Rounding out its middleware stack, JBoss has acquired the rights to Java transaction server technology that was jointly owned by Hewlett-Packard and the Newcastle, UK company that invented it, Arjuna.
With the acquisition, JBoss will make the technology available as open source, selling subscriptions for it as standalone product and as part of an enterprise edition the JBoss JEMS suite. In so doing, JBoss will replace its existing Java Transaction API (JTA), which was underpowered compared to the Arjuna technology.
Until now, the JBoss server could manage transactions against a single database. The Arjuna acquisition gives it the capability to manage distributed transactions across multiple databases. As part of the package, JBoss gains automated failover and logging capabilities, plus the ability to manage multiple web services transactions that might be choreographed using BPEL (Business Process Execution Language).
In effect, the acquisition closes the circle, as Arjuna had previously been acquired by Bluestone, a J2EE also-ran, just prior to its October 2000 acquisition by HP. The technology, developed by a team that came out of the University of Newcastle, developed the first Java-based alternative to IBM’s Encina and BEA’s Tuxedo distributed transaction monitors.
However, when HP was unable to capitalize on the Bluestone acquisition, it divested Arjuna back to the founders but retained joint rights to the technology. With several Bluestone alumni having joined JBoss, the latest acquisition represents a repeat of history.
This time around, Arjuna the company remains independent. Over the past year, it has signed OEM agreements with webMethods and Pramati, an Indian J2EE server provider, in addition to its existing relationship as JBoss partner. However, as part of the deal, Arjuna’s Mark Little, who is active in Oasis web services standards efforts, such as the Web Services Composite Application Framework (WS-CAF), will join JBoss.