updated 12:35 pm EDT, Wed July 8, 2009
WebObjects gone in S. Lep.
With the release of Snow Leopard Server, Apple will drop deployment support for the WebObjects web application server, sources claim. WebObjects is an enterprise framework for creating web apps, as well as deploying them through a related Java server. The technology was originally acquired by Apple in 1996, when it bought NeXT, headed by former (and now present) Apple CEO Steve Jobs.
A license for WebObjects was initially extremely expensive, costing $50,000; prices fell to $699 in 2000, and disappeared in 2005. Apple itself has made extensive use of the code, which has undergirded projects like .Mac, the iTunes Store and the online Apple Store. It has gradually disappeared from .Mac's replacement, MobileMe, but signing up for the service is still handled through WebObjects.
References for the deployment runtime are said to have vanished from Snow Leopard Server, though why is unclear. The standard currently has little popularity outside of Apple however, given the commonality of options like PHP, MySQL and Ruby on Rails. All three are bundled with Mac OS X Server, which may indicate that Apple is only holding on to WebObjects to support legacy efforts.