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Red Hat drops JBoss, goes with WildFly for Java middleware

If you've ever thought that Java-related open-source middleware just wasn't exciting enough for you, good news -- Red Hat announced today that it would be jazzing up its JBoss application server software, rebranding the project as WildFly and focusing on obtaining Java Enterprise Edition 7 certification.

Red Hat's vice president of middleware engineering, Mark Little, said that the change should help broaden the scope of the company's appeal in the developer community.

[ MORE JAVA: Java 7 Update 21 to fix bugs, change applet warning messages ]

"WildFly continues the decade-long tradition of Red Hat JBoss Middleware to push the boundaries of enterprise software development. It also represents a significant opportunity for wider community adoption and involvement," he said in a statement.

IDC open-source analyst Al Hilwa says that the branding upsides of the move are potentially very valuable to Red Hat, as well -- effectively separating the free and open-source code from the company's commercial products.

"I think this is about differentiating the paid support offering from Red Hat from the open-source bits that folks can download and use. It smart for Red Hat to invest in a unique brand in the long run. Developers actually can download and use the new branded product for no cost and switch to support without disruption, allowing them to benefit from all the stability work that [Red Hat] does from the get-go," he says.

The first alpha version of WildFly (WildFly 8) will be available for download in May, according to Red Hat. The company said that the initial goal is to tackle Java EE 7 certification as quickly as possible, due to that standard's importance in "cloud and mobile development scenarios."

Email Jon Gold at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @NWWJonGold.

Read more about software in Network World's Software section.

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