JBoss closing in on J2EE certification

Open source software vendor JBoss, which has offered an open source Java application server sans J2EE certification, is closing in on that accreditation, according to the company's chief executive.

The certification would make JBoss the first open source application server to complete the certification process, Marc Fleury, JBoss founder, chairman, and CEO, said during an interview at the 2004 JavaOne conference in San Francisco on Monday afternoon.

"We're very, very close, as in we hope to finish today," Fleury said.

The company had not been certified before because the open source status of the application server had made it ineligible for certification, Fleury said. With J2EE 1.4, the latest version of Java, certification is now possible for open source systems, he said. To assist with the high-six-figure cost of the certification, JBoss is getting financial assistance from companies such as Intel, Borland, and Hewlett-Packard, Fleury said. The funds go to Java founder Sun Microsystems, Fleury said.

JBoss, which did not attend JavaOne in previous years but held its own conference simultaneously with JavaOne nearby, is an exhibitor at this year's show.

JBoss at the conference announced that Novell will be providing technical support for joint customers of Novell's exteNd platform and JBoss. JBoss also announced JBossCache 1.1, which provides distributed, fine-grain object caching for use with Web applications and high-end distributed applications such as financial modeling. Additionally, JBossCache will be bundled with SleepyCat Software's Berkeley DB Java Edition embedded database.

"This is technology that's sold for millions today. We're offering it free," Fleury said. The company hopes to earn money off the product by providing customer support and through the SleepyCat arrangement.

JBoss at the show also launched JBossLabs, a research and development center focused on delivering middleware. The first project is JBoss Rich Client Framework, which focuses on developing a lightweight client-side framework featuring a sophisticated user interface to improve user experience and productivity over thin-Web clients.

Also at the conference, an IBM official said the company will ship on June 20 its zSeries Application Assist Processor (zAAP)) chip that provides for dedicated Java processing on IBM zSeries mainframes. Selling for $125,000, the chip will require an upgrade to Version 1.6 of the z/OS mainframe operating system, which ships in September, according to Bob Sutor, IBM Director of WebSphere Foundation Software in the IBM Software Group.

A developer kit to prepare applications to take advantage of the chip is available now. The zAAP chip, Sutor said, "really helps deliver the quality of service on the mainframe and it helps reduce the load" on the main processor. The zAAP hardware will work with the 890 and 990 systems in the zSeries line.

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