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Red Hat sports BlackTie challenge to BEA's Tuxedo

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Like an old lover unable to let go, Red Hat celebrated Valentine's week fixated on past obsession BEA Systems and that company's new beau, Oracle.

Red Hat announced three JBoss-centric open source projects targeting the middleware rivals in the areas of distributed Java and mainframe transaction processing, SOA governance, and in systems management. The trio were announced at JBoss World in Orlando, Florida.

Taking aim at BEA's Tuxedo, Red Hat announced the JBoss.org BlackTie Project that Red Hat said would emulate transaction processing monitor APIs and allow Tuxedo-based applications to operate with the BlackTie framework.

According to Red Hat, BlackTie lets you "easily and transparently" integrate C, C++ and mainframe applications into JBoss-based environments and extend the JBoss transaction monitor project, JBoss.org Transactions. Code is expected in the next 60 days, while Red Hat has promised to release a JBoss enterprise middleware offering based on BlackTie and Transactions.

Three years ago, JBoss bought Arjuna Technologies Transaction Service Suite as part of an attempt to offer Tuxedo users low-priced reliable message delivery in a distributed environment minus the expensive "bells and whistles". The idea was Transaction Service Suite would be integrated with JBoss' middleware and released under an open source license.

Next, Red Hat announced JBoss.org DNA as part of a set of open source SOA governance projects. Based on code from last year's MetaMatrix acquisition, DNA will provide a repository and UDDI registry. Red Hat said it's going to work with the community and partners to define open- and closed-source "value-add projects and products" such as policy management, enforcement, and tooling.

Both BEA and Oracle have repositories and UDDI registries as part of their SOA strategies.

The final project is a management platform developed with partner Hyperic called RHQ, expected to serve as the code base for JBoss Operations Network (JON) 2.0, due in spring 2008. Released under GPL, RHQ is designed to deliver a common services management platform while JON 2.0 sees improvements in the performance and storage of large system metrics.

The projects come as Red Hat said it imagines "huge opportunities" in enterprise deployments, convincing free users of its JBoss application server to become paid-up customers running its entire middleware stack.

It's a strategy that predates the current management line-up and something the founding JBoss team also tried to crack.®

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