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November 30, 2005

JBoss chief terms Sun open source move a hit at IBM

Saying he is "ecstatic" about Sun's move to open source its software stack, JBoss CEO Marc Fleury characterized the move as a strike against IBM, not JBoss.

By CBR Staff Writer

As the leader in the open source Java middleware space, it would be expected that Fleury would take the high road by terming the move a vindication of the open source/subscription model. Naturally, he took the bait. It’s a total validation of the business model that we’re following, Fleury said.

Of course, Sun has been inching up to today’s announcement for some time, having previously open sourced the Solaris OS and its Java application server. At JavaOne last summer, Sun announced its latest open source entry, Glassfish, an enterprise service bus that Sun would love to position as the reference implementation of Java Business Integration standard ratified by the JCP at that time.

But Fleury drew attention to the open sourcing of the SeeBeyond technology, now branded as Sun’s Java Integration Suite, as the crux of the announcement. This strikes at the heart of IBM’s business, which is integration.

To clarify, Sun is open sourcing the newer Java-based version of SeeBeyond’s integration products, not the legacy products. At the time that Sun acquired SeeBeyond late last spring, the Java line, formerly branded ICAN, accounted for about one third of SeeBeyond’s business.

Nonetheless, Fleury’s spin makes some sense when you consider that the SeeBeyond product line has stronger market penetration in its niche than the rest of Sun’s Java middleware stack. In other words, open sourcing the SeeBeyond Java Integration products could have potentially greater impact because there is more at stake.

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