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JBoss makes enterprise transaction play

Posted by iNext - 2005-12-06

JBoss on Monday is set to make enterprise transactional software part of its open source software portfolio. The company is announcing its acquisition of the ArjunaTS (Transaction Service) technology from Arjuna Technologies and Hewlett-Packard.
 
Geared toward the Java and Web services realms, Arjuna will be transitioned from a commercial product to an open source offering, renamed JBoss Transactions and added to the JBoss Enterprise Middleware System (JEMS).

The JBoss-branded version of the product will be introduced in the first quarter of 2006.

"What [Arjuna] does is it enables JBoss to offer an open source transaction service for distributed transaction management," said Shaun Connolly, JBoss vice president of product management.

Positioned for applications in financial services, insurance, and telecommunications, the Arjuna technology helps coordinate transactions over multiple databases and provides consistency. For example, it can ensure rollbacks in billing and shipping databases should a transaction fail.

The technology supports the WS-TX (Web Services Transactions) specification and distributed transaction management for Java. Web services backing provides transactional support for users developing Web services-based applications in an SOA, according to JBoss.

JBoss will sell subscriptions to the product, featuring training and consulting, or users can download it for free in an unsupported fashion. The company hopes to tackle the transaction application space that is currently the domain of BEA Systems' Tuxedo transaction software as well as IBM's Encina offering.

"[Tuxedo users who migrate will] be able to slash their cost by a factor of 10 or more, depending on how big their installation is," Connolly said.

By acquiring Arjuna's software, JBoss becomes a player in high-volume transaction processing, able to compete with IBM, BEA, and Oracle, said Richard Monson-Haefel, a senior analyst at the Burton Group.

"[The acquisition is] pretty significant because what it does is it actually puts JBoss in a field of play where they really haven't been able to compete, and that is in high-volume transaction processing systems," Monson-Haefel said. Arjuna's technology features a transaction processing monitor that can speak the language of Web services and SOA, he said.

JBoss' open source flag-waving has played well in enterprises by enabling them to address problems in software much faster, Monson-Haefel said.

"You can actually go in and modify the code," he said.

While open source has provided some cost savings to enterprises, openness has been the bigger benefit, Monson-Haefel said. "The bigger piece of the pie is there is no detergent like sunshine. You can see everything in the code and how the system works."

Part of the Arjuna offering, its Java transaction API for handing transactions in a single database, will be included in the JBoss application server.

"The technology will enhance our existing capabilities by adding full log-in and recovery [including] automated recovery [of transactions]. Right now, it's a manual process" in the application server, Connolly said.

As part of the acquisition, the chief architect at Arjuna, Mark Little, will move over to JBoss and become of the company's director of standards. The primary developer of the technology, Kevin Conner, also moves to JBoss and becomes a core developer of JBoss Transactions.

The transaction between JBoss, Arjuna and HP already has closed. JBoss did not reveal the monetary value of the deal.



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