The Apache Software Foundation's Geronimo application server has passed the compatibility tests for Sun Microsystems' J2EE 1.4 specification and appears set to become the next open-source application server to be certified compliant with Sun's enterprise Java technology.
Certification is intended to ensure interoperability among Java products from different vendors. Developers often say they are unconcerned whether a product is certified or not, but certification is seen as a checklist item for IT managers making investments in enterprise software and can also lend added credibility to a products.
The completion of the J2EE 1.4.1 test compatibility kit was announced during a "birds of a feather" presentation at the JavaOne show in San Francisco Wednesday night, according to a posting at TheServerSide.com, a discussion forum for Java developers.
"The tests were completed by the Geronimo team just 12 minutes before Geir Magnusson began his 9:30pm BOF [birds of a feather] on the Apache Geronimo project at Java One," TheServerSide.com reported.
"The next step before becoming certified is to pass the 'non testable assertions,' a set of conditions that cannot be tested with code but every appserver must pass through. Work has already started on the next phase," it said.
Much work still remains for Geronimo, which was begun in 2003 by a group of JBoss developers who broke away from that project. The Geronimo group has yet to release Version 1.0 of its software. It is expect to focus now on development tools and improving ease of use.
The certification efforts may have been helped by IBM, which recently acquired Gluecode Software, a startup in California, which is building open-source infrastructure software based on Apache software including Geronimo. IBM said it would become an active contributor to the Geronimo project.
IBM plans to push Gluecode's software as a low-cost alternative for companies not interested in IBM's more expensive WebSphere middleware and application server. It hopes smaller customers will start out with Gluecode and eventually scale up to WebSphere. Sun is pursuing a similar strategy, saying this week it would offer a low-end version of its Java application server under a Common Development and Distribution License.
JBoss was the first open-source application server certified J2EE-compliant. It was followed earlier this year by ObjectWeb's JOnAS (Java Open Application Server), which Red Hat has said it will distribute with its software.
ObjectWeb congratulated the Geronimo team and said it looked forward to collaborating with it to develop interoperable products.
The arrival of another certified, open-source application server is a clear sign that J2EE has become a commoditized technology, ObjectWeb Chairman Jean-Pierre Laisne said in a statement.
TheServerSide.com posting is at http://www.theserverside.com/news/thread.tss?thread_id=34910