Open source portal provider Liferay (news, site) has announced a partnership with MuleSoft, maker of open source Mule ESB and MuleSoft TCat Server, a value-added distribution of Apache Tomcat. Liferay is now offering a Liferay Portal Enterprise Edition (EE) bundle with Tcat Server pre-installed and the all-important end-to-end support from one company. The move positions Liferay as an attractive lightweight, open source, middleware platform alternative to expensive enterprise solutions.

Liferay Plus Mulesoft: Low-Cost Open Source Web Middleware

Liferay has been in around for over a decade, reports more than 4 million downloads and a quarter million deployments. The platform started out as a pure portal play. However, the company is gradually moving its product toward becoming a development platform for websites and applications -- at a competitive price point.

Users can deploy Liferay to any Java web container, such as IBM WebSphere or JBoss, but when combined with popular free open source Tomcat, it provides a low-cost web content delivery option. Michael Coté of Redmonk wrote that customers who deploy Liferay to Tomcat are showing savings of up to 93% vs. platforms from Oracle and IBM and has many of the same features of the big vendors. Not a bad accomplishment for an open-source portal company.

A Step Beyond

Liferay has decided to take things a step further. Liferay announced a partnership with MuleSoft, and a new bundled version of Liferay Portal EE pre-installed with MuleSoft’s enhanced Apache Tomcat distribution, Tcat Server. Apache’s Tomcat is arguably one the most popular Java web containers. But, since it is pure open source, it definitely has shortcomings: No monitoring, no admin dashboard, raw configuration files -- features available in most strategic Java EE containers from players such as Oracle and IBM. MuleSoft’s Tcat server addresses these gaps by layering performance monitoring, diagnostics, application deployment and role-based security on top of pure Apache Tomcat binaries, with zero changes to the core code.


TCat diagnostics

Additionally, Liferay is offering support for the bundle. This will be attractive to customers who are exhausted with trying to figure out exactly in which layer of the technology stack a problem is occurring. Technology leaders that employ the solution will be able to call one company to get answers.

What does this mean to you? If you’d been considering making a move from a big Java EE vendor or even looking for a viable open source alternative to JBoss, you know have one -- plus a portal. Interested? For more information, contact [email protected].