June 5, 2003 1:26 PM PDT

Developers split from JBoss Group

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A handful of developers have left JBoss Group, the software start-up behind the increasingly popular JBoss open-source application server, to start their own company.

Former JBoss developer Dain Sundstrom announced the formation of the Core Developers Network on Wednesday. He said that he and other partners, who include several other former JBoss Group employees, would continue to contribute to development of JBoss software while providing support and other services related to JBoss and other enterprise software.

Sundstrom said he and his partners decided to form the company based on support and consulting services experiences with JBoss Group, where they saw the limitations of being tied to a single software product. Customers needed help integrating multiple systems, Sundstrom said, and JBoss wasn't always the right answer.

"We wanted to move beyond the single-vendor approach," he said. "We've got a lot of customers dealing with integration issues, which is really the biggest hurdle they have. They're picking the best technology from the open-source world, whether it's JBoss or something else, and they're mixing it with closed-source technology, and they need it to all work together."

JBoss makes server software for running applications based on Sun's J2EE (Java 2 Enterprise Edition) standard. The company makes money from providing consulting, support and other services related to the free open-source software. The software has won growing support from IT administrators looking for alternatives to commercial J2EE software.

JBoss uses a customized and extended version of the J2EE standard published by Sun Microsystems, leading to an ongoing dispute with Sun over whether the software qualifies as J2EE-compliant.

Ben Sabrin, director of business development for JBoss Group, said the departures of Sundstrom and other JBoss Group veterans would not effect the company's operations.

"It's really not a big deal," Sabrin said. "They (handled) 3 percent of our customer base from a support contract perspective...From a competitive standpoint, the Core Developers Network is just another consulting company trying to make a dollar from open-source software."


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