PARIS - The ObjectWeb consortium's open source application server has been certified compliant with Sun Microsystems's enterprise Java specification, a development that the consortium hopes will help it to attract more corporate and government users.
Called JOnAS, or Java Open Application Server, the software is now certified compliant with Sun's J2EE (Java 2 Enterprise Edition) 1.4 specification, the consortium announced Tuesday. The certified version will be available for free download from ObjectWeb's Web site within about two weeks, said Christophe Ney, ObjectWeb's executive director.
Founded by France Telecom, Groupe Bull and the France's National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control, known as INRIA, ObjectWeb is a nonprofit organization that develops a variety of open source infrastructure software. JOnAS, its best known project, is used by Red Hat as the basis for its Red Hat Application Server, which was released last year.
The certification is intended to assure interoperability between Java products from different vendors. A developer should find it relatively easy to port an application written for BEA Systems's WebLogic Server, for example, to another J2EE application server, so long as the developer adhered closely to the J2EE specification.
Some IT executives look for J2EE certification when making buying decisions, and so getting certified could help ObjectWeb to find more government and corporate users, industry analysts have said. ObjectWeb's main open source rival, JBoss, has been J2EE-certified for some time, as have market leaders BEA, IBM and Oracle. The certification also means that ObjectWeb can use Sun's steaming coffee-cup Java logo, a trademark available only to certified licensees.
"We have proved that a community-based effort can be as good in quality as any industry effort. It was important for us to show that ObjectWeb can play the game very professionally," Jean-Pierre Laisné, ObjectWeb’s chairman, said in an interview.
Unlike the other certified Java vendors, ObjectWeb does not sell professional services. Users can buy services from a provider such as Groupe Bull or submit support queries via e-mail to the community of JOnAS developers. JOnAS currently has 28 registered "committers," or people who develop and contribute code to the project regularly, Ney said.
JOnAS' certification does not mean that Red Hat can also use the Java-compatible logo; if it wants to market its software as J2EE-certified then it too must license and pass Sun's Java compatibility test suites.