Red Hat today said that it has purchased Jboss for about $420m. Jboss makes one of the largest open source Java application servers.
Jboss is said to have been on the auctioning block for some time now, and evil tongues for years have been saying that the company was struggling to find paying customers and attract developers to its software.
The companies in their press release mumbled some about Red Hat readying the world for open source Service Oriented Architectures (SOAs), but that seems mostly a PR strategy to recruit some hype words to cover up some obvious and large gaps in this story:
- Jboss' flagship product is an application server.
- Red Hat in 2004 launched an application server based on the (competing) JOnAS technology.
- Jboss portays itself as a middleware vendor offering, among things, a portal and messaging server.
- Red hat in 2004 acquired the Netscape Enterprise Suite and ever since has been releasing parts of the suite as open source and has launched a directory and identity server based on that code (that is: middleware)
- In a rare comment about the overlapping portfolios, Red Hat CEO Matthew Szulik said that he expected to continue the work on JOnAS, but declined to comment on plans for product integration.
It's doubtful that Red Hat has built up a large customer base with its middleware portfolio, but that doesn’t take away the fact that there are some large overlaps in the software that the two companies offer.
That alone is reason enough for current users to start pressing Red Hat for details on their plans.
Jboss CEO Marc Fleury, last week during a panel discussion at Linuxworld in Boston
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