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JBoss Preps 5.0 Platform

The open-source platform, due early next year, is the first commercial product based on Enterprise Java Beans 3 and incorporates a new messaging and Web services layer, among other new features.
JBoss will take a giant step up-stack when it releases its version 5.0 application server and middleware platform in the first quarter of 2006.

The open-source platform is the first commercial product based on Enterprise Java Beans 3 (EJB3) and incorporates a new messaging and Web services layer, new rules engine and a lightweight and embeddable JEE server.

JBoss CEO Marc Fleury said the kernel was rewritten to make the footprint lighter and the programming easier.

“JEE 5 and Seams [a framework that unifies the component model of EJB3 and JSF] brings a new level of modularity and a new standard of programming for JBoss,” Fleury said. “We kept what people liked about the JMX kernel but removed the complications of the programming style.”

“One of the most anticipated features in JBoss 5.0 is the standard inclusion of an EJB3 container,” said Tom Janofsky, a J2EE architect with Tripod Technologies, a JBoss partner in Cherry Hill, N.J. “I work with a number of enterprises that are anxious for a step forward in standardized persistence APIs.”

JBoss, Atlanta, also intends to make available in the first quarter its recently acquired Arjuna Transaction Service Suite and Arjuna Web Services Transaction as part of the JBoss Enterprise Middleware System.

The company's ongoing interoperability work with Microsoft and JBoss Web Server also are nearing completion, Fleury said.

JBoss’ high-end transaction services challenge proprietary comparable services for IBM WebSphere and BEA WebLogic that carry considerable costs, JBoss’ Fleury said.

Still, some partners claim JBoss 5.0 is a defensive response to an open-source project known as Spring that is based on Geronimo and is gaining momentum.

“JBoss is the 800-pound gorilla, but I wouldn’t count out Geronimo or Jonas [open-source application servers],” said Brian Chan, CEO of Liferay, an open-source portal company in Los Angeles. “Spring is a competitor to JBoss, a lightweight version of what J2EE provides.”

Rajesh Setty, chairman of Cignex, an open-source development company in Santa Clara, Calif., said he is excited about the rules engine and EJB3 support in the 5.0 platform and believes customers will embrace it quickly.