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In many cases, the end of the year gives you time to step back and take stock of the last 12 months. This is when many of us take a hard look at what worked and what did not, complete performance reviews, and formulate plans for the coming year. For me, it is all of those things plus a time when I u...
The i-Technology World Goes Interop: Sun-Microsoft / JBoss-Microsoft
The Developer Community, Though, Exhibits Its Customary Skepticism

In the very same week that Sun has just shipped its MS-Compatible StarOffice 8, another chapter in the interoperability book was opened when JBoss and Microsoft announced plans yesterday to explore enhanced interoperability between their respective JBoss Enterprise Middleware System (JEMS) and Microsoft's Windows Server products.

While the two companies will continue to compete for software developers with their respective Java and Microsoft .NET offerings, the companies said in a statement that they are "exploring opportunities to improve interoperability and ensure an optimized experience for customers using JBoss on the Windows Server platform."

The cooperative effort, the statement continued, "seeks to provide customers with richer functionality and better integration, resulting in a lower cost of ownership."

The Java community erupted with its customary skepticism. Charges of co-option and worse rang round the online communities and weblogs of the world.

While Microsoft technonology evangelist Robert Scoble chirruped "Nice to see this! Oh, it's nice to see that even Open Source developers can make money on Windows. JBoss has about half of their customers on Windows," and JBoss's own Marc Fleury - pictured above - called it a "dynamite of an announcement" ("The big-ness of it, the beauty of it, the surprise of it," he mused, in his blog) not everyone was equally delighted.

"What is the appropriate response when you are offered a hand that started out with a knife in it?" asked one poster to the online discussion forum Slashdot; "The appropriate response is to look for the knife in the other hand," came the immediate response from another. "I am trying hard to think of a company MS partnered with but didn't stab in the back. I can't think of one," wrote a third.

The two companies, meantime, were striking a very upbeat note. Shaun Connolly, vice president of product management at JBoss, said:

"Our alliance with Microsoft underscores JBoss' long-standing focus on fulfilling customer demand. With nearly half our customer base deploying JEMS on Windows Server, either solely or in conjunction with other platforms, it makes sense for us to provide the best experience possible for our mutual customers."
While Bill Hilf, director of platform technology strategy at Microsoft (pictured), said:  
"JBoss is experiencing tremendous growth and is a driving force of consolidation of the Java space. So it makes sense to work with them on interoperability and optimizing for the Windows Server platform."
The technology engagement between the two companies is expected to include technical assistance and architectural guidance on the following features:

  • Microsoft Active Directory: Integrated sign on and federated identity
  • Web services: Interoperability using WS-* Web services architecture
  • Management: A Management Pack for Microsoft Operations Manager
  • SQL Server: Optimized performance for users of Hibernate, JBoss' object/relational mapping technology, and Enterprise JavaBeans 3.0

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