A month or so ago I saw a press release that discussed how JBoss was working with iWay to "bring a full range of information management capabilities to global organizations" and didn't think much of it. In fact, I thought so little that I just ignored it until today someone mentioned that they couldn't find that release on the RedHat website. After a bit of digging we figured out that it must have been an iWay release and that RH decided to lump it into a bigger press release about their SOA (service oriented architecture) platform.
In the Red Hat release there are a number of new JBoss partners, only one of whom has any open source products. The real IT world has both open source and proprietary products and they all need to work together. And lots of companies use the JBoss app server very successfully with all kinds of applications.
But the SOA products have been a bit slow out of the gate and so it's the iWay partnership that I find interesting as it begs a few important questions.
Does JBoss not have connectors that support the needs of the enterprise?
If not, why isn't the community developing them (assuming there is a community for the SOA products.)
Why partner with a company that is not open source, and doesn't offer open source versions of their products for your "open source SOA platform"?
Market realities aside, this sends mixed messages that either the product can't function well enough on its own, or that open source can't deliver a full SOA solution set.
Does this mean that JBoss doesn't think there can be a fully open source SOA platform?
What happened to the press release?
Maybe this is what the new VP of marketing meant about the marketing "hiccups":>. Or maybe this is what Bob Bickel (a real JBoss insider) means in this comment on ZDNet
The issue was in reconciling the JBoss and and RHT Marketing approaches. RHT clamped the very efficent marketing machine that JBoss had developed.
Personally, I think that if you subscribe to the SOA notions of IT gaining control over heterogeneous environments (I'm using editoral license to over simplify) I don't see how you can't use open source. Just like how the "stack" vendors want you to buy all their stuff defeats much of the purpose, so does reliance on closed systems.
Disclosure: my company develops and sells open source software and may/may not compete with JBoss. It's hard to comment on these things objectively. Apologies in advance.