The recent news out of Red Hat/JBoss is the acquisition of Rosetta which means that a new developer project on top of JEMS has delivered a core architecture to the burgeoning OSS-based platform. This brings a new chapter to the SOA market, as previously only BEA has had the full program for web services. Of course, Sun is also out there with JBI, and IBM is dancing with Apache. There are plenty of smaller vendors in the form of Cape Clear and Systinet, but the solutions will be built around existing app server implementations, so these will be ancilliary products anot SOA Operating Systems. The OS belongs to the few that can match JBI and JEE fucntionality.

But the question on the minds of many people within the Java community seems to be: what is an ESB? What is event management? Even JBoss' representation of their acquisition is lightweight, I don't understand what ESBs do that JAX does not do. I certainly accept ignorance on my part because JBoss and Bauhaus know what they are doing, but they need some use case scenarios to explain to the developer community and the analysts. Though I am happy to see that JBoss is supporting JBI. I have spoken in length about JBI and what it means for the app server market:

http://douglasdooley.blogspot.com/2005/11/jbi.html

I am not suggesting that the need for ESBs is undermined to the point that we need to discuss its relevance or need. I am just not clear as to what developers are supposed to do with it. Someone talk back somewhere...