Matt Raible has been building web applications for most of his adult life. He started tinkering with the web before Netscape 1.0 was even released. For the last 16 years, Matt has helped companies adopt open source technologies (Spring, Hibernate, Apache, Struts, Tapestry, Grails) and use them effectively. Matt has been a speaker at many conferences worldwide, including Devoxx, Jfokus, ÜberConf, No Fluff Just Stuff, and a host of others. Matt is a DZone MVB and is not an employee of DZone and has posted 148 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

SpringSource acquires Covalent

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Wow - I never expected SpringSource to acquire Covalent, but it definitely seems like a good match. From Rod Johnson in Some Decisions are Easy – Like SpringSource Acquiring Covalent:

Today we announced our acquisition of Covalent Technologies. Not only does Covalent bring Apache leadership, but our combined company now has significant leadership on Apache Tomcat and HTTP. Two weeks ago, Sun paid $1bn for the "M" in LAMP. Now that Covalent's outstanding Apache expertise and services are part of SpringSource, we are strong leaders in the “A”. We have always been about technology leadership, so we’re very excited about what we can do together with Covalent. Over the last few years, Covalent has earned a great reputation in the marketplace with its support for Apache projects, including Tomcat and Apache HTTP. Its hundreds of support customers include more than half of the Fortune 500, and household names like Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, British Telecom (BT), NASA, Intel, Royal Bank of Scotland and Bear Stearns. Our announcement today begins a new phase in the history of our company, and–I believe—the rapidly changing application platform market.

Dana Blankenhorn adds some additional interesting information on this acquisition:

Johnson said the purchase also keeps SpringSource from being bought by Sun, although skeptics will say it also makes it more attractive to Sun.

“We have a good relationship with Sun. We had very good relations with mySQL. Now that Sun is an open source company it really would work, it’s a natural opportunity” for Sun to work with SpringSource.

“We do think, however, this is the best way to stay independent.”

The deal may also say something about the opportunity in third-party support. Covalent has been around for about a decade, offering support services for products written by others, yet the much-younger SpringSource scaled right past it.

This definitely seems like a good move for SpringSource. As many Spring users know, Tomcat is an excellent server for hosting scalable applications when you're using Spring. My current client uses both Spring and Tomcat heavily and has been quite pleased with both solutions. As for the Covalent folks, they seem happy too, so what's there not to like?

Congrats to both SpringSource and Covalent - I wish you the best of luck.

Published at DZone with permission of Matt Raible, author and DZone MVB.

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


Matt Stine replied on Tue, 2008/01/29 - 11:07am

I definitely like this acquisition. The ability to go to one place for Tomcat and Spring support will definitely be a value add for us as we gradually move away from EJB 2.0 and the larger application servers like Weblogic and JBoss.

Rick Hightower replied on Wed, 2008/01/30 - 4:18am

It is an interesting announcement.

 Thinking out loud....

I read that the BZ Research says that Tomcat more than 60%... WOW!

Rod says on his blog that "Ninety-three (93) percent Spring users are also running their applications, many of them mission critical, on Tomcat."

The last shop I worked with started using JSF, Spring, and Hibernate on 30 some apps and hired me and two other ArcMinders for 18 months to help. They deployed on WebSphere and Tomcat (mostly they deployed on WebSphere, but develop with Tomcat). Two other companies I work with before that deployed on WebLogic, but the developers worked with Tomcat (but not all)--they both still use WebLogic. One of the current shops I am working with use JSF, Spring, JPA, and Spring MVC develop with maven/jetty using jetty plugin and then deploy on JBoss for integration, qa and production. Same with a company I worked with two years ago. I also ran into at least three companies who were using Oracle AS while training.

Okay... I work with a lot of companies (training and consulting).... I don't see too many deploying to Tomcat in production. I see a lot of developers using Tomcat for development, but only see about 10% or so deploying to it in production.

Of course, JBoss uses Tomcat for the web container... Also doesn't WebSphere use a modified version of Tomcat for its web container. Would they count as Tomcat instances? I guess I should read the study.

sorry for this...

I guess I am a bit skeptical of the report because it does not reflect the reality that I see when I am out training and consulting.

Nothing against Tomcat, I like it well enough. (I prefer the jetty maven plugin for development, but used Tomcat for years before that as a quick and easy web container.) This is not a technical argument against Tomcat. In fact it is an observation not an argument at all.

Don't write me and tell me how great Tomcat is.... When I have seen Tomcat used in production, it worked well enough for the apps we worked with.

Given the choice... many developer would prefer to work with Tomcat to other application servers.

Spring + JSF + JPA/Hibernate is still my dev frameworks of choice.

rick hightowercto of arcMindbloglinkedin

Ash Mughal replied on Tue, 2011/12/27 - 1:54pm

there's no doubt that Spring+Apache is a recipe for success. In my own experience, I've seen widespread adoption of both, and often together (not the least being within the product my company, Alfresco, ships). Rod Johnson, CEO and founder of SpringSource, states:We see Apache code being used by many of our customer accounts--the Apache Web server, Tomcat, Web services frameworks, Active MQ and a slew of other Apache technologies. We see pent-up demand for services from folks using Spring and Apache technologies.

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