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ObjectWeb boasts open-source alternative to IBM and BEA

ObjectWeb, the open-source infrastructure consortium, announced this week that it has added eXo Platform SARL to its roster. The privately held French company provides support and services for the eXo Platform, an open-source enterprise portal, which will now be hosted by ObjectWeb.

"With this new addition to the ObjectWeb code base, we are now covering all technology needed to provide a true alternative to proprietary products like [BEA] WebLogic and [IBM] WebSphere," says Christophe Ney, executive director, ObjectWeb.

"Going inside the ObjectWeb consortium will provide us with more visibility, and a larger integrated application on which to leverage ObjectWeb open source projects," says Benjamin Mestrallet, CEO of eXo Platform SARL.

Started as an open-source initiative in 1999 by Bull, France Telecom and INRIA, ObjectWeb became a worldwide middleware consortium in 2002. According to the group, ObjectWeb "targets alternative solutions to proprietary products for e-business, EAI, data connectivity, grid computing, and enterprise messaging." Based on open standards, ObjectWeb's middleware includes application servers, components, frameworks and tools. The group is probably best known for its involvement with JOnAS, an open-source implementation of the J2EE specification, but its work encompasses some 50 open-source initiatives, including JORAM, a message-oriented middleware with JMS/SOAP connectors; and Enhydra, a Java/XML application server.

"In 2004 we've seen a lot of contributions going beyond J2EE,” Ney says. "Before this year, the main contributions we received were for implementing J2EE standards. But with JoNAS going more and more mature, we've seen new contributions on top of J2EE, including workflow engines, BPEL engines, and content management components.

Recent contributions to the consortium include the Byline collaborative content management tool formerly known as Red Hat CCM, which was contributed by Red Hat; and MOBE, a business process execution engine with support for the Business Process Execution Language specification, which was developed by Dutch company eMaxx.

The eXo Platform is an open-source enterprise portal designed to enable users to have a customized single point of access to information systems and resources. It brings a web application suite layer to the ObjectWeb software stack.

"We believe that, with eXo, we have a very mature piece of technology that will ease the federation of the community around one code base," says Ney, "and that will help us to leverage the stack that can be assembled with ObjectWeb components. The strong integration between all these components is enhanced by the ability to deploy the eXo Platform on JOnAS, leveraging the advantages of this application server, including scalability and high availability."

The full source code of eXo Platform is now available for download from the ObjectWeb Web site under the GNU General Public License, and can be embedded, modified and/or redistributed freely under the terms of this license.

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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