JBoss Lays Out SOA Roadmap for 2006

JBoss is lining up a 2-prong approach for SOA, the firm told attendees at its JBoss Barcelona user meeting this month. First, JBoss will build up (and out) its core J2EE app server stack by adding the Drools Java business rules engine, as well as with enhancements to its JEMS enterprise middleware system. Second, JBoss' SOA end-to-end vision will also require partnerships with key enterprise software firms, with Microsoft just the first. IDN talks with a JBoss exec to get the company's 2006 SOA Roadmap.

Tags: JBoss, Business, SOA, Business Rules, Developers, Support, Partnerships,


JBoss is lining up a 2-prong approach to SOA for 2006, the firm told attendees at its JBoss Barcelona user meeting this week.

  • First, JBoss will build up (and out) its core J2EE app server stack by adding the Drools Open Source Java business rules engine, as well as with enhancements to its JEMS enterprise middleware system.

  • Second, JBoss' SOA end-to-end vision will also require partnerships with key enterprise software firms, with Microsoft just the first JBoss interop partnership.
  • Shaun Connolly, JBoss vice president of product management told OET, that the 2-prong push will be groundbreaking for JBoss, as well as for users. "SOA must be an end-to-end way of designing, building and deploying code, so interoperability [between our J2EE and other platforms] is a key theme for us in 2006," Connelly said. "and that will mean technology and partnership investments."

    Among the highlights of the JBoss 2006 roadmap are:

  • Drools Business Rules Engine: JBoss said the Drools Java business rules engine project (www.drools.org) voted as a community to join JBoss. Incorporation of the Drools rules engine into the JBoss Enterprise Middleware System (JEMS) will allow users and vendor partners to more easily customize their products and service offerings with business rules (based on actions, events and historical activities) that can be applied across an SOA architecture

    Drools follows JBoss addition of support for BPEL for orchestration and task management earlier this year. JBoss execs say that adding Drools to JBoss' core appserver and middleware technologies is a sign that developers will also find themselves moving up-the-stack in their day-to-day development efforts.

    "Absolutely you'll see developers focusing more on business services, things like creating a purchase order or other elements of a business process. So, we're in the business of providing developers the ability to create those services more easily," Connelly said.

  • Interoperable Middleware (JEMS): For end-to-end SOA to be truly enterprise-wide, JBoss execs say JBoss will aggressively pursue interoperability technologies and partnerships.

    In particular, Connelly said the goal is for JBoss Enterprise Middleware System (JEMS) to become the first interoperable Open Source SOA platform, including support for J2EE, .NET and other platforms. "You look at the statistics today, and you find that 45% of companies are using J2EE, 45% are using .NET and 10% is a skirmish area. JBoss will want to service all those environments," Connelly said. The JEMS "stack" will now include: application server; object/relational Persistence, portal platform, business process management/business rules, object/data cache, and dev tools

  • Improved Business Process Support (jBPM 3.0): JBoss also announced the release of JBoss jBPM 3.0 to provide devs an easier way to support workflow and orchestration in their applications. "Our JBPM [implementation] has an easy to use API so that when a developer is writing the app, they never even see the API," Connelly told OET. "It's a beautiful thing."

    Further, JBoss' support for jBPM is also consistent with JBoss' recently announced micro-container. The micro-container provides an end-to-end way to tightly integrate EJB3.0's programming model with JSF [Java Server Faces] and process driven applications. The micro-container runs in the IDE, for unit test and in the runtime application, Connelly added.



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