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WebSphere’s history June 24, 2008

Posted by Sacha in IT, JBoss.

You should really take a look at Darryl Taft’s excellent article on the History of the WebSphere line of business, it is very interesting.

It describes how this adventure started:

And how they then initiated the WebSphere (WS) effort with just 25 engineers and how WS moved from an Apache httpd server to a full fledge transactional container, a similar maturation all middleware vendors went through.

It also explains one of the key reason of its sucess: Senior management involvment.

It also describes what we have seen for a long time at JBoss: BEA was really the one suffering from JBoss, not IBM. This actually made a lot of sense. Early version of WS were pretty bad – which means that WS users were betting on IBM as large vendor, not on a “best of breed” product vendor. However, that wasn’t the case for BEA customers, which meant that as JBoss was maturing its offering (as of 2004), many BEA customers moved away to the new best of breed product, JBoss.

The article ends with a funny quote from Mills which shows IBM’s love/hate relationship with Open Source:

Mr Mills, that’s a great marketing encouragement for your co-workers trying to sell Open Source based products… 😉





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