I’ve been in the competitive intelligence business for a few years now and one of my main goals is to separate ‘fact from fiction’. I’ve seen a lot of marketing materials that are good at extending the facts, representing capabilities that are lacking, and even changing terms and naming conventions to appear as if their shiny new widget can meet all your needs.
One of the things I look for in my search to validate the ‘facts’ are customer specific testimonials, written to shine light on their specific experiences with one technology over another. Few customers are willing to take the time to do this, although all want to hear from references, but some like Topdanmark in Denmark are willing to share their experiences in an effort to help other like minded companies.
By following the link you’ll find an excellent case study detailing why Topdanmark chose WebSphere Application Server over JBoss, and the supporting rational for their decision. While Topdanmark’s experiences and requirements may not mirror your own, they raise some significant considerations, both qualitative and quantitative beyond the commonly misperceived lower cost alternative from JBoss.
Specifically, they conclude that, “While the argument for the OSS option may start out looking very convincing, the benefits often become severely compromised as the decision is broadened to include all the ancillary aspects of running production software to support enterprise operations. It is often these practical considerations that prove to be the decisive factor in the OSS vs. Commercial decision”.