Friday, February 01, 2008

The State of JBoss and the Upcoming JBoss World

Lately, it seems like the world views JBoss as a failed acquisition by Red Hat. Failed by a couple of measures in fact. The first being sales of our subscriptions, and the second being that we are no longer innovating. I wanted to take the time to address both of those items.

Where sales is concerned, I believe this was the biggest problem with the integration of JBoss into Red Hat. There for a time, sales really did lag, and things weren't looking very good. We had lots of experienced middle-ware sales people leave as a result of the integration into the larger Red Hat sales organization. I also believe that Red Hat didn't truly understand that the sales process and cycle were different for middle-ware than it was for RHEL. Having said that, I now see that Red Hat truly does understand the differences (some people just have to learn the hard way), and while the losses of good, experienced middle-ware sales folks probably still hurts some, we are seeing a major turn around in this area. While I cannot publicly talk about the actual sales figures (we are a public company after all), I can say that sales of JBoss subscriptions are growing, and have been growing for quite a while now. Demand for training and consulting is also strong. So, the picture is looking bright, and brighter all the time. I believe the company has learned a hard lesson, and the resultant actions from that lesson is now paying off, and will continue to pay off in the future.

Now, let's turn our focus to innovation. Has innovation really stopped at JBoss, or at least come to a very slow crawl. I really take issue with that. Since the acquisition, we have changed our product model somewhat, which certainly slowed some other things down, but when you look at what we have accomplished, its actually quite amazing.

First, we released our first two products under our new product model, with our Enterprise Application Platform 4.2 (In July of last year), and the very recent Enterprise Platform 4.3 (EAP for short). Our EAP 4.3 release contains the very latest in Java Web Services, with fully supported JAX-WS and JSR-181 annotation support, as well as an entirely new JMS implementation based on our JBoss Messaging technology.

With JBoss Messaging, you now have a JMS provider that can be horizontally scaled in a cluster, with fully transparent load balancing and fail-over. Also, performance is substantially enhanced over the old (and now retired) JBossMQ. For those of you that have experience with JBossMQ in a cluster, with its band-aid approach to clustering and fail-over, you will definitely appreciate JBoss Messaging. This is a world-class messaging system, and certainly a shining example of innovation from JBoss.

Second, we have also released a new version of our Portal platform, JBoss Portal 2.6, and it includes much better usability, manageability, and capabilities to support newer technologies, like Google Gadgets.

Third, we have released our JBoss Communications Platform, based on our Mobicents open source project, providing the only enterprise class JSLEE implementation in the world. With ongoing enhancements, the next platform release will also support the very latest SIP servlets specification as well, so you can start out with SIP servlets, and move up to full JSLEE as you need. This is a revolutionary platform for telecommunications, and another shining example of the innovation coming from JBoss.

Fourth, we have released our JBoss ESB, into the community, and as we speak we are working hard on delivering our SOA Platform product based on JBoss ESB. This product will have a very large impact on the ESB/SOA marketplace, as the first truly enterprise class open source product in the market (and yes I don't count MuleSource and Service Mix, because they don't have the kind of support organization that we have). This will be a game changer!

Last but not least, we also delivered JBoss Developer Studio. I can't say enough about this accomplishment. The developers deserve all the credit for getting this to market. It fills a huge hole in our product portfolio, and makes it that much easier for IT managers to move to JBoss technology.

And that's not all. There are many other things in the works at the JBoss division of Red Hat, and for that, you should consider coming to JBoss World. We are having a JBoss World in Orlando, starting on February 13th, and I believe there is one more week to register. I would encourage everyone that can to come, and check out all the exciting things happening with JBoss, and I think you will be convinced that we are still innovating, and there are lots of reasons to consider JBoss technology for your projects.

No comments: