WebMethods bundles JBoss application server

Integration software vendor webMethods has announced a major overhaul of its flagship integration platform that deepens its Java...

Integration software vendor webMethods has announced a major overhaul of its flagship integration platform that deepens its Java support, bundles in the JBoss open-source application server and boosts performance and scalability.

Set to debut at the vendor's Integration World show in San Francisco, webMethods 6.0 also unifies the company's splintered product set by incorporating enterprise application integration (EAI) technologies from Active Software, which webMethods acquired in July last year.

The unified platform will reduce the number of tools and adapter sets, boost performance and provide a more "elegant" solution overall, said Jim Green, chief technical officer at webMethods.

More significantly, webMethods' bundling of J2EE-compliant JBoss is meant to bolster its notion that the integration platform should serve as the core element of the infrastructure, feeding all other layers in the enterprise stack.

This puts it in stark contrast with application server giants such as BEA, who are looking to grab market share in the EAI space by building integration capabilities on top of their largely commoditised offerings.

"We don't want to be in the app server business, but we do think that if you automate across the enterprise and make things network-aware, then there are various steps in the process that represent significant business logic that you'll need to host as well," Green said. "We say build the app server on top of the integration system, since we span all systems in the enterprise."

To make this work, however, webMethods needed a way to host application source code to blend together with its own integration logic, something that "BEA did not want to help us with," Green said.

JBoss technology, available free of charge and widely used in some large enterprises, will enable Java-developed business logic - typically the domain of an application server - to be accessed and manipulated from inside the integration platform. JBoss hosts Enterprise Java Bean containers.

Green contends that combination will help lower licensing costs, by not requiring enterprises to buy a separate app server for their development needs. It should also serve to streamline business processes and reduce management overhead through the use of a single console to keep tabs on the unified platform.

"The bottom line is that in the past, to write an app and integrate it with legacy systems you had to buy both [an application server and integration server]. Now you don't," Green said.

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