At Red Hat Summit and JBoss World in Boston last week Red Hat Inc. released a new version of its portal platform, which supports numerous open-source standards, including such lightweight Web application tool sets as Seam, Spring, Ruby, Groovy and PHP.
Support of these varied Web application frameworks for portal building is another step in Red Hat's one-year-old "Open Choice" program, which takes the company far beyond its original JBoss J2EE application server platform base.
In recent years, lightweight frameworks have increasingly come into play for Web applications in which full-fledged J2EE or J EE frameworks may be overkill.
"The ability to support multiple programming models - to choose the right approach for the right job, to use lightweight tools or dynamic languages to suit different problems - is something very important that we are adopting to do the work we do," said Paul Daugherty, Management Director Advanced Systems and Technology at consultancy Accenture. He indicated that his customers are increasingly committed to deploying open-source software, and that ever-more-sophisticated middleware is part of that trend.
The "Open Choice' Approach, first described at last year's JBoss user conference, centers around a core JBoss Microcontainer that can interface to various programming models. Its open APIs can make it relatively easy to put a functioning lightweight application together, according to Dennis Callaghan, Analyst, Enterprise Software, The 451 Group.
"The big issue when JBoss first embraced the microcontainer strategy was that it was a competitive response to what SpringSource [now part of VMWare] had been doing," said Callaghan, pointing to that company's lightweight – compared, for example, to J EE - implementation of the Spring application framework running on Tomcat.
"You want a lightweight application to be able to connect to a portal," said Callaghan, referring to last week's announcement. "The fact that Red Hat JBoss is supporting the dynamic languages is significant," he said, giving JBoss positive marks for openness of implementation.
"We will offer our products in different footprints. Companies are beginning to deploy lighter-weight implementations," said Red Hat's Craig Muzilla, Vice President and General Manager for Middleware. He noted that the company's microcontainer architecture will be apt for use in emerging cloud applications, which formed another major area of interest at Red Hat Summit and JBoss World. At the event, Red Hat announced Red Hat Cloud Foundations for planning, building and managing public and private clouds.
JBoss Enterprise Portal Platform 5.0 is part of the JBoss Enterprise Middleware and JBoss Enterprise SOA portfolio and is supported by the JBoss Developer Studio software. A technical preview of the JBoss Enterprise Portal Platform Site Publisher was also discussed at the Boston event.