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Red Hat promises delayed JBoss 'worth the wait'

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Red Hat has committed to delivering the delayed next edition of JBoss in the "next several" quarters, promising the wait will be worth it.

JBoss Application Server 5.0, once expected at the start of 2008, will feature a micro kernel and container, support for OSGi, and REST. Support for Java Enterprise Edition (Java EE) 5.0 will also be added two years after the spec actually arrived and was added to IBM's WebSphere Application Server 6.1 and the containers used in Oracle's application server core.

The idea for JBoss 5.0 is to be more modular and configurable than the current version. Red Hat has refactored the JBoss code base so the individual services work as stand-alone components and to break down the Java EE monolith.

It's this work that vice president of Red Hat middleware Craig Muzilla said both delayed the launch and would give JBoss an edge over early leads established by Oracle and IBM. Muzilla claims the companies have failed to undertake such a thorough refactoring as Red Hat.

"We are better off [than rivals] because we bit the bullet - everything will interoperate," he said ahead of this week's Red Hat Summit in Boston, Massachusetts. Red Hat is expected to make announcements around JBoss relating to cloud computing and OEM partnerships at the show.

"We would have liked to have shipped six months ago," Muzilla said. "We started to do this refactoring of the architecture, which has taken longer to get out the door than we expected."

The completed JBoss 5.0 will be released to the community for free first and then package into the JBoss' Enterprise Application Platform.

Oracle, meanwhile, is shaping up to be one of JBoss' best customer hunting grounds, according to Muzilla. The reason is uncertainty over the fate of BEA's WebLogic Server thanks to Oracle's radio silence over its plans for overlapping BEA and Oracle products. Muzilla claimed "most" customer wins have been "BEA related" during the last year with a growing number at the expense of Oracle in the past quarter.

Wins are coming in new projects with customers increasing their use of JBoss rather than expanding their number of BEA or Oracle licenses.

"We see a lot of uncertainty in the market because of BEA's acquisition by Oracle," Muzilla said.

"You don't know if the Oracle product is going away, and they will replace it with BEA, and if you are a BEA customer you don't know if the investment you made in AquaLogic will be maintained and you will be moved onto Fusion. Oracle has made no strong product statements in the market," Muzilla said.®

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