Open for Business

Friday, July 01, 2005

Sun Microsystems on an open source spree

This week at JavaOne 2005 Sun Microsystems announced more open source initiatives following the Solaris announcement. Check out the GlassFish project.

I am happy to report that I heard "open source" at JavaOne almost as many times as Java. Thomas Kurian announced during his keynote Oracle's recent open source contributions to myFaces and EJB3.0, BEA's CTO talked about their collaboration with Spring and Geronimo (no mention of JBoss of course) and finally Sun open sourced its Java System Application Server Platform Edition 9.0 as well as Java Open Enterprise Service Bus (Open ESB). A couple of years ago I would have been very excited for the Java community to see this coming out of Sun but today I see it more as noise and confusion than anything else. Think about it, we got JBoss, Geronimo (J2EE certified this week), Tomcat, Java System Application Server Platform, JonAS and more. I am not sure too much choice is a good thing. Pretty soon BEA will announce Weblogic is open source too, they are not making money with this product anymore; in fact they aren't making money period!

Competition is good but if the only objective was to serve the Java/J2EE community and to create a strong open source J2EE platform, I would suggest that all (or most) of these open source app server initiatives unite to build a rock solid platform. The truth is every one of these projects has a different agenda and it's not always about serving the Java community. I can't wait to see some consolidation among open source app servers. I don't think J2EE developers need a dozen app servers; they want a couple that work very well and fit their requirements. Choice is good but too much choice is confusion.

This said I am quite excited about the ESB announcement I hope it's a good piece of technology, judging by the success of Sonic Software ESB-based architectures are becoming mainstream which means it's a good time to see open source ESBs in the market.