09 June 2006

The Glue that is Hot, Hot, Hot

Middleware: not really the most engaging of subjects, perhaps. But what amounts to the enterprise software glue that holds together everything else is, believe me, hot. Or if you don't believe me, believe Red Hat, which paid $420 million for the middleware company JBoss recently.

What's remarkable is that JBoss is open source; what's even more remarkable, is that it's not alone in this respect. Other open source middleware efforts include Geronimo, IBM WebSphere Application Server Community Edition, JOnAS, Enhydra and now WSO2.

WSO2 is particularly interesting (if you are into enterprise glue), because it takes a very different approach, based on two buzzconcepts: Web services and Service Oreinted Architecture (SOA):

Web services is the simple new approach for building Web-based applications and integrating systems across different platforms. Web services standards start simple but grow to provide security, reliable exchange and transaction support.

Based on Service Oriented Architecture the new platform helps build applications that are simpler, more flexible, and deliver value more quickly.

WSO2's main product, Tungsten, is built up from several other free software projects, and provides an interesting demonstration of the benefit of open source: the fact that you can mix different ingredients to create new concoctions in the bubbling cauldron of collaborative innovation.

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