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JBoss product announcements shed light on JBoss World event

By James Denman

21 Jun 2012 | TheServerSide.com

As Red Hat Summit and JBoss World 2012 approaches, spokespeople from Red Hat and JBoss have banded together to make preliminary announcements, including the availability of three new open source middleware products.

In his keynote speech at a live online event yesterday, Dr. Mark Little the director of middleware engineering at Red Hat, introduced the new products as well as a new motto for the old open source middleware company. Little and others repeatedly referred to the ‘’JBoss Way’’ when explaining the drives and rationale behind the new products. The direction of the new products, however, was not so new.

Rich Sharples, director of product management at Red Hat, implied that mobile applications, data management, and cloud platforms have been major pillars of the company's middleware strategy for the past five years or so.

In a statement, Senior Analyst Jay Lyman of 451 Research called JBoss EAP 6 "Red Hat's most ambitious release of the software ever, with capabilities and features in cloud computing, mobile software and big data – all of which are key strategic areas of enterprise deployment."  According to Sharples, these three concepts are providing a constructive synergy for enterprise application development.

As mobile devices and similar Internet enabled appliances - such as automotive computers and set-top boxes - grow in popularity, they produce an immense amount of potentially valuable information for the enterprise. Managing that incoming data – which is estimated to increase considerably in the next few years – can be incredibly difficult. The cloud, as Sharples pointed out, is one way to achieve the upward scalability necessary to handle that sort of big data.

Sharples illustrated the synergies with a hypothetical insurance company that might want to develop a mobile application for reporting accidents and providing relevant information about the incident from the customer's mobile phone or even the car itself. Such an application would "have to be deployed at Web scale," which according to Sharples, can be done economically in the cloud.

This is indicative of the logic behind the JBoss Way as presented at yesterday's online event. Little said one of JBoss' major tenets is the maxim "Don't reinvent the wheel, hide it if you like, but use it." JBoss builds on open source projects which they then contribute back to as part of the open source community process. Openness, Little would agree, is also a major tenet of the JBoss Way.

In his presentation about the JBoss Way, Jason Porter, a senior software engineer at Red Hat, touted that simplification is also key. His opening example showed how the EJB session bean has been simplified from version 2 up to version 3. An EJB session bean in version 2 took three slides of code, whereas Porter says "an EJB 3.1 session bean is nothing more than a Pojo with an annotation. That's it."

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