Apache Geronimo gets first commercial support provider

Apache Geronimo 1.0, the recently-released open-source Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) application server, now has its first commercial support provider: Covalent Technologies.

Covalent will charge $US2,000 per year for basic online support for the first Geronimo server, and $US1,000 per year for each subsequent server. A premium subscription costs $US4,000 per server per year.

The Apache Software Foundation, the consortium behind the popular Apache HTTP Web server, released Apache Geronimo 1.0 in mid-December. The software helps connect browser-based front-ends with back-end application such as databases. It competes with the open-source JBoss, IBM's WebSphere, BEA Systems' WebLogic as well as another open-source product, JOnAS.

IBM sells and provides commercial support for its own version of Geronimo, which it calls WebSphere Community Edition. Mark Brewer, CEO of Covalent, said IBM is marketing WebSphere Community Edition as a lower-end offering. "That's not how we see" Geronimo, he said. "We think it's a competitive product to a WebLogic or WebSphere, without being as heavy."

Walnut Creek, Calif.-based Covalent already provides paid enterprise support for a number of other products created by the Apache Software Foundation, including Apache HTTP, the Apache Tomcat Java application server, and the Apache Axis Web services framework.

Covalent now has about 400 paying enterprise customers, Brewer said.

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