Microsoft fleshed out its pledge to make its products compatible with other platforms last week by signing an agreement with JBoss, a company specialising in open source application servers. The companies will work together to enhance interoperability between the JBoss Enterprise Middleware System and the Microsoft Windows Server product range.
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The cooperative effort aims to provide users with richer functionality and better integration, resulting in a lower cost of ownership, the two companies said.
Among the technologies being considered is Microsoft Active Directory for integrated sign-on with federated identity and web services interoperability using WS-* web services architecture.
Microsoft and JBoss are also investigating how Microsoft Operations Manager can be used to manage JBoss applications and support for SQL Server within Hibernate, JBoss' object/relational mapping technology, and Enterprise Javabeans 3.0.
Users of JBoss include Continental Airlines, BASF, Lastminute.com, the French Inland Revenue Service, Starwood Hotels and the US Navy.
This is the latest move by Microsoft to provide greater support of open source products. Speaking to Computer Weekly, Martin Taylor, general manager, platform strategy at Microsoft, said, "There are not any global [businesses] that run one operating system. We work hard on interoperability."
He said more than half of JBoss users ran the application server on top of Windows. "We have to build software that is interoperable out of the box," he said.
Microsoft is currently working on the XML support in SQL Server 2005, which is due out in November. It has also produced a meta directory, which allows the Active Directory to work alongside LDAP-based directories. In conjunction with software firm Vintla, Microsoft is providing a mechanism to distribute software to non-Microsoft platforms via the Microsoft Operations Management console management tool.