Differences between Java CAPS 6 and OpenESB

One of the most common questions I get asked is, "Will Sun support OpenESB?" or "Is Java CAPS a supported version of OpenESB?" Developers want to get started now with functionality in Open ESB and feel confident that it will be supported by Sun with a Java CAPS license.

We do already have some JavaCAPS customers who are entering the development phase of their projects with Open ESB in the knowledge that the infrastructure will be a supported part of Java CAPS by the time they go to production. Unfortunately, the answer to the original questions is a little more detailed than simply "yes" or "no". Let me explain...

Java CAPS 6 is, to grossly oversimplify it, Java CAPS 5 + some OpenESB technology. However the first release of Java CAPS 6 will not include all OpenESB components. This is for a couple of reasons:

  • Not all openesb components have been through the necessary QA to make them ready for production yet.
  • Not all openesb components are developed by Sun, so it is impossible for Sun to support them.

When Java CAPS 6 is released, it will consist of some openesb components. For instance:

  • JBI runtime.
  • JavaEE SE

During the rest of 2008, Sun will continue to make other openesb components production ready and make them supported parts of Java CAPS. The exact content and timeline of these "Component Packs" or is still to be released, but you can probably expect them to include:

  • IEP SE
  • JMS BC
  • File BC
  • others.
(note: I'm not in product management so this isn't an official list, just an indication)

Additionally, Sun may enter agreements with the companies who are developing other openesb components and make them "supported" parts of Java CAPS. So it is possible that OpenESB components that are not developed by Sun will also be supported by a Java CAPS license.

To give you an example. I currently have two Java CAPS 6 "customers", even though it has not yet been released.. They have looked at their requirements and see that they need only components which will be available in the initial release of Java CAPS 6 or will most likely be available in Component Packs in 2008. They have started development work now and plan to be in production in 2009. By 2009, all OpenESB components they need will be supported parts of Java CAPS.



Thanks Jason. This is again a very useful blog entry. Keep on going :)

Posted by Remold Krol on May 17, 2008 at 03:31 PM CEST #

It will be very interesting to ISVs to see if/when/how this licensing of 3rd party components for openESB works...

Though not entirely similar, there is some comparison with EJB components on application servers, which is a business Theory Center did some years back before being acquired by BEA...

IMO, it was the single most definitive acquisition of the early BEA J2EE dominance, as it demonstrated their developer-level value proposition for WebLogic...

This could be the same for openESB, if Sun is able to get the JBI components perhaps even without acquisition as a supported distribution...

all the best in this endeavor...

Posted by douglas dooley on May 20, 2008 at 01:24 AM CEST #

I agree, Douglas, this is a great opportunity to leverage Sun's distribution and platform (and community leadership) to create an ecosystem that will deliver value to all parties. We are planning to expand on what we just started on the GlassFish side with the partner program [1]. It seems a natural play for Sun to do.

- eduard/o

Posted by Eduardo Pelegri-Llopart on May 24, 2008 at 10:19 AM CEST #


I have argued in my older blog about the software industry that providing ISVs with a distribution channel around Sun Services is a great value proposition especially considering the emerging competitive front with JBoss/Red Hat for account control:


It looks like Sun and your group is really investing in the Glassfish distribution model for ISVs to help with business, and more can be done...that is really a remarkable group of ISVs you pointed to, it would seem that you have lots of potential acquisition opportunities/targets...

I think the move to integrate openESB in with the Glassfish development model, and with the CAPS distribution model is right-on, though i am of course more optimistic about the former than the latter...as always, i think u guys are doing great, keep it moving...

Posted by douglas dooley on May 24, 2008 at 03:59 PM CEST #

I could successfully deploy projects in Jcaps 6.0 which uses JMS BC, JDBC BC, and FILE BC but while creating the test cases for the Composite Applications, an error “The type of binding <binding name> is not supported” is encountered.

IS this because they are not supported parts of Jcaps 6.0?

Posted by Poorni on June 02, 2008 at 11:57 PM CEST #

It is true that JMS, JDBC, and File BCs are not supported components in the first release of JavaCAPS 6 - though they do work and will be supported soon. However, Composite Application Test Cases currently only work with the HTTP BC which I believe is the reason you see that error.


Posted by jason on June 03, 2008 at 12:43 AM CEST #

I tried using JBI Bridge to bridge a CAPS repository-based project to a JBI-based project. But while building the Deployment profile I am getting error as "Caught Compilation Error - Fix before proceeding". Kindly help in resolving this issue.

Posted by Poorni on June 04, 2008 at 05:56 AM CEST #

it is very difficult to tell why you experienced this problem. Can you ask on the JavaCAPS forum: http://forum.java.sun.com/forum.jspa?forumID=882
and provide more detail about what you did.

You should also provide details of which version of JavaCAPS6 you are using? It is not released yet so there is a good chance that the error has been resolved in one of the latest candidate builds.


Posted by jason on June 04, 2008 at 09:27 AM CEST #

Is there any rough estimate ......how many customers are using JCAPS 5.x in there production env. as I am trying to gauge the reliability of the suite as such ..... I would also like to know how many customers are considering migration plans in near future from Seebeyond's eGate 4.x to JCAPS 5.x version....

Posted by Kunal Jain on September 11, 2008 at 01:57 AM CEST #

what do you preffer? openESB? you can't be CAPS-LOCK :)

Posted by Benzo_na on November 11, 2008 at 07:38 AM CET #

Jason, My Company wants to go JCAPS 6. in January 2009 and build close to 50 SOA Services on top of the JCAPS stack, instead of using a more commercial stack like TIBCO or SAG, or Oracle, etc., for better control and customization.(Not to mention Openness and adherence to standards). The SUN Sales Guys told us, o.k. give us $500k for a Enterprise License (1000 Employees)and another $100k for annual Support, and you can have JCAPS 6., But we feel that it's a bit much for a half way open source stack, that is component supported by the community, and SUN does not even touch that. Which Components can I take out from the BID, (Glassfish, Netbeans, etc) and tell them to only quote me for the "Commercial" portion of the JCAPS Stack? I want to try to lean out the bid, by using more open source "Supported components" and only order from SUN what I have to, and what They actually Support. Thanks for your insight on separating the stack for me...
doktor at army. com

Posted by Carl Schon on December 30, 2008 at 07:25 PM CET #


If you want a supported version of the functionality, then you can choose between the GlassfishESB license or the full JavaCAPS license. You can think of GlassfishESB as a lightweight version of JavaCAPS. GFesb has a subset of the functionality and the support structure. Its important to identify what functionality and what level of support you need. Perhaps GFesb is enough for you to get started.

I think its best to continue this offline. However one additional thing to note is that there are multiple options for licensing JavaCAPS itself and perhaps the initial bid you received from the sales guy wasn´t the only license model available to you.


Posted by Jason on January 04, 2009 at 01:02 PM CET #

Hi Jason,

Would be good to get another blog entry on how things stand today on the topic of JCAPS6 , Open ESB and Oracle thrown into the mix.


Posted by Jayesh on August 05, 2009 at 12:28 AM CEST #

Hi Jayesh,

The principle is still the same. GlassfishESB is a subset of JavaCAPS. GFESB v2.1 has recently been released and it will be a subset of JavaCAPS 6u2 (to be released very soon).

See the following link for which components are now supported:

As far as Oracle goes, I'm afraid I have no idea. We must wait until the acquisition is finalised and then for respective Oracle people to announce their intentions.


Posted by Jason on August 10, 2009 at 02:31 AM CEST #

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