JBoss chief admits EAP 5.0 launch is better late than never

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Yesterday’s application server launch provides JBoss with a foundation for growth, tighter integration with Red Hat and cloud computing penetration

Following on from the final, commercial release of its JBoss Enterprise Application Platform 5.0 (EAP 5.0) late yesterday, the chief of the Red Hat middleware subsidiary was keen to talk up its strategic importance.

Originally due in the first half of 2007 and first launched as a community edition in December 2008, EAP 5.0 promises to offer both developers a wider choice of application programming language support and a number of profiles suited to different workloads and configurations under the JBoss “Open Choice” banner.

But, when eWEEK Europe questioned Red Hat middlware vice president, Craig Muzilla about the launch, he was quick to defend its development delays.

“This architecture sets us on a foundation for doing cloud computing, so that, as people start to deploy their applications in clouds, from Amazon or those that will run internally, we have capabilities that proprietary vendors just don’t have in place yet,” he said.

Muzilla admitted: “It’s been a long time in coming, but I think it’ll have a lot of benefits for us and customers in the long run.”

He continued, explaining: “It was a complete re-architecture – Dr Scott Stark [JBoss developer] and Adrian Brock [JBoss chief scientist] developed an even more modular way to develop application servers than JBoss used to offer, which gives us a lot more flexibility for the future.

“Instead of saying we’ll keep our core application server going and develop this new one on the side, we took the risk and bet 100 per cent on this new architecture because we believe in it. But it’s taken us over three years to develop.”

But Muzilla argued the gamble would put JBoss in a much better position to handle computing developments like virtualisation and cloud computing in future, “because if IBM or Oracle want to do something like this, they are going to have to make a major investment to change their architecture to do what we’ve done”.

Strategically, he said this release would also prove very important to Red Hat: “Before, Red Hat was basically a Linux company, which is not necessarily a bad thing. But companies are looking for a more end-to-end experience. So it was important for a operating system company to have a relationship with the application developers and architects, as well as the data centre guys in order to drive greater operating system adoption.”

Muzilla added that EAP 5.0 would allow Red Hat to offer more multi-tenancy based functionality in the cloud and making links between the middleware and operating system layers of cloud infrastructures for quicker, easier deployment, configuration and management.