Red Hat Expands JBoss SOA, Community Efforts

New community and commercial efforts take flight as Red Hat takes aim at growing its enterprise middleware market share.
Red Hat is out this week with a series of initiatives to further expand and develop its JBoss middleware platform. On the commercially available product side there is the JBoss SOA (define) platform and on the community side there are three separate projects including Black Tie (for BEA Tuxedo migration), RHQ (a management effort for middleware management) and SOA Governance.

All told the projects are part of Red Hat's effort to accelerate JBoss to take on 50 percent of the enterprise middleware market.

"As you look at these projects they first start off in the community but they will become products and part of our product portfolio," Craig Muzilla, VP Middleware Business at Red Hat explained. "We believe that they will all help to accelerate our open source middleware since they all relate to the challenges that IT has."

During a conference call with the media, JBoss CTO Sacha Labourey explained that the Black Tie effort came out of JBoss's acquisition of Ajuna in 2005. The goal of Black Tie is simple - to get users of BEA's Tuxedo transaction server.

Black Tie which is expected to have its first open source release in the next 60 days will allow for interoperability with Tuxedo as a transaction server. Labourey claimed it could possibly serve as a replacement to Tuxedo in certain scenarios as well.

On the management side, in a joint open source effort with management vendor Hypernic, JBoss is developing an open middleware management project called RHQ.

The goal of RHQ is not necessarily intended to be a standalone effort but rather to act as a framework on which a complete management product is based. JBoss Operations Network v2.0 (JON 2.0) from Red Hat will be one such product. JON 2 is set for a Spring of 2008 release.

In terms of governance, JBoss is kicking off a series of projects all under the larger banner of SOA governance. Craig Muzilla, VP Middleware Business at Red Hat, explained that all of the SOA governance projects are aimed at helping the adoption of JBoss's middleware. While Muzilla could not provide all the hard details on the SOA governance project he did indicate that there will be at least three core areas including registry, repository and policy management.

The registry effort will have a project in it called JBoss DNA which Muzilla described as a metadata repository that will be based on technology acquired from Metamatrix. Red Hat acquired Metamatrix for an undisclosed sum in April of 2007.

In addition to the new open source efforts, JBoss also announced the general availability of its SOA platform. The JBoss SOA platform is an integrated set of JBoss technologies that have been combined to form a full SOA solution. Among the JBoss tools included in JBoss SOA is JBoss ESB (for service integration), jBPM (for workflow) and JBoss Rules (for policy).

Summing up, Labourey said JBoss' announcements are about innovation of middleware and SOA.

"It's not innovation for the sake of innovation," he said. "It's about enterprise acceleration."

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