The strategic alliance announced between open source Java application server provider JBoss Group and IT integration company Iona Technologies may not prove productive, with JBoss the bigger loser.
The two companies hailed the deal as widening the JBoss application server's appeal through Iona's enterprise-level services including consulting, training and support.
But Gary Barnett, principal analyst at Ovum, told vnunet.com: "Iona has little or no credibility as a commercial application server vendor. It will bring very little to JBoss."
Iona has recently downsized. At the start of 2003, its own figures showed that it had only 45 consultants out of under 200 employees to cover a worldwide customer base of 4,500 users.
Yet Marc Fleury, JBoss founder and president, reassured customers by stating that Iona is extremely capable of supporting the JBoss platform in complex, heterogeneous, mission-critical environments.
Iona chief executive Chris Horn suggested that JBoss' estimated four million downloads demonstrated the overwhelming need and benefit of open source Java 2 Enterprise Edition technology.
Iona would be able to bundle JBoss support with its current enterprise customer agreements for its Orbix and Artix integration products, he added.
Barnett expected the move to benefit Iona in terms of publicity and mind share, but was concerned that this might have more to do with refinancing and attracting shareholders.
JBoss needed to forge a partnership with a major infrastructure company such as IBM, according to the analyst.
"It is of great interest to Red Hat or Novell-SuSE because they need a highly tuned Java application server on Linux - geeky stuff like Linux threading to make it Java-friendly - that JBoss could provide," he said.
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