SOA Software and Red Hat Partner To Support Web Services on JBoss

SOA Software and Red Hat are teaming up to give customers deploying Web services on the open-source JBoss application server a set of tools for governance, security, management and mediation, the two companies disclosed this week.

The partnership will make it possible for customers to use the SOA Software Infrastructure Suite with the JBoss Application Server. Specifically, those deploying service-oriented architecture (SOA) applications on Red Hat's JBoss Enterprise Middleware will be able to utilize the capabilities of SOA Software's Service Manager and WorkBench products.

The JBoss middleware product is an extensible set of OSS for creating and deploying Web apps, rich Internet applications and Web Services. SOA Software's Service Manager and WorkBench products provide tools for authentication and authorization, privacy and non-repudiation, and lifecycle management and workflow, among other features.

"The era of Open Source SOA is here," stated Roberto Medrano, EVP of SOA Software, in the partnership announcement. "...Our large customers are increasingly searching for complete SOA solutions extending beyond the conventional large platform vendor universe, and our partnership with JBoss fills that need very nicely...."

From SOA Software's perspective, there's little downside to this deal, observed ZapThink senior analyst Jason Bloomberg, because working with open-source middleware provides the company with a reference implementation for its customers who lack sufficient commercial middleware.

"But the real subtext here is that the Red Hat/JBoss combo has been a very weak player in the open-source SOA marketplace," Bloomberg added. "So from their perspective, a partnership with SOA Software might help them get a leg up. However, partnering with a commercial software vendor is a risky move, because it dilutes the open-source value proposition."

Neil Macehiter, research director at Macehiter Ward-Dutton, agreed that the proprietary-open source partnership has its disadvantages.

"Customers will be purchasing licensed technology from SOA Software and subscription-based support from JBoss, which adds additional complexity," Macehiter said.

Moreover, Red Hat isn't the only viable open-source SOA infrastructure vendor, Bloomberg pointed out. In fact, SOA-focused vendors such as WSO2 and LogicBlaze are "running circles" around them, he said.

"While LogicBlaze has been struggling, we expect companies like WSO2 to increase their lead over Red Hat," Bloomberg added, "because of their deep expertise in the SOA world -- expertise Red Hat is looking to SOA Software to help provide."

Still, because SOA Software is attempting to position itself as a pure-play SOA alternative to the big players -- IBM, Oracle, etc. -- this partnership supports that strategy, Macehiter observed, especially given that Red Hat is the dominant enterprise Linux play. He sees Medrano's comment about "the era of Open Source SOA" as little more than a reflection of the fact that this partnership is with Red Hat/JBoss. However, he expects the partnership to bolster SOA Software's competitive position against the other big pure-play SOA alternative, Progress Software. Progress acquired Actional some time ago for Web services management.

"I think the two companies [SOA Software and Red Hat] together are more competitive than they were separately by virtue of their complementary technologies and the fact that [the partnership] will take them into potentially new accounts," Macehiter said.

Customers can use SOA Software's Infrastructure Suite with the JBoss Application Server today. SOA Software plans to extend its support to JBoss enterprise service bus in the future.

About the Author

John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached at [email protected].