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Red Hat cranks up JBoss rollouts engine

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The next few months should see three supported and modular versions of Red Hat's JBoss application server rolled out, scaling from web to full enterprise-class scenarios.

Red Hat's vice president of middleware Craig Muzilla told The Reg three profiles of the JBoss Application Server 5.0 would be delivered in the "next few quarters."

The Linux distro company's profiles will run on everything from web servers and caching servers to the full-on Java Enterprise Edition application server, Muzilla said.

The sudden spurt of activity follows more than a year of delays to JBoss Application Server 5.0, which should have shipped at the beginning of 2008 but finally arrived in December.

"The full Application Server 5.0 will be rolling out this year," Muzilla said. "It's been a while but it's been well worth it."

Red Hat has in the past blamed delays on the job of refactoring the application server's code, a move it said would make JBoss modular - paving the way for different configurations instead of delivering the same-old monolithic application server.

JBoss Application Server 5.0 is compliant with OSGi, a dynamic module system for Java that enables componentization of code with calls between modules using standardized XML interfaces.

With refactoring work now complete and OSGi supported, there should now be no excuses for hold-ups in the delivery of profiles of the kind that delayed the core application server engine.

The JBoss Application Server 5.0 code is already available in the community and you can build your own profiles, but - as is typical with code that's free and open source - you'd have to assemble the code yourself and, in this case, anything you construct would go unsupported by Red Hat.

The three JBoss profiles that Red Hat's got planned will come with integration, testing, and support.

"The technology is in the community now," Muzilla said, "but what we are doing is taking the core architecture and packaging it up into consumable products that can be supported by Red Hat."

The application servers will see a range of APIs and frameworks added. These will include Seam, Hibernate, Struts, Spring, REST, Adobe Systems' Flex, and Google's WebToolkit (GWT).

The additional support should mean developers get more options in their choice of open-source, Java application server. SpringSource has been rolling out its application servers, based on - obviously - the Spring Framework and last December announced integration between its own SpringSource platforms and the Spring Framework and Flash, AIR, and PDF from Adobe. SpringSource's application serves are also based on the OSGi specification.

Muzilla claimed JBoss has an advantage over Spring because, while it's using the tried and tested Spring Framework, its application servers have yet to be proved as platforms. Unlike JBoss. ®

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