French systems and services provider Bull has formed a broad partnership with JBoss that could see the Red Hat subsidiary\u2019s open-source middleware used more widely in Europe.As part of the deal, Bull will resell subscriptions to JBoss\u2019 software and provide first- and second-tier support for it, with Red Hat providing third-tier technical support, the companies announced Tuesday.Bull will also join the community of developers\u00a0who contribute to JBoss, and it will become a JBoss systems integrator partner, adding the JBoss Enterprise Middleware Suite to the software choices that Bull offers to clients.The deal builds on an existing partnership with Red Hat and is the first strategic research and development partnership that JBoss has signed in Europe, the companies said.The deal may also provide a boost for ObjectWeb, the French middleware consortium that was cofounded by Bull and that developed the open-source Jonas application server.Red Hat has been a close partner of ObjectWeb and helped with the development of Jonas. When it bought JBoss, however, Red Hat shifted the focus of its development efforts to the JBoss middleware.With Tuesday\u2019s deal, Red Hat will now strengthen its involvement with ObjectWeb, the companies announced. The deal will give ObjectWeb "a strategic partnership with JBoss" that will "enforce the cross-fertilization and interoperability of open-source middleware developments," a Bull executive said in a statement.Red Hat will also work closely with Bull on "the future development and extension of ObjectWeb," the companies said. The announcement was made at the JBoss World conference taking place this week in Berlin.ObjectWeb is in the midst of an effort to become a more business-friendly and marketing-savvy organization. Earlier this year it said it would become a nonprofit legal entity, making it easier for it to sign business contracts. It has also held a contest to come up with a new name for itself, which could be announced shortly.-James Niccolai, IDG News Service (Paris Bureau) Related Link:\n\nRed Hat Announces JBoss BundleCheck out our CIO News Alerts and Tech Informer pages for more updated news coverage.