Thank you JBoss partners

Thank you JBoss partners. You made our decade.

In the open source world (and I would say increasingly in the software world in general), the success of a new technology begins with active and vibrant communities that crank out compelling and useful technologies.

When the technology gets out and increases in popularity, early customers begin to trust it and it faces the challenge of being adopted by the mainstream market, which is composed predominantly by customers who are pragmatists in nature and that find it difficult to use a new product unless it has support in the market (other customers) and it has an ecosystem of partnerships and alliances with other vendors that serve their industry.

That’s why partners are key to technology products. The larger the partner ecosystem, the more trust customers can have and the better the chances of widespread adoption.

JBoss had started to create that partner ecosystem before it became part of the Red Hat family back in 2006. Many things have happened since those early years, and we’ve probably done a few right things along the way, as Red Hat has become the first open source company to surpass the two-billion-dollar revenue mark, and for the fourth consecutive year we have been awarded a 5-Star rating in the CRN 2016 Partner Program Guide – where vendor applications are assessed based on investments in program offerings, partner profitability, partner training, education and support, marketing programs and resources, sales support, and communication.

However, at the end of the day, it is really the partners who decide which technology partners they choose to pursue success in the marketplace.

In anticipation of the launch of Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Application Platform 7 (JBoss EAP), and of the 10th anniversary of JBoss becoming part of the Red Hat family, we offered our partners the opportunity to tell the world about out our collaboration.

So don’t take our word for it. Let our partners do the talking.

We are fortunate to have partners that have worked with JBoss for a long, long time. Some of them, such as Vizuri, were a JBoss partner before it became part of the Red Hat product family. Joe Dickman, senior vice president, explains that the widespread adoption of JBoss in the marketplace, especially among Fortune 500 companies, is “a testament to the ‘power of community collaboration and innovation’ that Red Hat embodies, which has forever changed the way that software is developed and businesses operate.”

Another JBoss veteran is Viada in Germany. In words of Daniel Braunsdorf, CEO of Viada in Germany, “Ten years ago JBoss was the first open source application server being really ‘enterprise-ready’”, and today “we are talking about a full stack of middleware suite products serving our customers needs by giving them more flexibility, agility, and speed to deliver innovative applications.”

James Chinn, CEO of Shadow-Soft, sums it up well: “Over the last decade, JBoss has come a long way in terms of improving performance as well as truly innovating in regards to the way applications run and are managed. With the release of JBoss EAP 7 comes a host of new features including full support of Java EE 7 and Java SE 8 (…) Furthermore, JBoss EAP 7 has also been upgraded to reduce start-up time and optimize networking port utilization making it truly ideal for running within Linux containers.”

SCSK from Japan trust the power of JBoss EAP 7 to drive open standardization and TCO reduction. In the words of Hisanao Takei, Senior Executive Officer, “SCSK thinks JBoss EAP 7 is the best choice that customers want for building open and standard infrastructure and especially expects system TCO reduction for virtual and cloud environment.”

Red Hat JBoss Middleware is at the core of many mission critical systems. And being intimately related with the other Red Hat middleware products, such as Red Hat Fuse, enables our partners to support many different types of business customer needs. Hiroyuki Yamamoto, director at monoplus, Inc. in Japan, makes the point that “As business environments continue to evolve, we believe that JBoss Middleware will seamlessly contribute and support in the integration, co-operation and collaboration within businesses”.

Driven by the dynamism of information based sectors, it may be easy to forget that traditional businesses also need advanced enterprise systems to be successful. In such a traditional business as printing, our Japanese partner WingArc1st makes the point that “An enterprise printing platform needs to be highly reliable, stable and provide high performance for seamless operations,” and believe that “Red Hat Enterprise Linux and JBoss EAP 7 are important platforms” for the company’s SVF offering.

Matt Pavlovich, co-founder of Media Driver, abounds on how JBoss EAP 7 helps developers “to be more efficient by focusing their time on delivering business value versus fiddling with tech stacks.” No small feat, as he continues, “Whether it is deployed on-premise, in the cloud or via containers, JBoss EAP 7 provides deployment flexibility that can help DevOps teams avoid having to navigate tricky hurdles to get their environments up and running quickly.”

Regis Kuzel, senior vice president at LCN Services, takes pride at being an unbiased trusted advisor to their customers. “For LCN, the bottom line is you can’t do better than Red Hat JBoss EAP 7. It’s a well-thought-out platform. And it’s gaining market share because it works! We believe Red Hat JBoss EAP 7 is the best technology available at its core!”

In terms of innovation, Farhan Hussain, Founder and CEO, Open Source Architect has a clear view of the contribution of the new EAP7. “This new platform will help us provide reliable, cost-efficient and high-performing container-based solutions for on-site and cloud deployments, while enabling our joint customers to innovate and meet strict compliance, security, and regulatory requirements simultaneously!” says Farhan.

Heinz Wilming, Director, Red Hat JBoss Competence Center for our German partner akquinet, makes a point about the value that long term support provides to our common customers. As you are possibly aware, Red Hat JBoss Middleware product life cycles are generally three, five, or seven years in length, and for certain products can be extended by three (3) additional years (up to ten!), something not many vendors actually provide. In his words, “Long-lasting support, regular updates and interoperability ensure protection of investment and guaranteed future for both our customers and akquinet.”

Some of our partners have been supporting JBoss for a long time, and others have made investments more recently. This is the case of Opticca in Canada. Owner Ivan Cardona shares that “We’ve been deploying Middleware, SOA, and BPM platforms from the major providers for the past eight years. We’ve recently made a large investment In Red Hat’s JBoss solutions because our customers’ feedback led us to conclude open source is now a real option.”

A last word…

We are really happy we are getting this support from our partners. Many others share us in the 10th anniversary and you can learn more from our strategic alliances here. And find more in the JBoss partner ecosystem press release, here.

And for those that are still not in the ecosystem, please join us. We’re here to help you grow.

So let me conclude as I began.

Thank you, Red Hat partners. You made our decade. Ready for more?

PD: Keep reading here for blogs and additional quotes from partners worldwide about the new EAP7!

A Look at JBoss Core Services Collections

Middleware itself is a collection of services that enables developers to create applications and then those applications to run in an effective way. These services consist of things that are near-universal and applicable to any architecture or environment — things like messaging, transactions, logging, even management APIs.

That leads us to Red Hat JBoss Core Services Collection, which is a slightly newer (and easier) way of delivering some of the services that our customers require. Like the name says, this is a collection of common services that are critical for application developers, making it easier to design secure applications that are deployed in heterogeneous environments.

As of today, there are five services included with a JBoss Core Services Collection subscription:

  • JBoss Operations Network, a monitoring and management server which is designed to manage JBoss middleware and Java applications.
  • An integrated single sign-on server which supports SAML-based authentication, OAuth, and other open protocols for simplified authentication management
  • The ever-popular Apache HTTP server
  • The Apache Commons Jsvc daemon, which optimizes Java performance on Unix-based systems
  • Connectors for other web servers, such as Microsoft IIS and Oracle iPlanet

So, What’s the Deal?

To reiterate the purpose of middleware: Modern application development requires security, flexibility, and the ability to integrate with other applications and services.

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Summit Preview: JBoss EAP Highlights

Next week is Red Hat Summit / DevNation in San Francisco. And you can still register!

My last highlight post touched on the many sessions and labs related to Red Hat middleware that will be at Summit this year, but (for the eagle-eyed reader) there was something missing: any sessions related to Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Application Platform.

There is a reason. Back in December, JBoss EAP 7 Beta was released, and this marked a significant technology advancement. JBoss EAP 7 is based on the Java EE 7 spec, which introduces a number of improvements in data handling, transactions, and other performance and development areas. Additionally, JBoss EAP 7 itself adds a lot of new features and continues down its previous path for lightweight, modular, and highly-configurable server instances.

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“Tech Preview”: Undertow

The Internet of Things is a modern term of art for a relatively old concept (in technology time). The Internet of Things (IoT) is a way of virtualizing physical objects — of making those physical objects under the control of software-based systems.

An IoT environment is predicated on a strong communication design. The various objects need a way to communicate with an end user and (depending on the object and the architecture) with a central system or with other objects. There are different potential mechanisms for that communication, but a very simple and well-vetted method is an embeddable web server.

Like the name implies, this is a web (HTTP) server that is embedded within an application, that the application can use to interact both with external clients (as a typical web service) and with the device itself.

Wilfred Nilson, writing for embedded, the systems development site, had a really great description of an embeddable web server: it is “webbing traditional design.”

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Finding Value with (Red Hat) Subscriptions

Your business has probably purchased a lot of proprietary software the same way it purchases any other goods – you buy product A and install it on machine B. There was something like a warranty period, where you may receive a certain level of support or a replacement for serious issues, but otherwise, it was just a good that was purchased. If it doesn’t meet your needs, you go out and buy something else – even if it is the same product just a version or two later.

But with open source, there’s a slightly different approach. There has to be. Unlike proprietary software, where the software is the product, with open source software, everything is already out there and available. And not just the end package; the sourcecode itself is freely available to your engineering department.

According to Gartner, 95% of companies are using open source software, so it is entirely reasonable to ask what are we purchasing?

What open source companies (like Red Hat) offer you isn’t a product; it’s an ecosystem of improvement and support.

A License Isn’t a Subscription

One thing to clarify – a software license is not the same thing as a software subscription.

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ICYMI: A Better App Server Translates into Better Productivity

In case you missed it, there is an infographic based on research from IDC that IDC and Red Hat released, nicely illustrating the business value of Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Application Platform 6.

idc-value-of-jboss-eap

Continue reading “ICYMI: A Better App Server Translates into Better Productivity”

If All Men Were Angels…

If all men were angels, no government would be necessary.

James Madison made the case that no system is perfect precisely because people aren’t perfect. That was, admittedly, a defense of a political revolutionary moment, but it holds true in software design as well.

Mark Little, vice president of engineering for middleware at Red Hat, has a blog post on this topic this week on jboss.org. The entire post is terrific (and readably brief), but there are a couple of points worth highlighting. His premise starts with the idea of what causes (or devolves) a system into a monolith, and he points to this:

Lack of architect (leadership); the original architect(s) leave the project and those who come in to replace them (if they are replaced) can’t control the developers or perhaps don’t understand the architecture enough to ensure it remains “pure”. Likewise, different developers coming into the project to either add to or replace those there already, can dilute the group knowledge and understanding of the architecture, leading to unforeseen and accidental divergence from the original plan.

What leads to an inflexible, centralized monolith application is, ironically, a lack of central vision. Mark sums it up with a really good point about the risks in microservice architectures:

I believe in and understand the need for distributed systems composed of (micro) services. However, what worries me about some of the current emphasis around microservices is that somehow they will naturally result in a better architecture. That’s simply not the case. If you don’t put in to place the right processes, design reviews, architecture reviews, architects etc. to prevent or forestall a local monolith then you’ve no hope of achieving a good microservices architecture. [emphasis added]

This is such an amazing point, it bears repeating. There is frequently this unspoken, sometimes unrecognized, belief that The Next Good Thing will some how solve all of the issues of the Last Good Thing without requiring special effort. But there are no perfect systems — clear planning, good communication, good team processes are required no matter what architectural pattern you’re using to develop your applications.

 

“Tech Preview”: A Look at Wildfly Swarm

The story of Wildfly Swarm, from a business perspective, is kind of a story of microservices. Microservices are small, isolated, and focused service applications; as an architecture, microservices is an approach that decomposes larger systems into those smaller, focused, isolated services. These services talk to each other through a shared, common API, but are otherwise independent in design and deployment. Microservices, then, are frequently aligned with DevOps – which uses small, agile teams to quickly develop and push software for continuous integration (of systems) and continuous delivery (of software).

But what is Wildfly Swarm, in that context.

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Intro to Microservices

An increasingly common buzzword in cloud computing is microservices. Like a lot of things associated with cloud technologies, a precise definition is difficult to find — and it can mean a lot of things to a lot of different people, depending on the context. Since this is a blog devoted to middleware issues, I want to define microservices within the context of that middle layer in computing, for application development.

A Definition

Microservices is an architectural approach for a software system. Meaning, it defines how individual services fit together and how those services are constructed (like, general constraints or best practices). What sets microservices apart from other architectural approaches is that it treats each service as a discrete and independent part of the architecture. That means that services themselves (within that system) have very clear definitions:

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Choosing a Java EE Application Platform, Pt. 2: Technical Considerations

Part 1 looks at a handful of business considerations that you need to account for when you’re looking at Java EE application platforms — but that is only a part of selecting anything for your IT environment. In addition to treating an IT decision as a capital asset, your planning has to include technical factors: current and future development models, different types of applications, even rapid data processing.

Success today depends on achieving high levels of agility and flexibility. Major technology trends like mobile, the Internet of Things, and big data rely on lightweight, iterative environments like virtualization, cloud, and containers. This is  forcing organizations to rethink their  application development and deployment processes, application architecture designs, and choice of technologies used to build and run applications.

Continue reading “Choosing a Java EE Application Platform, Pt. 2: Technical Considerations”