August 31, 2005 10:00 AM PDT

Open-source projects intertwine for integration

Three open-source projects are teaming up to create an alternative to software-integration products from IBM and other heavyweights.

Those involved in talks told CNET News.com that the partnership calls for close technical ties and code sharing among ServiceMix, Apache Synapse and Celtix, which is hosted at France-based consortium ObjectWeb.

The goal of the planned alliance, the sources said, is to create a more cohesive integration offering and attract software developers in the increasingly cluttered field of open source, where new projects seem to appear weekly. Wide adoption of open-source integration products--software that glues together business applications--could open up revenue opportunities for participants in the area of support.

News.context

What's new:
Looking to create more momentum around their integration software, three open-source projects are in talks to share code and provide close interoperability among them, CNET News.com has learned.

Bottom line:
Integration software, which glues together business applications, appears to be following the same open-source path as other software categories, such as databases and application servers.

The winner "is going to be decided by market adoption, which of course doesn't become clear until the software is ready for production use," said Phil Wainewright, founder and publisher of Web services site Looselycoupled.com. "But if these three initiatives are going to join forces, that will help them command more mindshare. The outcome is really going to be determined by who gains the most momentum."

An official announcement that will also involve integration company Iona Technologies and LogicBlaze, an open-source start-up that provides support services for ServiceMix, is planned for September, according to those involved.

The three projects address different aspects of the age-old problem of integration. Corporations spend millions of dollars a year on integration products. Much the way a network router can ship packets of data between different locations, so-called integration brokers transport business documents and transactions from application to application.

For example, a program can pass a customer's online purchase information from an order-entry system to a warehouse or customer-support application. Rather than write custom code to propagate the purchase order information between systems, developers can rely on brokers to handle the connections and provide standardized tools for writing the "glue code."

Though this software plumbing is not visible to most end users, it commands the interest of software developers and IT executives, who need a reliable infrastructure to underpin their business applications, according to analysts.

Standardization, commoditization?
The three open-source efforts vying for more developer attention rely on standard protocols for integration. ServiceMix is server software, based on the Java Business Integration, or JBI, standard, which runs Java programs that collect and process data from different sources. Celtix, a project created by Iona Technologies, serves the same purpose but is designed to support a broad variety of communication protocols and languages. Meanwhile, Synapse is a recently launched project for processing XML documents when they are sent between two applications using the Simple Object Access Protocol, or SOAP.

These three projects are very much in their early stages--ServiceMix is the only one to have released a version 1.0, which it did last week. However, the combination of these products could apply more

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15 comments

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It's about time...
... or maybe not. In the end, I still believe branding will take over.

There are many integration software products available. Most, if not all, of them are expensive (I wonder why Microsoft's Biztalk Server is not mentioned in the article...). Thus, the open source product lines.

I think the alliance offers potental if they can agree on a standard protocol and format to communicate and exchange data with each other rather than just sharing source codes. I think that a standard integration framework is essential. Something that users can immediately use out-of-the-box to integrate without much development or customization effort.

Microsoft Biztalk Server, for example, already has something like that called the Microsoft Biztalk Framework which is of course proprietary but the specification is freely available.

A similar framework for the alliance (which they can maybe propose as a standard) I think should enable true "unity" despite each products targetting different integration concerns.
Posted by Mendz (519 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Me too
Yeah - where was the mention of Biztalk.

But then, they seemed pretty hyper on the Bus, just when I hear peaople talk about getting OFF the bus. So, maybe this article has been on file for a while, awaiting a quiet moment ?

Not all integration models calls for pub/sub, and the features, found on the hub. I've recently been looking at new products offering interchangable MQ XML messages & SOAP XML messages. I foresee a time, when comapnies integrate to have part pub-sub, part point-to-point, with messages changing as they pass through.

I just don't think there's as much demand for Pub/Sub as was suggested in the industry a few years ago, and there may be MORE demand for point-to-point.

If these open source organisations have success, good luck to them. But when a financial services organisation has billions or trillions of dollars going through their systems every day, the cost of the established market leaders products becomes much less of an expense.
Posted by (409 comments )
Link Flag
Jitterbit Open Source Integration
A New Open Source project launched in January on sourceforge.net and the project started getting coverage last week. It address the need for a tool and infrasturcture that can be downloaded and used without the need for coding. The project is starting to attract an active community.

To view a quick demo of the product, click on the following: <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://demo.com/demonstrators/demo2006/63000.html" target="_newWindow">http://demo.com/demonstrators/demo2006/63000.html</a>

To download the product click on the following that will take you to sourceforge: <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://jitterbit.com/Product/download.php" target="_newWindow">http://jitterbit.com/Product/download.php</a>

To view what the community is using it for visit the forums on <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://jitterbit.com/Community/index.php" target="_newWindow">http://jitterbit.com/Community/index.php</a>

This is the first open source offering that has been package like a commercial product but with tools that are much easier to use.
Posted by IlanSehayek (4 comments )
Link Flag
It's about time...
... or maybe not. In the end, I still believe branding will take over.

There are many integration software products available. Most, if not all, of them are expensive (I wonder why Microsoft's Biztalk Server is not mentioned in the article...). Thus, the open source product lines.

I think the alliance offers potental if they can agree on a standard protocol and format to communicate and exchange data with each other rather than just sharing source codes. I think that a standard integration framework is essential. Something that users can immediately use out-of-the-box to integrate without much development or customization effort.

Microsoft Biztalk Server, for example, already has something like that called the Microsoft Biztalk Framework which is of course proprietary but the specification is freely available.

A similar framework for the alliance (which they can maybe propose as a standard) I think should enable true "unity" despite each products targetting different integration concerns.
Posted by Mendz (519 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Me too
Yeah - where was the mention of Biztalk.

But then, they seemed pretty hyper on the Bus, just when I hear peaople talk about getting OFF the bus. So, maybe this article has been on file for a while, awaiting a quiet moment ?

Not all integration models calls for pub/sub, and the features, found on the hub. I've recently been looking at new products offering interchangable MQ XML messages &#38; SOAP XML messages. I foresee a time, when comapnies integrate to have part pub-sub, part point-to-point, with messages changing as they pass through.

I just don't think there's as much demand for Pub/Sub as was suggested in the industry a few years ago, and there may be MORE demand for point-to-point.

If these open source organisations have success, good luck to them. But when a financial services organisation has billions or trillions of dollars going through their systems every day, the cost of the established market leaders products becomes much less of an expense.
Posted by (409 comments )
Link Flag
Jitterbit Open Source Integration
A New Open Source project launched in January on sourceforge.net and the project started getting coverage last week. It address the need for a tool and infrasturcture that can be downloaded and used without the need for coding. The project is starting to attract an active community.

To view a quick demo of the product, click on the following: <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://demo.com/demonstrators/demo2006/63000.html" target="_newWindow">http://demo.com/demonstrators/demo2006/63000.html</a>

To download the product click on the following that will take you to sourceforge: <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://jitterbit.com/Product/download.php" target="_newWindow">http://jitterbit.com/Product/download.php</a>

To view what the community is using it for visit the forums on <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://jitterbit.com/Community/index.php" target="_newWindow">http://jitterbit.com/Community/index.php</a>

This is the first open source offering that has been package like a commercial product but with tools that are much easier to use.
Posted by IlanSehayek (4 comments )
Link Flag
It's about time...
... or maybe not. In the end, I still believe branding will take over.

There are many integration software products available. Most, if not all, of them are expensive (I wonder why Microsoft's Biztalk Server is not mentioned in the article...). Thus, the open source product lines.

I think the alliance offers potental if they can agree on a standard protocol and format to communicate and exchange data with each other rather than just sharing source codes. I think that a standard integration framework is essential. Something that users can immediately use out-of-the-box to integrate without much development or customization effort.

Microsoft Biztalk Server, for example, already has something like that called the Microsoft Biztalk Framework which is of course proprietary but the specification is freely available.

A similar framework for the alliance (which they can maybe propose as a standard) I think should enable true "unity" despite each products targetting different integration concerns.
Posted by Mendz (519 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Me too
Yeah - where was the mention of Biztalk.

But then, they seemed pretty hyper on the Bus, just when I hear peaople talk about getting OFF the bus. So, maybe this article has been on file for a while, awaiting a quiet moment ?

Not all integration models calls for pub/sub, and the features, found on the hub. I've recently been looking at new products offering interchangable MQ XML messages &#38; SOAP XML messages. I foresee a time, when comapnies integrate to have part pub-sub, part point-to-point, with messages changing as they pass through.

I just don't think there's as much demand for Pub/Sub as was suggested in the industry a few years ago, and there may be MORE demand for point-to-point.

If these open source organisations have success, good luck to them. But when a financial services organisation has billions or trillions of dollars going through their systems every day, the cost of the established market leaders products becomes much less of an expense.
Posted by (409 comments )
Link Flag
Jitterbit Open Source Integration
A New Open Source project launched in January on sourceforge.net and the project started getting coverage last week. It address the need for a tool and infrasturcture that can be downloaded and used without the need for coding. The project is starting to attract an active community.

To view a quick demo of the product, click on the following: <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://demo.com/demonstrators/demo2006/63000.html" target="_newWindow">http://demo.com/demonstrators/demo2006/63000.html</a>

To download the product click on the following that will take you to sourceforge: <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://jitterbit.com/Product/download.php" target="_newWindow">http://jitterbit.com/Product/download.php</a>

To view what the community is using it for visit the forums on <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://jitterbit.com/Community/index.php" target="_newWindow">http://jitterbit.com/Community/index.php</a>

This is the first open source offering that has been package like a commercial product but with tools that are much easier to use.
Posted by IlanSehayek (4 comments )
Link Flag
Thank for this article
You hit it on the nose. We need to see more solid stand alone applications integrate rather than seeing a whole new project. The company that I work for released Shine Live Help to integrate with SugarCRM. Bringing together applications greatly increases the value of both applications for giving customer support. Open source applications that add to an already strong project can really gain momentum quickly.
Posted by gsvdb (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Thank for this article
You hit it on the nose. We need to see more solid stand alone applications integrate rather than seeing a whole new project. The company that I work for released Shine Live Help to integrate with SugarCRM. Bringing together applications greatly increases the value of both applications for giving customer support. Open source applications that add to an already strong project can really gain momentum quickly.
Posted by gsvdb (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Thank for this article
You hit it on the nose. We need to see more solid stand alone applications integrate rather than seeing a whole new project. The company that I work for released Shine Live Help to integrate with SugarCRM. Bringing together applications greatly increases the value of both applications for giving customer support. Open source applications that add to an already strong project can really gain momentum quickly.
Posted by gsvdb (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

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