WSO2: Open Source SOA in the Cloud

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WSO2: Open Source SOA in the Cloud

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The adoption of SOA requires flexibility.  Organizations need an adoption solution that is tailored to their unique architecture.  Some companies think they can slap down an ESB in the center of their organization and have a viable SOA.  Paul Fremantle, the Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer at WSO2 and VP of the Apache Synapse project, says that the most beneficial SOA will push the commonality between services and the common formats out to the edges and various departments of the organization.  At WSO2, Fremantle says they provide various pluggable SOA solutions that can be used with other vendors' software or with each other as a complete SOA enterprise platform.  The software is all open source and free under the Apache Software License.  Much of the WSO2 middleware uses Apache software and is built using Apache methodologies, Fremantle says.  Recently, WSO2 made all of its products available in the cloud.  In this exclusive interview with Paul Fremantle, DZone explores the benefits of WSO2's Cloud Initiative and gives examples of WSO2's largest customer cases.  

WSO2 in the Cloud
On the WSO2 site, developers and businesses can download products such as the Enterprise Service Bus (ESB), Data Services Server, Business Process Server, and an Identity Server.  These products can work together or as standalone solutions.  In the last month, WSO2's Cloud Initiative came to fruition.  Now customers can get all of WSO2's software as cloud images.   WSO2 provides Amazon EC2 images and VMware images.  Fremantle says VMware can be used for private cloud images.  Amazon and VMware are just starting points, he says.  WSO2 is also looking at other cloud platforms.

Large Customer Cases

Large, enterprise-level customers are the biggest beneficiaries of WSO2's cloud offerings.   Fremantle says their largest customer sells an integration product for it's separate offerings.  Because the offerings were gradually added to the company through multiple acquisitions, they don't know how to talk to each other.  "So the customers type the same data into three or four different systems that they've bought all from one company," said Fremantle.  To solve this problem, the customer company has an integration solution that moves data between the systems using SOA.  That solution, Fremantle says, is completely based on WSO2's middleware platform.  It uses WSO2's ESB, Registry, Business Process Server, and Application Server.  

Another customer Fremantle mentioned is an investment bank that uses WSO2 software in several different scenarios.  One scenario is a replacement for a traditional enterprise application integration hub and an A.I. hub.  Fremantle says the WSO2 software was four times faster and provided significant cost savings compared to what the bank was using before.  In many cases, a large organization would have to wait several months for hardware requests in order to deploy SOA services on their machines.  With WSO2's cloud images for its SOA applications, large organizations like the ones mentioned can deploy WSO2 applications in a few days.  The cloud also provides on-demand scalability.

Cloud Service Gateway
Along with its cloud images, WSO2 now offers a new Cloud Service Gateway.  "This is a tool that quickly and securely exposes certain services out to the cloud from within your organization," said Fremantle.  It's basically a bridge between a public and a private cloud.  In one example, Fremantle mentioned an investment bank that may have a lot of public data, such as market data.  To analyze that data with a varying amount of machines, the bank may want use a public cloud while accessing information from their private cloud.  They might also want to pull data from the public cloud and secure it in their private cloud.  This is the purpose of the Cloud Service Gateway.  It penetrates cloud firewalls with a secure conduit between the enterprise and the cloud.

Governance Registry
Another recent offering from WSO2 is SaaS.  Their first SaaS offering is Governance-as-a-Service (GaaS) and it's quickly becoming one of their most popular products.  With it, any company can go online and set up their own private, web-based Governance Registry.  The models, metadata, and overall information of an SOA can be stored in this registry and viewed through a governance dashboard.   Fremantle says it's like a smart catalog of services where policies can be applied throughout the SOA lifecycle.  "It's a way of managing an SOA in a distributed fashion," said Fremantle.  Just like setting up a Gmail account, Fremantle says, all you need to do is go to the WSO2 web site and sign your company up for the Governance Registry.

Paul Fremantle blogs about SOA, Web Services and Apache Synapse.  He is also the chair of the OASIS WS-RX TC that is standardizing WSRM

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