Open source specialists JBoss Corp and the Apache Software Foundation have thrown their weight behind a Java standards effort abandoned by IBM Corp and BEA Systems Inc.
JBoss and ASF have joined integration specialist Iona Technologies Inc in working on a planned specification that promises to simplify development of integration software using Java, called Java Business Integration (JBI).
JBI, or Java Specification Request (JSR) 208, provides a standard messaging backbone into which Business Process Execution Language (BPEL), workflows, business rules, document transformation and business activity monitoring can be plugged.
The days of integration being a stand alone application are over, it has to move to the platform for developers to be more productive, said Sun’s senior director of product marketing for integration Roger Nolan.
Backing for the JSR from JBoss and ASF comes as open source moves into application integration. Nolan said JBoss and ASF would help lend technical and community backing.
Their membership, announced by Sun yesterday along with publication of an early draft of JSR 208, follows a recent decision by BEA and IBM to quit the JSR’s expert group.
Sun is clearly angered by the companies’ decision that, while possibly expected from IBM, was a surprise from BEA. IBM has been locked in an attempt to wrestle leadership of Java and the Java community away from systems adversary Sun.
Both BEA and IBM have been pressing integration with their Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) application servers.
Nolan accused BEA and IBM of standards voyeurism saying the companies wanted an early look at JSR 208 before its publication, and added that if JSR 208 is a success, then BEA and IBM would probably jump back in. They wanted to preserve customer bases and lock them in with proprietary extensions, Nolan said.
In a statement, IBM denied it is backing proprietary software, pointing to its support for BPEL. Explaining its decision to pull out of JSR 208, IBM said it was focusing efforts for business integration around other specifications that are further along such as BPEL. BEA chose not to comment.