Letting the cat out of the bag

TomEE creator lifts lid on new company Tomitribe

Elliot Bentley

David Blevins says his company’s mission is to support creation of “amazing” open source software.

Apache TomEE, the
lightweight open source Java server, now has solid commercial
backing in the form of Tomitribe.

Formed by creator David Blevins and several
contributors, this new company will provide enterprise support and

TomEE is an
augmented version of Tomcat that – as the name suggests – embeds
many Java EE technologies such as EJB, CDI and JSF. Having achieved
Java EE 6 Web Profile certification, the Apache project debuted at
JAX London 2011 and has since been
integrated into Jelastic’s Java PaaS

At JavaOne this week, Blevins has revealed
further details of his new company, including how it was conceived
and – crucially – how it will make money.

Tomitribe’s mission,
says Blevins
, is to encourage greater
developer involvement in open source by “support[ing] them in
creating amazing open source software”. This, says Blevins, should
“come out of our [Tomitribe’s] time, not family time”. As such, the
company’s business model appears designed not to squeeze massive
profits out of the open source version’s success, but to fund
full-time open source development on the project.

The company is not offering a commercial
‘enterprise’ edition of TomEE (not yet, at least). Instead,
Tomitribe will provide paid consulting, training and support
services for TomEE users, an approach which has supported many
major open source projects but built few business empires. In
addition to promoting its paid services, Tomitribe’s website also
contains a free
gathering existing slides, tutorials and
videos, with more content promised.

If Blevins can keep his new venture as lean as
his software, this community-focused approach could push TomEE even

Ps. For an introduction to using TomEE, check

this JAXenter tutorial
by Jonathan Gallimore (a
TomEE contributor now employed by Tomitribe).

Photo by Josh

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