Covalent launches strike against JBoss with Geronimo

Covalent launches strike against JBoss with Geronimo

Summary: Covalent has gone into direct competition with JBoss, announcing support for the Apache Geronimo application server.

TOPICS: Software

Mark BrewerCovalent has gone into direct competition with JBoss, announcing support for the Apache Geronimo application server.

Covalent CEO Mark Brewer called to talk about it.

He says enterprises who want an open source application server can now choose between a BSD-flavor license in Apache or a GPL license in JBoss. He admits that the JBoss product has more features right now but calls Geronimo more streamlined.

News stories on the decision are more likely to emphasize Covalent's hesitance, and its endorsement of IBM, which has 10 of the server's 25 committers thanks to its acquisition of Gluecode. (Chariot Solutions is also involved in supporting Geronimo.)

"We wanted to see what happened when IBM owned the project," Brewer admits.  "The good news is they did exactly the right thing. They got through the certification stage. J2EE certification was obtained in January,  Then they made it a project from Apache. And our customers have been asking for it." Covalent already has a Geronimo committer on-staff, but is hiring more staff and has a joint-venture with Virtuas to increase Geronimo support further.

Brewer says Geronimo fits neatly into the Covalent product line, alongside its support for Apache itself and Apache Tomcat. Pricing will be similar, and very much in line with IBM's own. That's about $1,000 for basic support per production server, $4,000 if you want enhanced support with help for your own developers.

"The first people who migrate will be those who haven’t gone to an open source container or ISVs who’ve been waiting for a container that doesn’t fall under a GPL license," Brewer adds.

The competition now begins and, as always, it will be fun to watch. There should be a lot of winners here -- Covalent, Virtuas, IBM, JBoss and the enterprise community all benefit. I just regret I didn't ask Brewer if this was his best day ever.

Topic: Software

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  • JBoss is LGPL, not GPL

    JBoss is not licensed under the GPL (like Linux BTW), but under the LGPL (Lesser GPL).

    I am surprised Mark Brewer propagates such inaccurate statements and I would encourage him to visit our LGPL FAQ (

    The LGPL is absolutely fine for OEM/ISV and our current list of customers includes many OEM/ISV deploying JBoss in production on a daily basis.


    Sacha Labourey
    JBoss, Inc.
    • Read it carefully

      Mr Brewer is engaging in, what might politely be termed, FUD. He said _a_ GPL license twice instead of _the_ GPL license. The LGPL is technically _a_ GPL license (_a_ Lesser GPL) (no need for the word license though, that's what the 'L' is there for...). Covalent are making fairly clear their strategy here, to make a license play at the big companies who jump on chairs at the sound of the GPL. Very naughty, but very clever too. Thanks Mark for giving me a chuckle.

  • Surprise, surprise

    A company that made its fortune from an open-source web server (Apache), NOW offers that same Apache java thingie. If you didn't see this comming, I have a bridge to sell ya . . .
    Roger Ramjet