Red Hat aims new OS strategy at middleware, SOA markets

Red Hat Inc. Tuesday announced an acquisition and new strategy that the company said are key parts of its growing effort to boost its open-source middleware and service-oriented architecture (SOA) business.

The Raleigh, N.C.-based company said that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire MetaMatrix Inc. and plans to make its data management and integration tools available under an open-source license within a year. Red Hat did not disclose the value of the deal.

At the same time, Red Hat officials detailed a new integrated enterprise subscription model aimed at providing a single download for its JBoss Enterprise Application Server, Hibernate framework for object and relational mapping and persistence, and JBoss Seam framework for building Web 2.0 applications.

The moves are aimed at helping large companies migrate legacy applications that are tightly linked to their data sources into an SOA. Such migrations can help companies extract data from applications for reuse in new, flexible systems and business processes.

"Red Hat historically has unlocked the veil of open source at the OS level," said Tim Yeaton, Red Hat's senior vice president of enterprise solutions. "We can optimize open source value at the middleware and SOA layers. We're building capabilities to engage customers from the very beginning of the development cycle ...through testing, certification, deployment, product support and on to maintenance." The new capabilities, he said, will put "customers back in charge of their own IT architectures."

The acquisition of Waltham, Mass.-based MetaMatrix will allow JBoss users to add a federated data services layer to decouple applications now tightly integrated to their data sources. These services can then be exposed and used multiple times in application development, workflow or business process modeling, the company said.

The new enterprise subscription model indicates that JBoss is moving away from its traditional a la carte model that has allowed users to mix and match its different components. Shaun Connolly, JBoss vice president of product management, said that the new model provides "enterprise-class stability and predictability."

Under the integrated JBoss Enterprise Platform distribution model, the company's products will be offered as a single download that will include automated updates and patches and multiyear service-level agreements, he added.

Red Hat also announced new developer support subscriptions designed to help developers boost their SOA, Java and Linux projects. The subscriptions provide guaranteed service levels that support developers from development to production, Red Hat said.

In related news, Vitria Technology Inc. and Red Hat announced Tuesday that Vitria will offer its Business Accelerator SOA integration suite as part of Red Hat's new integrated enterprise subscription.

This story, "Red Hat aims new OS strategy at middleware, SOA markets" was originally published by Computerworld.

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