News that Novell Inc is retiring its own exteNd Application Server in favor of JBoss Inc’s open source JBoss AS almost got lost this week amid the excitement surrounding its release of SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 9.
The move is significant for Atlanta, Georgia-based JBoss as it gives it an easy route to Waltham, Massachusetts-based Novell’s NetWare and exteNd service-oriented architecture solution installed base.
This week Novell also announced release 5.2 of exteNd, which will be the last to include the exteNd Application Server product it acquired with SilverStream Software Inc in June 2002. The exteNd 5.2 suite includes tools to integrate disparate systems through identity-based portal services.
The SOA suite currently deploys to exteNd Application Server as well as IBM Corp’s WebSphere, BEA Corp’s WebLogic, the Apache Software Foundation’s Jakarta Tomcat, and now also JBoss AS.
Support for JBoss AS will be expanded in the next version of exteNd, due at the end of 2005, when the exteNd Application Server will be replaced with version 4.x of JBoss AS. At that time, Novell said, it will continue to support the exteNd Application Server, as well as WebSphere, WebLogic and Jakarta Tomcat, but will produce no new releases.
According to Novell, migration between exteNd Application Server and JBoss AS will be eased by the fact that they are both Java 2 Enterprise Edition compliant, although the company will also be providing a series of white papers and technical guides as well as JBoss-specific migration services.
As previously reported, JBoss AS is also being bundled with Novell’s new SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 9, giving Novell a Linux-based Java application server to compete with rival Red Hat Inc’s new Red Hat Application Server.
The adoption of JBoss AS builds on a deal struck between the two companies in July through which Novell agreed to provide technical support for customers deploying JBoss AS and JBoss agreed to support exteNd. It is not the first time that a significant web services player has ditched its own application server for JBoss. In November 2003 Iona Technologies Inc did just that.