Ex-JBoss founder joins startup

Marc Fleury becomes paid advisor to Appcelerator, which makes RIA toolkit

JBoss founder Marc Fleury has resurfaced as a paid advisor to Appcelerator, a startup based in Atlanta that makes a toolkit for developing rich Internet applications (RIA).

Red Hat bought JBoss, a maker of open source middleware, in 2006 for $350 million. The outspoken Fleury oversaw Red Hat's JBoss division until quitting early this year, and since then has largely avoided the limelight.

He said he hopes to raise Appcelerator's profile in the increasingly crowded RIA space, which is led by the likes of Adobe's Flex, among others.

"The big dog is clearly Flex," Fleury said, but "the fact that it is so crowded and there is no clear winner is also an indication there is a market of opportunity."

Fleury described his role with Appcelerator as his "first engagement with the industry" since leaving JBoss. "I liked the product, I liked the tech, and figured I could help."

But Fleury said he essentially remains retired: "My other projects include family."

Fleury is the second former JBoss employee to join Appcelerator, following the company's hiring of Ben Sabrin as vice president of strategy and business development.

The company describes its Appcelerator Platform as ideal for creating what it calls "service-oriented user interfaces."

The platform provides an abstraction layer that allows developers to use AJAX and DHTML without needing to program in JavaScript themselves, and provides a widget library for pulling together common components. The platform is available under a GPLv2 license, and the company has created software development kits for Java, Ruby, PHP, .Net, and Python.

"We're really focusing on RIA-enabling the enterprise," said CEO Jeff Haynie.

Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

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