I would like to shed some light on the partnership between eXo and my former company JBoss a division of Red Hat.
A bit of history
Last year I resigned from the JBoss Portal project lead position and accepted a product manager position for the eXo Portal project.
I founded the JBoss Portal project in 2004 from scratch and built an enterprise portal server during those four years. The last community release I was involved in was JBoss Portal 2.7, though I did not stay long enough for the final release. Since then, the project has been under the good guidance of Thomas Heute, who had joined me on the JBoss Portal project in 2005.
My first job at eXo was to take over from Benjamin Mestrallet the task of finalizing the eXo Portal 2.5 release. eXo Platform growth during the past two years was sustained and Benjamin could no longer focus on the technical aspects of eXo Portal. Even though most of the features were already developed in 2.5, I was able to bring an important feature of my own: Right To Left support, it was a good way to get my hands into the project. I also provided some important performance improvements that were confirmed by our QA labs later but we did not make it public.
Two companies, two projects
JBoss Portal and eXo Portal in essence do the same job: aggregating applications to the user desktop, however both focus on different strengths. The main difference between products comes from the nature of the companies.
JBoss is a middleware centric company that cares about delivering servers for various needs. JBoss Portal is designed with the framework and modularity approach and has been used for that purpose. It belongs to the JBoss culture to create software in that manner.
eXo Platform is an application centric company that cares about delivering collaborative applications to the enterprise. eXo Portal is the foundation of a comprehensive suite of solution focusing on enterprise collaboration such as eXo WCM, eXo ECM, eXo CS to name a few of them. The main force lies in the interactions and integrations between the different products that are all based on eXo JCR.
Two partners, one project
I am personally very excited about the collaboration between the two projects for several reasons.
Firstly that could have happened before, as informal discussions started in 2004 between eXo Platform and JBoss. But that did not work out, as I think they were too informal to lead to something concrete.
It’s very exciting to create a product with the most talented people you know. During five years, I built a fantastic team to work with me on the JBoss Portal project. In 2006, I was able to spent two weeks with Benjamin in San Francisco (for a JSR286 meeting and the JavaOne conference), where we had a productive time comparing our points of view. That’s a great opportunity to involve those persons into the same effort.
Finally our partnership makes a lot of sense to everyone: me, companies, community and customers. We now have one killer project involving the best teams I’ve worked worldwide with the goal of delivering simply the best portal product in the market.
Congratulations, seriously, one of the better announcements in the past year. When I read the small note that there would be an announcement on the Gartner summit, I immediately thought of this.
Makes me very curious about a roadmap of integration etc btw, but it is probably to premature to shed some light on this.
Would you characterize this as a bit like the Sun/Liferay partnership? If I understand that relationship correct, Sun provides the the portal engine and portlet container, while Liferay provides the application components further up the stack (e.g. collaboration functionality).
Congratulations, it seems a great team, and the project could be the most complete open source collaborative portal. We’re developing our corporative applications with JBoss here in Spain and will ask them for a presentation.