other JBoss alliances, including last fall's deal with WebMethods to include its integration software with the JBoss application server.

JBoss also announced partnerships last month with GemStone Systems, Alignment Software, AltoWeb, and various other software vendors.

The alliances are a smart move for JBoss, says Sharyn Leaver, a senior analyst at Forrester Research, because the trend in the marketplace is for vendors to offer a complete and well-integrated software stack, containing not only an application server but the software layers on top of it, such as integration tools and portals. "For most users," she said, "this is far more attractive than buying niche products from multiple vendors and having to tie them together themselves."

JBoss is widely used as a development environment for J2EE applications and as a deployment platform for smaller production applications. JBoss -- available for free on the Web -- was downloaded more than 2 million times in 2002, according to the JBoss Group.

JBoss is also beginning to make inroads as a platform for deploying larger and more mission critical production applications. Industry sources reported last month that GE's supply division is replacing BEA's WebLogic application server with JBoss.