Microsoft, JBoss Co-op To Gain Mo’ in 2006

Microsoft and JBoss will work together on a range of interop projects throughout 2006, with an aim to better tie J2EE and Hibernate in with Windows and .NET platforms. IDN outlines the 2006 Microsoft/JBoss work, which picks up speed in the wake of JBoss' latest enhancement to JEMS middleware stack, which has a strong focus on enabling J2EE connects to .NET.

Tags: JBoss, Microsoft, Interoperability, Windows, Web Services, JEMS, Open Source,

Microsoft and JBoss will spend much of 2006 working together to improve .NET-to-J2EE interop, including efforts to enable Hibernate to work well with both .NET and Windows. .

Under a Microsoft/JBoss interop pact, the two companies will "explore" a wide range of interoperability issues between JBoss and Windows, .NET and even SQLServer. One major goal of the Microsoft/JBoss engineering partnership is to enhance interoperability between Windows Server and JBoss' Enterprise Middleware System (JEMS).

In describing the Microsoft/JBoss co-development work, JBoss' Shaun Connelly, VP of Product Development said the intent is move forward on new levels of functionality - not to backfill gaps. "We're not fixing anything today that's broken," Connelly told IDN. "This alliance with Microsoft is all about improving performance and interop with Microsoft, as we have a wide variety of JEMS customers using Microsoft."

Arjuna Aquisition Adds JEMS Momentum
The Microsoft/JBoss collaboration comes as JBoss this week announced a further enhancement to its JEMS middleware stack, with the work continues as acquired distributed transaction monitor and web services technologies owned by Arjuna Technologies and HP

The acquisition includes Arjuna Transaction Service Suite (ArjunaTS) will bring to JEMS support for key web services specs, including Web Services Transaction (WS-TX) and Web Services Composite Application Framework (WS-CAF). Arjuna also brings already-demonstrated interoperability with Microsoft, as well as IBM. JBoss has stated that the core Arjuna transaction engine will be the foundation of JBoss Enterprise Service Bus (ESB).

Inside JBoss' Vision for .NET, Windows Interop
The JEMS Open Source enterprise middleware platform, just by itself will give Microsoft a wide appreciation for working with Open Source, as JEMS is comprised of up to 12 discreet Open Source projects: including JBoss' app server; EJB 3.0, Hibernate, Javassist, JBoss Aspect Oriented Programming (AOP), JBoss Cache, JBoss IDE, JBoss jBPM, JBoss Mail, JBoss Portal, JGroups and Tomcat.

To explore why Microsoft and JBoss are working together, one simply needs to look at just how popular JBoss on Windows has become, Connelly said.

JBoss execs say that nearly half of their customers run JBoss on Windows. And, Microsoft considers JBoss just another element of Windows success. And estimates are that between 500 and 1,000 large corporations use JBoss somewhere in their enterprise.

In fact, Connelly told IDN that partners will be a "key piece of our SOA strategy" moving forward. "So, Microsoft is a perfect place of where we are heading with our strategy with other vendors."

Connelly demurs from any suggestion that JBoss' decision to work with Microsoft suggests a tilt away from the company's core J2EE focus. "The Microsoft announcement has nothing to do with Java versus .NET, and which platform is best to use. We're not interested in trying to change the dynamics there, we're focused on giving the customer choice." However, he did say working between java and .NET will be important to JBoss. "As we see it, we are building a key interoperability capability. And we're seeing that customers want the major

And at Microsoft - it's all about continuing to push Windows' success. "From Microsoft's perspective [our partnership with JBoss] is the realization that there are all sorts of business and development models that are having success on Windows," said Bill Hilf, Microsoft's director of platform strategy. "Even Open Source companies are finding that same success."

Inside Other JBoss/Microsoft Alliance Highlights
Here are some other highlights from the Microsoft/JBoss roadmap: :

  • Interoperability between JBoss and Microsoft Active Directory, to provide integrated sign-on and federated identity,
  • Tighter security interoperability, using WS-Web services architecture;
  • Development of a software extension from JEMS to enable it to be managed from Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM);
  • Optimize performance for Hibernate and EJB 3.0 (J2EE's next-gen object/relational mapping technology) with Microsoft's MySQL database, and
  • Define and provide interoperability mechanisms between .NET and Open Source Java-based web services.

    The Microsoft/JBoss work should be applicable to both Windows Server 2003 as well as Microsoft's upcoming Longhorn Server, execs said. But exact terms of how that would work will come after architectural discussions between the two firms.

    Microsoft's JBoss partnership, while credited as the first direct one-on-one Microsoft relationship with an Open Source project, is not Microsoft's first tipping of the hat to Open Source. In April, Microsoft demoed a version of Virtual Server 2005 Service Pack 1 to support Red Hat Linux.