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VMWare to Acquire SpringSource for $362 Million

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Virtualization infrastructure provider VMware announced today that it will acquire SpringSource for approximately $362 million in cash and equity plus the assumption of approximately $58 million of unvested stock and options. The acquisition has been approved by SpringSource's stockholders and is expected to close in the third quarter of 2009, subject to customary closing conditions.

Within the last 6 months, SpringSource has extended its reach deep into the runtime and application management arena with the acquisition of Hyperic last May, and the release of the SpringSource tc server in April.   The acqusition signals the further confluence of virtualization/cloud infrastructure technology with application development platforms, such as the Spring Framework.

According to SpringSource CEO Rod Johnson, the broader transformation in IT goes beyond Java frameworks, tooling and runtime infrastructure:

"The way in which people think about software stacks is changing. Virtualization is reshaping the data center, and cloud computing is set to drive far-reaching changes," says Johnson. "Significantly, cloud computing blurs the division between development and operations, bringing new power (and responsibility) to developers."


Together, VMware and SpringSource plan to further innovate and develop integrated Platform as a Service (PaaS) solutions that can be hosted at customer datacenters or at cloud service providers. Steve Herrod, Chief Technology Officer and Senior Vice President of R&D at VMWare further comments on the marriage of the two platforms in his blog:

"We will do this (intersect the two technologies) by adding interfaces into vSphere that SpringSource offerings (and other application frameworks) can take advantage of and by extending our management and automation capabilities to be aware of these interactions. A lot of our early “vApp” thinking has been based on this separation of application code from the requirements it has on the infrastructure on which it will be running.."


DZone will be providing additional details on this breaking story as more information becomes available. 



Published at DZone with permission of its author, Nitin Bharti.

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)


Otengi Miloskov replied on Mon, 2009/08/10 - 6:33pm

What means fot Spring Framework?, We will continue to use it as OpenSource framework or it will change again the game rules and become more propetary?. Or Spring framework it is just now a tiny piece compared with all the monstrosity portfolio that SpringSource/VMWare offer?, Or it becomes another JEE vendor?.


Rael G.C. replied on Mon, 2009/08/10 - 8:31pm

Let's remember that SpringSource has acquired the Groovy project too!

Otengi Miloskov replied on Mon, 2009/08/10 - 10:45pm

Rod clears everything in his post http://blog.springsource.com/2009/08/10/springsource-chapter-two/

Thanks Rod for your post and Congratulations, I hope a great future for Spring.

Frank Cohen replied on Tue, 2009/08/11 - 1:48am

I'm looking our for PushToTest when I say this: I hope SpringSource revenue was very low to show a good multiplier for an Open Source Software (OSS) business. The multiplier is a key factor in determining a successful OSS company. VCs want a 10x multiplier. Put $10 million in and get $100 million out. It is my sincere hope that SpringSource revenue was less than $30 Million (annual run rate.) (Matt Asay's blog seems to think the number was just above $20 Million in mixed license/services revenue. That would put the valuation at 10 times.

Where should Open Source Software (OSS) companies look for a valuation model? I'm hoping the SpringSource valuation tells the investor community that a 10-times valuation is reasonable for a company with a license/service revenue mix.

By the way, I blog about this at http://www.pushtotest.com/docs/thecohenblog/oss.

-Frank http://www.pushtotest.com

Simon Martinelli replied on Tue, 2009/08/11 - 1:51am

In my opinion Spring framework was a huge inspiration for Java EE 5 and 6. But now SpringSource became a oridinary application server vendor but with the difference that it's not standard!

tc server is a propritary solution and that's the reason why I no longer use Spring framework. EJB3.x is 1) good enough and 2) standard.

So it doesn't matter to whom SpringSource belongs...

Otengi Miloskov replied on Tue, 2009/08/11 - 2:09am in response to: Simon Martinelli

Its good your choice but I have a question. What means standard for you?, When Java is a formal standard?  or a JEE formal standard?, There is not even Java SE 7 spec only a codebase called OpenJDK. I think at this point just matters popularity, what is the more popular middleware Java technology in the enterprise?, answer is Spring, so I could say is the one standard not EJB3.The JCP is broken its not a formal standard, Sun broke it long time ago. So there is not a standard just a popular.

Simon Martinelli replied on Tue, 2009/08/11 - 4:24am

For me the JCP creates standards in the Java world. What do you meen with the JCP is broken?

The JCP is democratic and even you as individual can participate. So this is standard! Spring is owned by SpringSource (and Eclipse is owned by Eclipse Foundation). They are Not STANDARD.

Spring is not middleware! It's just a framework that runs on a middleware. And the middleware provided by SpringSource is tc server which is not Java EE standard.

Erik Post replied on Tue, 2009/08/11 - 7:45am

Well, Spring is a de facto standard, and as such perhaps more of a standard than EJB. Also, there are a lot of standards (or implementations thereof) that suck badly. JSF sucks pretty hard, though less so for 2.0. On the desktop front, for example,  we have JSR-295 (Beans Binding), which is pretty poor as a standard, but its implementation is even worse, and it's been left to wither and die by Sun. So, everybody uses JGoodies or GlazedLists instead. I could go on, but I think most people here will be able to come up with plenty examples of their own.

Niels Peter Str... replied on Tue, 2009/08/11 - 9:55am

Let's hope Spring will prevail.

Mladen Girazovski replied on Tue, 2009/08/11 - 8:10am

Actually Spring doesn't need to run on a certain middleware, and even if people decide to do so, the plattform would be OSGi (SpringDM), not just the OSGified Version of Tomcat, and Tomcat is based on JEE standards.

Why would a Standard from the JCP be better than any other Specification/Framework?

EJB 1.x to 2.x was an abomination, JSP is dying, EJB3.x still lacks important DI features, JPA 1.0 is missing many nessecary features.

Even if EJB 3.x is "good enough", Spring offers way more for instance when it comes to DI (not to mention all the other Spring modules), and does so since years.

For me, there is no point in trying to pretend that the JCP Standards are better than successfull OSS Project, but not nessecarly the other way around.

Use what you need because of the requirements, not because somebody says it's a standard.

Shaw Gar replied on Tue, 2009/08/11 - 9:18am

Spring solved problems at the time standard solutions like EJB 2.x didn't.

If standard solutions like EJB 3 can solve those same problems, and businesses buy the commercial version of Java EE servers, there is no reason why they shouldn't avail the benefits of a standard solution.

However, we must remember that the standard we talk about today, which is EJB was influenced by the non-standard Spring, which is the de facto standard in many enterprises even today :-)

There is also a possibility that non-standard solutions might evolve faster, and solving the problems faced by enterprises. That might make the standard solutions loose out, before they can play the catch up game.

Ultimately, if you use standard or non-standard Java stack, they all become bytecodes and run in a JVM. Enterprises need solutions to business problems and I don't think they are so concerned about standards so much. If so, you will probably never see something like .NET getting adoption in the very same enterprises where people fight about implementaing a standard Java stack.

I think it would be fair to say that lot of folks in Java community adopt double standards. I'm not specifically naming anyone here, or those who have contributed to articles here or anywhere as proponents of standard stack. All I'm merely saying is, the very same folks who defend Java against competitors using such examples like Java community innovation , open source advantages, many frameworks etc play the standards card internally just because they believe in something that others don't seem to share.

If they were so concerned about standards, I would like to know what they did in the EJB 2.x era when you had a much better alternative like Spring!

Ryan Developer replied on Tue, 2009/08/11 - 9:11am

I'm genuinely happy to see Rod and SpringSource cash in big-time.

I think history will remember Java EE 6 as being the first fully usable JEE stack.  Before JEE6, I think libraries like Spring and Hibernate were necessary.  I'm going to give the new WebBeans/JCDI, EJB 3.1, JSF 2.0, JPA 2.0 and JAX-RS a try on an upcoming personal project.


JeffS replied on Tue, 2009/08/11 - 9:19am

Spring is far from being a "de facto" standard.

JEE app servers are a $20+ billion a year market.  SpringSource generates about $20 million ... that's million, not billion.

 Spring is both common and popular.  But that doesn't make it a "de facto" standard.

 And Spring was great, back in the insane EJB 2.x days.  It showed the way on how to do it properly.  But the JCP, and Sun engineers learned.  And now EJB 3.x is just as good, if not better.

But then the Spring fans will say "well, but it doesn't have full support for DI, or AOP, or blah blah blah".  But actually, EJB 3.x does indeed support those things, just not to the full extent of Spring.  It supports what it needs to, and does so very simply and cleanly.  Plus it adds interceptors, which solve most use cases.

Personally, I have found EJB3.x much easier, more powerful, more convenient, than Spring.  But that's just me.

Also, if you write EJB3.x for x app server (say, WebLogic), you can take your code and transport it to say JBoss, or WebSphere or Glassfish, without herculean efforts.  Even less so if you avoid proprietary extensions (or properly abstract them out through interfaces, as is proper OO design anyway).

But with Spring beans, you're stuck with Spring.  You are married to the Spring container.  Sure, the Spring container works with a bunch of app servers.  But you still have to use it.

Shaw Gar replied on Tue, 2009/08/11 - 9:28am in response to: JeffS

I'm commenting on the idea that it's wise to use a standard stack, just because its a standard. I think thats not wise.

Some just dislike Spring, and some consider EJB to be incomplete in providing some features that in their eyes make Spring more complete than EJB, and everyone knows that while Spring is popular, it does not always solve all the problems.

I'm only commenting on the misguided perception that it's simply a good idea to use a standard stack.

Shaw Gar replied on Tue, 2009/08/11 - 9:46am in response to: JeffS

"Also, if you write EJB3.x for x app server (say, WebLogic), you can take your code and transport it to say JBoss, or WebSphere or Glassfish, without herculean efforts. "

Perfect. I also hear that Spring is so close to EJB3, that you can convert Spring code to EJB3 application in a short time.

"But with Spring beans, you're stuck with Spring. You are married to the Spring container. Sure, the Spring container works with a bunch of app servers. But you still have to use it."

Now, you see the bias here? You make it appear as if that while EJB3 applications are portable with some effort, you are forever stuck with Spring (though I read all the time that Spring applications look no different from EJB 3, and by extension can be migrated to work as an EJB3 application, if necessary)

This is the point of view that I have problems with. It makes me believe that EJB 3 proponents are desperate to show Spring in bad light, and that makes me less ready to buy that argument!! As simple as that :-) EDIT: And don't forget that Spring supports JPA too.. one part of the EJB persistence story.

JeffS replied on Tue, 2009/08/11 - 9:53am in response to: Shaw Gar

Personally, I couldn't care less what light Spring is put in.  Spring is good as it is.  But so is EJB3.x.

I just often come to EJB3.x's defense because these boards get lots of Spring fans dumping on EJB3.x.

There is often a knee-jerk anti-standards stance, and anything that is non-standard, or open source, is awesome.

I only want to make sure people understand that EJB3.x is good, and easy, and powerful, and that Spring is not the be all to end all.

And in my experience, I have found EJB3.x easier and more pleasant, as well as more powerful and comprehensive, than Spring.   I just like it (EJB3.x).  That's all.  It's not anti Spring.

One more point about standards - besides making code more portable, by using standards you also insure that your code is more maintainable in the future because standards ensure that there will be an ecosystem of knowledgable developers who can be productive.

Simon Martinelli replied on Tue, 2009/08/11 - 10:01am

The problem with Spring is, that if you need for example 2PC you need a transaction manager or for load balacing or failover you need a cluster. And then you need an application server.

EJB3 is the the component model from Java EE 5 and therefor EJBs run in every application server. Spring beans is the component model of the tc server and runs only there!

I was a big fan of Spring back in the time of EJB 2.1 when I had to use WebSphere 4 and 5. But now I have JBoss 5.1.0 and Glassfish 2.1 and they are great and the best of all, my EJBs run on both!

Shaw Gar replied on Tue, 2009/08/11 - 10:10am in response to: Simon Martinelli

2PC is an edge case. Not all applications require them, and in fact it's usually just the opposite. If you need an application server, then you do need it for the capabilities you mention, not because that was a standard.

Shaw Gar replied on Tue, 2009/08/11 - 10:19am in response to: JeffS

"There is often a knee-jerk anti-standards stance, and anything that is non-standard, or open source, is awesome."

I have known developers dislike MS because they have been burnt by it. A lot of Java developers were burnt by EJB 2.x, and they found a better place with Spring. Open source has one advantage, and that is, it fails if community doesn't support it. Community won't support something they believe is not adding to the business value or improving their productivity.

If Spring were to go in the direction that does not fulfill Community's expectations they may start looking for alternatives. It could be Java EE, if it solves their problems or some other non-standard open source stack.

Developer Dude replied on Tue, 2009/08/11 - 10:48am

"But with Spring beans, you're stuck with Spring. You are married to the Spring container. Sure, the Spring container works with a bunch of app servers. But you still have to use it."

I have no idea how you can make this assertion. I use beans of all sorts, many configured in Spring, that work in Tomcat just fine - I've never used any of the Spring server products. If by 'container' you mean the Spring IOC/AOP framework, then I would not say that is a 'container', but even so, any of my beans will work outside of that framework. The framework just provides a nice way to configure and reuse the beans.

'Spring' is a lot of different APIs, most of which they have done a pretty good job of making standalone and not tightly coupled.

I'll be interested to see what VMWare has in store for Spring. I am hoping that we will see some really nice virtual machine Java technology stacks that are easily and readily deployed. I am not particularly interested in 'clouds' or grids, etc. at this point, but I would like to see some nice virtual appliances come out of this that are geared towards Java dev and deployment.

Shaw Gar replied on Tue, 2009/08/11 - 10:53am in response to: Developer Dude

"I have no idea how you can make this assertion. I use beans of all sorts, many configured in Spring, that work in Tomcat just fine"

Thanks for the clarification. I was confused myself when I read that, and I was trying to validate it from external source. I have always known Spring to be popular with Tomcat, and as far as I have known it didn't require anything special - it runs fine with all app servers and/or servlet container like Tomcat.

Still, I would like to hear from the original poster, what he actually meant by saying that. May be I'm missing something here.

Spring was known to be less invasive. I'm wondering if EJB 3 fans simply try to paint Spring in bad light or haven't spent time analyzing why they favor EJB 3 over Spring for a problem at hand. I would like to be proved wrong, of course!

JeffS replied on Tue, 2009/08/11 - 11:25am

Being a "fan" of EJB3.x or Spring, or anything else, is stupid.  I'm not a fan of either.  I use what makes sense for the current use case, or what my current employer requires.

I might come off as a "fan" of EJB3.x.  

 But my posts are reactions to people posting stuff like:

"Spring is a de facto standard"

"EJB3 lacks full support of DI/AOP"

"App servers suck"

"JCP standards suck"

"It has 'EJB' in it's name, and EJB2 sucked, therefore it must suck"


Or something along those lines.

Plus, I'll say it again.  EJB3.x is quite nice.  I like it.  So shoot me. ;-)

But saying that doesn't mean I don't think Spring is good.  I do think it's good.  Thinking one is good is not mutually exclusive to saying the other is good.

Shaw Gar replied on Tue, 2009/08/11 - 11:35am in response to: JeffS

"Plus, I'll say it again. EJB3.x is quite nice. I like it. So shoot me. ;-"

LOL.. I'm not going to shoot you just because you liked EJB 3.x..

Developer Dude replied on Tue, 2009/08/11 - 12:25pm


That's fine. I have read that EJB3 is much better/etc. than previous EJB APIs - I am not criticizing it, I don't know much about it at all having never used it, so I can't compare it to Spring.

I am just saying that I have a little experience with Spring and overall I find it very non-intrusive, you aren't 'married' to it if you later decide to go another route and you don't have to use any particular server product to get its benefits - for example, I also use it with Swing desktop apps. Indeed, one of the things I like about the IOC/AOP configuration part of the Spring framework is that it really helps decouple different components/modules and strategies from various implementations. If I want to change my persistence from Hibernate to iBatis, Spring really helps there. If I want to use a different security strategy/implementation, Spring really helps there too. Overall, if I use a basic setter/getter configurable bean and interfaces, I can use Spring IOC to plugin whatever implementation of some other component without changing a single line of code.

The IOC/AOP portion of Spring is a core part of the Spring framework, but there are a lot of other APIs in Spring that provide some very nice functionality and help decouple various layers and components, and if by 'container' you meant their server app containers such as dm Server, then I have never used those (yet) - indeed, I know almost nothing about them. So I am certainly not married to them or Spring - I can use my beans elsewhere as I wish, and I do.

Otengi Miloskov replied on Tue, 2009/08/11 - 12:28pm

Thanks to Spring there is EJB3.x but still not there. EJB3 need the JCP and its slow as hell while Spring already fixed all the isues. I prefer OSS projects because are more dynamic than JCP ones and their implementation.

Also there is not a formal standard in Java World, I hope Oracle can fix that and let the JCP become more a standard body for Java World but right now there is not.

JeffS replied on Tue, 2009/08/11 - 1:15pm in response to: Otengi Miloskov

"Thanks to Spring there is EJB3.x but still not there. EJB3 need the JCP and its slow as hell while Spring already fixed all the isues. I prefer OSS projects because are more dynamic than JCP ones and their implementation."

Good point.  Spring really lit a fire under their backsides, didn't they.

 But I will say this - EJB3.x was first to the table with annotations (as opposed to XML config), and convention over configuration.  Then Spring offered the same, but only after EJB3.x did.  That's cool though, because competition breads innovation.  Let 'em leapfrog each other, to our benefit! :-)

Btw - annotations and convention over configuration are two things I really really like about EJB3.x.  I'll take that over XML hell any day.  

Yes, I do know that Spring has annotation/convention support as well, but I can't comment on their implementation of them as I haven't tried them yet.

I do know that all that XML configuration in Spring left a really bad taste in my mouth.  It was a big improvement over all that bloated, complex EJB2 crap.  But it was still a pain.  Not to mention that a lot of app behavior, indeed bean wiring, is controlled by the XML, which effectively takes the compiler out of the equation, and makes debugging more difficult.

But it's all good. 

Spring led the POJO / DI / AOP decoupled way.  EJB learned and did the same.

Then EJB accomplished POJO / DI / Interceptors / Behavior via annotations (or XML, if one so chooses), being much simpler and elegent.  Then Spring adapted the same.

Then Spring accomplished great modularity and OSGI support.  EJB 3.1 is now offering the same.

 That's great!  Let 'em duke it out, leap frog each other, and we get to enjoy the benefits!

Rael G.C. replied on Tue, 2009/08/11 - 2:33pm

Spring solves a lot of issues not addressed by EJB in the past. Now, EJB is nice, but why should people move from Spring to EJB? Just cause it's a "standard"? There is a lot of epic fails on Java standards, like EJB, JavaSE official Log, etc.

So, again, why should people confortable with Spring move to EJB? Just cause it's a "standard"?

JeffS replied on Tue, 2009/08/11 - 2:47pm in response to: Rael G.C.

"So, again, why should people confortable with Spring move to EJB? Just cause it's a "standard"?"

They shouldn't.  

If you have something that works and you're comfortable with, there is no reason change.  If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

But it works the other way, too.   If people are comfortable with EJB3.x and it works for them, why should they move to Spring?  Just cuase it's not standard?

Answer:  They shouldn't.

 But greenfield applications need to weigh the plusses and minuses to both Spring and EJB.

Liam Knox replied on Tue, 2009/08/11 - 7:15pm in response to: Simon Martinelli

Your arguments are floored.

Their success came from delivering solutions that worked rather than standards that are floored. What is a point in a standard that is rubbish like EJB 2.1 ?

Clearly you have no real experience in software development or you would know that the best designs come from experience rather than design by commity. Who really cares about J2EE?The fact of the matter is we are buiding systems to solve business problems. I can use Spring todo this in a far simpler and more efficient way, and you will find by the uptake that a lot more developers are realising this.

I find this 'its a standard, must be great' mentality rather lemming like. You ignore all apreciation of the technologies benefits and downsides based on one word, 'standard'.

Liam Knox replied on Tue, 2009/08/11 - 7:17pm in response to: Frank Cohen

Happy to see you comment is about the actual story rather than the debate or non debate that Spring vs J2EE is. I am interested in the motivation and driving factors that made Spring cash in the chips now and whether this was a good move. Clearly technology wise I think this doesnt change the ball game or direction in the same way say as an aquistion by Microsoft would of.

Personally I would of plugged to stay autonomous till 2010 and then looked for an IPO based on improving market conditions. Perhaps it was the VC's that really were concerned and wanted out.

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