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JBoss Group developers head for greener open-source pastures

On the eve of JavaOne, several executives from the JBoss Group, the Atlanta-based open-source company, publicly announced the termination of their contracts and their intention to launch a new company called Core Developers Network (CDN). The group unofficially hung out its shingle last week with a preliminary, online launch of the company, which, according to two of its founders, was established to support enterprise open-source Java software.

According to co-founders Dain Sundstrom and Jeremy Boynes, Core Developers Network was established so that they and their five partners could focus on the integration of open-source projects, rather than on the JBoss application server alone, which is the business model of JBoss Group.

"We are trying to expand beyond a single product-vendor view into all of the enterprise tools that we run into as we work with customers," Sundstrom said, "everything from build systems to the internals of an app server."

"Our intention is to deal with all of the open-source applications that enterprise customers will be using," added Boynes.

Both Sundstrom and Boynes worked with the JBoss Group, as did all but one of the founders of the new company, the two said. Beyond the new business focus, each founder left for "personal reasons" on which neither Sundstrom nor Boynes would comment. "Each of our partners has a personal reason for coming to this project," Boynes said. "But if there's one thing we all have in common, it's the desire to work at a company founded on the core values described on our Web site."

Those values grew out of the "idea that personal integrity ultimately determines success in business," proclaims the CDN Web site. It lists openness, fairness and a belief in the value of pushing "for continuous improvement in everything we do," among its core operating standards.

"But the biggest issue with our split with JBoss Group," Boynes said, "is the differences in our visions, our desire to cover the entire enterprise application space and not to work with a single brand."

The new company will also deal with integration into closed-source systems that are prevalent in enterprise customer technology, such as Oracle, where the integration between an open-source solution and mainstream enterprise technology presents a significant and painful hurdle, Boynes said.

"There are so many integration points to the app server that we need to be more open to these other products that we're interacting with every day," Sundstrom added.

Many of the new company's partners are core developers with "cvs commit" privileges on the JBoss project, Sundstrom said. Partners also have participated in the Apache Jakarta project, the Jetty project and XDoclet.

Headquartered in Minnesota, Core Developers Network comprises a widely distributed group with a presence in Silicon Valley, the East Coast and Europe. "We are the true Internet virtual corporation," Boynes said.

About the Author

John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached at john@watersworks.com.

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