Competition is emerging in the open source middleware market after JBoss began driving a business process management engine project, just weeks after the Apache Software Foundation advanced a separate BPM initiative.
JBoss is today expected to announce release of jBpm version 2.0 having acquired the project along with project founder and leader Tom Baeyens.
JBoss’ vice president of corporate development Bob Bickle sad JBoss is taking on jBpm as part of its campaign to provide professional open source middleware. We have real product support capabilities for our customers. If there’s a problem, we can support it because we have the people and we can put that bug fix into the next version, Bickle said.
JBoss’s decision to take-over jBpm follows submission of open source BPM project Agila to the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) by open source middleware ISV Gluecode Software Inc. ASF has accepted Agila as an incubator project, where ASF will attempt to gauge level of community interest.
The prospect of two middleware BPM projects raises the prospect of competition between the two.
Bickle said jBpm had an advantage because of its length of time in the market – the project has existed for a year, while there have been 30,000 downlaods, while Agila is still relatively new. [Agila is] starting from ground zero where as we are starting from project with very large user community, and shipping as a product level product for a year now. We are in the market leader position, Bickle said.
Gluecode chief executive Winston Damarillo called jBpm a good product but noted Agila had a good chance of achieving broad marketing acceptance, having been accepted by ASF. Apache is home to some of the internet’s most popular open source projects. We are hoping for [Agila] to have global and wide spread adoption. That’s why we submitted to Apache. Damarillo said.
While ASF has yet to formally put Agila into full-scale project mode, JBoss is taking an aggressive, and focused line with jBpm. A third version of jBpm is planned for the first quarter of 2005, providing BPEL, visual esigner and process manager to make a process definiation and automatically generate a web application. jBpm will tie in with JBoss’ Nukes open source portal project.