According to Red Hat, there is a misconception in the marketplace that middleware can be difficult to use for content creation. It's a misconception the company aims to challenge with the new JBoss Enterprise Portal Platform 5.2 release. Red Hat is also tackling the issue of middleware server management with the new JBoss Operations Network 3.0 release.
The new JBoss releases come as Red Hat is scaling up its product portfolio for the new demands of the cloud scale deployments.
"These two releases are geared towards making the usability of the products much better so it's easier for people to get started," Jason Andersen, director, Middleware Product Line Management at Red Hat, told InternetNews.com.
Anderson noted that the JBoss Enterprise Portal Platform core customers historically have tended to be large financial services and manufacturing companies. The user base is now extending to more midsize companies that don't have the same IT resources, which is why ease of use has become increasingly important. Among the ease-of-use enhancements in the 5.2 release are improvements to the Site Publisher capability. The JBoss Enterprise Portal Platform 5.1 release that debuted at the end of 2011 was the first to include Site Publisher, which is a content authoring feature.
"Customers don't have to have highly customize their environment to make the portal work well, it fits better in a standard environment and doesn't require a bunch of rip and replace actions," Andersen said.
On the management side, the JBoss Operations Network 3.0 release is all about helping to improve management automation.
Alan Santos, product manager, JBoss Operations Network, explained to InternetNews.com that among the new features is one called responsive provisioning and configuration.
"It's essentially a way to improve automation for your production," Santos said. "It helps to automate your systems in the even of failure or when certain characteristics fall off the baseline."
He added that with JON 3.0, administrators can script a response to bring servers up or down to improve availability. The new drift management feature is intended to help deal with the effect of unplanned configuration changes.
"What drift does is it lets you lock down a particular resource that you're managing," Santos said. "In the event that JON finds a difference with what you've locked down and what the actual configuration is, JON can let people know what is out of alignment and also automatically repair the issue."
The JON 3.0 is the first major version change for the platform since the 2.0 release in 2008. Aside from feature improvement, Santos noted that the biggest change is the support lifecycle. For the JON 2.x cycle, Red Hat had a three years support cycle for the product. With the new JON 3 release the support is now being extended to seven years, which aligns with the JBoss Enterprise Applications Platform (EAP).