The newest version of the open source JBoss Application Server has been released, and is now one of the first production-ready app servers to support Java EE 6.
Java EE 6 is the newest version of the Java Platform, Enterprise Edition, which was designed to build enterprise applications with the Java programming language and related tools. The Java Community Process (JCP) oversees the development of Java EE.
JBoss is an open source application server that implements Java EE specifications. Open source software vendor Red Hat leads the development of JBoss, although outside developers also contribute to the effort. Red Hat itself offers a support subscription to the software, which it markets as part of the JBoss Enterprise Middleware package.
With this release, JBoss will one of the first enterprise-grade application servers to fully support Java EE 6. Adoption of this specification seems to be moving at a slow pace, as enterprise software vendors debate the use of alternatives to the stack.
Oracle's GlassFish Enterprise Server version 3 also supports Java EE 6. Oracle, however, positions GlassFish as a lightweight server, an alternative to its own flagship app server WebLogic. WebLogic does not yet support Java EE 6.
IBM is currently updating WebSphere to include Java EE 6, though does not plan to release it until later this year. SAP has made no announcements about when Java EE 6 will be built into Netweaver. Version 7 of the Apache open source Tomcat, now in beta, will support only a subset of Java EE 6.
In an online survey conducted by Java tools provider ZeroTurnaround, 26 percent of 1,000 developers indicated that they used JBoss, making it the second most popular application server after Tomcat (which garnered 33 percent).
Red Hat has not announced a data for when it will start commercially supporting JBoss 6.0. In December, the company released a number of software packages based on JBoss, including the JBoss Enterprise Portal Platform 5.1, and the JBoss Enterprise Middleware Business Rules Management System 5.1.