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J2EE Journal: Article

No J2EE Certification, But JBoss Moves Up, Endorsed by AltoWeb

No J2EE Certification, But JBoss Moves Up, Endorsed by AltoWeb

(Atlanta, GA) – The previous edition of the JDJ Industry Newsletter noted AltoWeb’s support for JBoss application server. However, AltoWeb’s endorsement is not without controversy. JBoss is a so-called Open Source J2EE implementation, and therefore doesn’t pay the 3% royalties to Sun. Sun has understandably refused to list JBoss as an official J2EE implementation, as it’s not an official licensee.

"Several people have suggested that JBoss is infringing Sun's copyrights by incorporating some of Sun's code into Jboss," said Marc Fleury, founder of JBoss and president of JBoss Group, LLC, in an open letter on the JBoss Web site,( “We have carefully reviewed the JBoss code base and are confident that, with the exception of seven jars, all code distributed with JBoss was independently written by JBoss project contributors,” Fleury continued. “ As for those seven jars, that code was licensed from Sun under Sun's Binary Code License Agreement, which provides that JBoss can distribute that software in binary code format only. JBoss is fully complying with the terms of that license.”

“Other than for the seven jars just mentioned, JBoss does not believe it requires any licenses from Sun to distribute JBoss software, because JBoss is an independent implementation that meets widely available standards,” Fleury went on to say. “JBoss long ago informed Sun that we were interested in obtaining the J2EE certification suite so that we could apply Sun's certification mark to the JBoss software. Sun quoted a price for that certification suite that is beyond the current financial resources of the JBoss team. As a result, we have chosen not to "certify" our software. Nevertheless, JBoss fully complies with Sun's published standards. JBoss customers can be confident that they are using a complete, J2EE-compliant server implementation despite the absence of Sun's certification mark.”

In his open letter, Fleury noted that Lutris Technologies recently discontinued its open source version of Enterprise Enhydra, amid rumors that Lutris was unsuccessful in negotiating a J2EE license from Sun. But in Fleury’s opinion, Lutris’ decision “seems clearly driven by its own business considerations and not by Sun.”

JBoss is an Open Source, standards-compliant, J2EE-based application server implemented in 100% Pure Java. The JBoss community of over 1000 developers worldwide is working to deliver the full range of J2EE tools as the premier enterprise Java application server for the Java 2 Enterprise Edition platform. With as many as 70,000 downloads per month (72,000 this past October, verified by Sourceforge), JBoss is the most downloaded J2EE-based application server in the industry. JBoss can be embedded in commercial products and is being used in production around the world. JBoss Group LLC is an Atlanta-based professional services company, created by Marc Fleury, founder and lead developer of the JBoss application server. JBoss Group brings together core JBoss developers to provide services such as training, support, consulting, and documentation, as well as management of the JBoss software and services affiliate programs. These commercial activities subsidize the development of the free JBoss server. For more information, see

The AltoWeb Application Platform, integrated with the JBoss application server, provides a reusable, component-based architecture and rapid application development solution that streamlines the development, deployment, monitoring, and management of J2EE applications and Web services. A free 30-day evaluation copy of the combined AltoWeb JBoss solution is available at one-click install provides a preconfigured version of the AltoWeb Application Platform and JBoss, as well as sample applications and guided tours.

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Most Recent Comments
David Avraamides 12/20/01 01:38:00 PM EST

Royalties by definition are "shares of proceeds or profits." Since JBoss is free and has no proceeds, then it should pay no royalties. Or another way of looking at it is 3% of 0 = 0 so Sun is getting just what they deserve.

Since they aren't using any of Sun's source, they also aren't infringing on Sun's copyrights.

Let's be clear: Sun has created a great product with their Java strategy, but they are knocking their heads trying to figure out how to profit from it. Strong-arming open source teams will only backfire and would never amount to much money, anwyay.

For all the criticism against Microsoft you hear from Sun, when you really get down to it, who's the kettle and who's the pot?

Bradley Rinehart 12/20/01 07:40:00 AM EST

JBOSS is open source, except ?? Open source, free software from contributors? If JBOSS wants to align itself with 'J' then it should pay royalties to Sun. If JBOSS doesn't want to pay Sun royalties then JBOSS should build it's own product, secures a following for it and then give it away to competitors.

Allan Dickson 07/28/03 02:32:00 PM EDT

The most important part of licensing J2EE from sun is the certification (or maybe it was compatability) test suite that comes with it. This is a comprehensive set of tests to assure compliance with all key portions of the spec including interoperability and deployability.
Until JBoss Group can back up its contract offers and consulting services with an application server that has passed the test of 15000 test cases, it may be deceiving customers by using the title J2EE. Until someone has tested JBoss x.x.x against the CTS and reported the results, the use of J2EE in describing any jboss deliverable may be very misleading.