August 28, 2006 12:55 PM PDT

Jitterbit goes open source for application 'glue'

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A start-up company called Jitterbit has set out to enter the crowded market for integration software using open source and a modular product design.

The company, which is expected to release an update to its namesake software on Monday, has developed software for transferring data from one application to another.

For example, a company could use the server for moving an order transaction from an e-commerce system to its customer support database.

This application-to-application integration software is meant to complement lower-level messaging software, such as an enterprise service bus product, said Sharam Sasson, the president and CEO of Jitterbit.

There are a number of open-source integration servers, including ServiceMix and Mule, that are built around standards, such as Java Messaging Service and Java Business Integration.

Jitterbit has developed its software to be extensible by open-source developers, Sasson said. The product comes with client-side software for designing programs that suit a specific purpose, such as integration between SAP and Peoplesoft applications.

These individual integration programs, or "Jitterpaks," can be shared with others and extended, which will speed up installation time, Sasson said.

"We believe incumbent commercial integration vendors have done great disservice in the industry because they made the task of integration overly complex for a vast majority of cases," he said.

The company's product performs a function similar to that performed by an appliance offered by Cast Iron Systems.

But by having a free product and encouraging third-party add-ons, Jitterbit expects to reach a broader audience, Sasson said.

See more CNET content tagged:
Enterprise Service Bus, open source, integration, Java, server

2 comments

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Open Source and Standards - Why not both?
I like a lot of what I see in Jitterbit - open source, community participation, even the dual license strategy. But even with open source, it appears Jitterbit uses a proprietary interface and proprietary data formats. Architects should consider an implementation crafted strictly from widely-accepted open standards as the way to protect their investment from both proprietary lock-in and early obsolescence. Business Integration Technology's EME (<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://BusinessIntegrationTechnology.com/EME.html" target="_newWindow">http://BusinessIntegrationTechnology.com/EME.html</a>) and LogicBlase's Fuse (<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.logicblaze.com/software.jsp" target="_newWindow">http://www.logicblaze.com/software.jsp</a>) have both built open-source stacks entirely on such standards.
Posted by fdomke (1 comment )
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Standards Support
The Jitterbit team shares your concern and is currently working on the two relevant open standards that apply to its solution: namely XSLT as a tranformation language and Python for scripting.

With regards to support for proprietary data formats, while Jitterbit provides complete XML support, it also needs to allow its users to integrate with systems that are proprietary in nature. Jitterbit will need to support processing proprietary data formats for a long time to come.

Jitterbit is quite different in nature to LogicBlase. It is designed for use by tech savvy personnel that may not be developers. Many users are business analysts and IT professionals. With that, the Integration Environment (user interface) will need to be different as other tools were made for developers.
Posted by IlanSehayek (4 comments )
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