It’s July 4th and we have an extended weekend in the US which is a good enough excuse to catch up on some blogging; at least until the Strawberry Margaritas start flowing. At Java One this year we announced an initiative called Open Choice which I blogged about previously. Fundamentally Open Choice is about broadening our footprint and giving customers what they want and moves us closer to supporting the whole applications infrastructure tier rather than just parts.
Open Choice isn’t some big, far-into-the-future vision thing it’s something we’re doing now. This year. Product-wise it consists of four offerings (where previously there was only one) and as we release them I’ll give you my perspective on why they’re important. Unfortunately I’m already a little behind – we’ve already delivered two products out of four and the third is in Alpha moving quickly towards Beta.
So let me use this post to talk about JBoss EWS 1.0 (Enterprise Web Server). EWS is basically a packaged, certified and tested bundle of Tomcat and Apache HTTP – the industry’s dominant Java web-container and Web Server respectively. We round out the bundle with mod_jk, APR and most importantly a management agent for JBoss ON. We currently support and certify on Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Solaris with Windows coming next.
Providing JBoss ON management support is pretty important – it gives customer the ability to manage the application and web stacks easily and consistently using the same toolset. If you want to learn more – there is a free Webinar on July 14th at 2pm Eastern – more here.
The rationale for supporting Tomcat is that it is absolutely the dominant Java web-container and has become an important part of the corporate IT fabric. Tomcat has been popular for years but in the last two or three I’ve seen it evolve into a much more strategic platform for IT. Many customer I speak with have defined two distinct tiers of functionality – essentially a full Java EE stack and a lighter-weight Tomcat platform. By supporting both the dominant Java EE implementation (JBoss EAP) and Tomcat, combined with the ability to manage from a single tool – I think we can do a much better job of satisfying a much broader customer base than our competition. Here’s an (albeit unscientific) chart from a recent survey that demonstrates this well :
It’s also interesting to note that from this survey JBoss’ deployment share is more than Websphere and Weblogic combined.
OK, so JBoss EWS 1.0 is out and we have customers deployed or deploying some pretty large, strategic apps. but I’m already thinking about the next version (code named Cavalier). Some initial ideas for Cavalier are :
- increasing platform support to include AIX, HP-UX and maybe other Linux flavours;
- alternative Connection Pool implementations for Tomcat;
- looking at a more recent version of Apache HTTPD;
- possibly supporting mod_cluster.
- soft-appliances to better support virtualized hosts.
Any other thoughts are always welcome – leave a comment or get in touch directly.
If you wander around any of Red Hat’s offices you might see this quote from Mahatma Gandhi :
“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” Or you may have seen this (exceptionally cool) video at one of our conferences :
Of course Gandhi wasn’t talking about JBoss or Red Hat or Open Source – but the quote is still very relevant to a company that has revolutionized the software industry. People and companies who once ignored or laughed at Linux, or JBoss’ original EJB server are now waking up to the reality that they are losing.
Given the recent presentations that JBoss’ only real competitors (IBM and Oracle) have been spreading around and the amount of work and energy they’re both expending to compete with JBoss – I think JBoss has reached a significant milestone – I think we’re at stage 3 of Gandhi’s steps to oppose the truth – ” … then they fight you …”.
It’s flattering and inspiring to know that two companies who are literally hundreds of times the size of Red Hat are worried. Really worried. It also adds a huge amount of credibility to our business model and our technology.
What’s next ?
Another couple of super-busy months here at JBoss. If anything the pace of new releases and new projects is increasing. Here are some of the more prominent Community announcements I managed to bookmark :
JBoss App Server 5.1.0 CR1 – 5.1 is a pretty big milestone – it includes the new Jopr powered embedded console – something you’ll like but also something we really need some early feedback on. Also a preview of Web Beans / JSR-299. [release notes, downloads]
Data Integration goes Open Source – I missed the launch of the Teiid Project you can find out more on the project page.
This has been brewing for a while and Manik has finally announced Infinispan – I predict that this is going to be a pretty disruptive technology. [home page, quick guide]
JBoss Tattletale is a new tool that will analyze your code and produce detailed dependency reports – for example highlighting duplicate jars / classes, missing jars / classes, etc. [downloads, project]
The latest release of Jopr (2.2) is out – Jopr is the upstream project for JBoss Operations Network (see below). There are a shedload of UI enhancements, support for JBoss EWS and Performance improvements among other things.
Also a nice article on JBoss Cloud over on DZone.
On the JBoss Enterprise side of the house :
JBoss Operations Network 2.2 is out and JON receives a pretty decent makeover (see Greg’s post on some of the major enhancements) – product page is here.
One of the new capabilities of JON 2.2 is support for JBoss Enterprise Web Server (EWS) which was also released a few weeks ago – more on that in a future post.
If you’re currently stuck with Oracle Weblogic or IBM Websphere and need help getting off – here’s an opportunity you can’t ignore.
Sorry for the length of this post – I need to do this more frequently. The next couple of months are going to be even more hectic and you can follow the @JBossNews via Twitter. Finally, something from the happy news files – we’re still hiring.