Tech Industry

JBoss joins Java community process

The upstart open-source software provider says it will participate as a company in Java technical committees in another effort to improve its standing in the Java community.

Open-source Java software company JBoss Group said on Monday that it will participate in the Sun Microsystems-controlled process that dictates the technical direction of Java software.

Developers from the JBoss Group have attended technical committees within the Java Community Process, the formal structure for enhancing Java software specifications, the blueprints for actual Java products. Now, JBoss has decided to pay the $5,000 required to join the process as a company rather than as an individual.

The move should allow other JBoss developers to participate in technical committees and demonstrates JBoss' commitment to the Java standardization process, said Bill Burke, chief architect at JBoss.

JBoss, an open-source software company, for years has been at odds with Java steward Sun, which has even threatened legal action against JBoss.

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The contention stems from JBoss' use of the Java standard called Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) in promotional materials. JBoss has caught on with Java developers, because it allows programmers to be productive in building relatively sophisticated Java applications based on the J2EE standard. JBoss Group is the commercial company that sells consulting services around the JBoss software, which is given away freely.

JBoss says its software is compatible with the Java standard but that it has not gone through the formal process--and expense--of gaining J2EE certification from Sun, which controls the J2EE specification and brand. J2EE certification is valuable to corporations that want to ensure that software written according to the standard can work with other commercial J2EE products.

Sun and JBoss have sought to come to terms on licensing terms for the testing suites that are required to gain the official logo that denotes J2EE compliance, but no agreement has yet been reached. Burke said JBoss Group intends to make the investment necessary to gain the official certification, but the company is still waiting for Sun's legal department to finalize contract terms.

JBoss intends to participate in a number of technical aspects of the J2EE specification in the Java Community Process, Burke said. The company's representatives will work on JCache, a system for speeding up application performance through caching, and on committees that deal with aspect-oriented programming for Java. JBoss also hopes to get a seat at the J2EE expert committee, which decides when work from various subcommittees will be included in the base J2EE specification, Burke said.

Sun on Monday confirmed that JBoss had joined the Java Community Process.