Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Craig Lowell, Pat Romanski, Lori MacVittie, Dana Gardner, Elizabeth White

Related Topics: Open Source Cloud

Open Source Cloud: Article

Ten Open Source Solutions Your Enterprise Should Be Using

There are literally thousands of other solid open source packages available that perform a wide variety of functions

Linux tends to take center stage when it comes to support and other services for enterprise open source users. However, there are literally thousands of other solid open source packages available that perform a wide variety of functions. Unfortunately, there's a real lack of information about the options and considerations for selecting open source that not only meets the functional and technical requirements of specific tasks, but has the support and backing that enterprises need to manage risk. As a result, with enterprise developers lost in a sea of open source options, it can be a daunting task to make the best choice.

Highlighted below are 10 popular open source projects that enterprises can look to when considering open source alternatives in their IT infrastructure. I've highlighted a few key open source components in some of the most asked-for categories - Web Services, Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), Integration, Frameworks, and Libraries. Each project selected has at least one vendor offering commercial support. At the end of this article, I'll offer a basic checklist for those who are evaluating open source to ensure that the open source software they select fills all of their technical and business-related needs while managing corporate risk.

Web Services
XFire
XFire is a Web Services framework (hosted by Codehaus) that allows developers to create and/or consume Web Services. Given its simplicity of use and built-in testing tools, it makes short work of Web Services by effectively eliminating the manual labor of generating WSDL and other artifacts of SOAP. XFire is compatible with a variety of commercial and open source Web Services frameworks, including Apache Axis and Microsoft Web Services.

Major pros of this relatively new project are that it's up-to-date, fast, built to integrate with other frameworks like ServiceMix, and supports JAX-WS - an easy-to-understand architecture for Web Services development that can be used to build Web applications and Web Services with newer XML-based functionality.

However, because XFire is so new, many organizations have already become comfortable using Apache Axis - the original open source Web Services offering. Companies might feel more comfortable choosing Axis over XFire simply because of name recognition.

The license for Xfire isn't an OSI-approved license but it is very liberal, only requiring a copyright notice. Xfire is in the process of merging with Celtix, backed by Iona Technologies. Envoi Solutions and OpenLogic offer commercial support.

Axis2
Similar in function to XFire, Axis2 is a core engine for Web Services. Like XFire, Axis2 supports SOAP and other standards, but it also has integrated support for the Representational State Transfer (REST) style of Web Services. Axis2 is a more efficient, modular, faster, and more XML-oriented (it has the new fast AXIOM XML parser) solution than the original version. It supports plug-in modules that extend functionality for features such as security and reliability, factors critical to enterprise IT.

The primary downside of Axis2 is that it's plagued by the stigma of the first Axis, which has the reputation of being poorly documented and difficult to use. However, Axis2 does offer more documentation, which is a marked improvement over the earlier version.

Axis2 is an Apache Software Foundation project and is available under the Apache 2.0 license. Commercial support is available from several companies including Covalent, OpenLogic, and WSO2.

Choosing between Axis2 and XFire really comes down to what you need to plug into. XFire is meant to be easily pluggable and work with a slew of other frameworks, including ServiceMix, while Axis2 is better suited for standalone use, although it's also pluggable if necessary. These two offer less expensive open source alternatives to proprietary Web Services solutions like those offered by Microsoft. Unless companies are using a full-blown SOA implementation where they get everything from a vendor (BEA, for example), they would probably want to opt for an open source solution like these two for reasons of cost and simplicity.

SOA
ActiveMQ
ActiveMQ is the most popular and powerful open source Message Broker. Although not quite a full-blown SOA solution, its flexible messaging technology is required for any SOA implementation. Widely considered one of the best Java Messaging Service (JMS) implementations available, ActiveMQ is fast, pluggable, and easy to embed into homegrown software, especially Spring-based applications. It's easily manageable through JMX, and it works with Apache Axis2 and XFire as well as servers like JBoss, WebLogic, and Geronimo. It also supports REST, many cross-language clients and protocols, including Java, C, C++, Perl, PHP, Ruby, and Python, and a wide variety of transport protocols. Regarding functionality, ActiveMQ provides a number of advanced messaging services offered by commercial vendors, such as Message Groups, Virtual Destinations, Wildcards, and Composite Destinations.

The drawback with ActiveMQ is that it's still fairly young and evolving, so it might require heavier configuration rework than enterprise developers want to accept. Although this extreme configurability is a major asset of ActiveMQ, it requires time to configure correctly for your circumstances.

ActiveMQ is an Apache Software Foundation project and available under the Apache 2.0 license. Commercial support is available from LogicBlaze and OpenLogic.

ServiceMix
This project provides an Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) that combines the functionality of a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) and an Event Driven Architecture (EDA) to create an agile enterprise ESB. It's built on Java Business Integration (JBI) and supports BPEL in conjunction with rules engines. It has dozens of transports and plug-ins and is lightweight, easily embeddable, and offers integrated Spring support. It works standalone or within Geronimo or JBoss and sits on top of ActiveMQ. It has e-mail integration, Web Service integration, virtual file system integration, XSLT transformation, content-based routing, and Groovy support for end-point scripting.

ServiceMix is the most configurable and adaptable open source ESB implementation available. Like ActiveMQ, though, ServiceMix's configurability is a blessing and a bane. The project is still young, and it will go through many iterations and require a lot of configuration by developers. Also these open source alternatives don't offer a lot of user interfaces for policy administration, management, control, flow design, or the other bells and whistles offered by commercial competitors like Sonic and BEA.

ServiceMix is an Apache Software Foundation project and is available under the Apache 2.0 license. Commercial support is available from LogicBlaze and OpenLogic.

Integration
POI
Java-based POI gives developers easy and direct access to Microsoft Office files, including Word and Excel. The documents can be parsed and generated, which makes it easy to create them on-the-fly for downloading purposes from a corporate Web site. So, if a developer needs to create a report that's required on the business end in Excel or Word, POI is the open source tool of choice.

Unfortunately, although it's top-notch for reading Word or Excel files, it currently can only create Excel files. The functionality to create Word files is reportedly in development.

POI is part of the Apache Software Foundation's Jakarta Project and is available under the Apache 2.0 license. Commercial support is available from OpenLogic.

More Stories By Rod Cope

Rod Cope is the CTO and founder of OpenLogic. He is a Sun Certified Java Architect with 25 years of software development experience, including 12 years of Java. For the past six years, he has been working on OpenLogic Enterprise, a certified, managed, updated, and supported collection of over 350 Open Source projects for Java developers. Rod routinely speaks at technical conferences such as Java Symposia and the O'Reilly Open Source Convention and has been selected as one of the Top 10 presenters at JavaOne.

Comments (2) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
Slim Tebourbi 05/25/07 04:22:44 AM EDT

usefull article.
Just replace JUnit by TestNG.

James Strachan 05/04/07 02:44:14 AM EDT

Great article Rod. A minor nit; ActiveMQ isn't really that young, its about 4 years old now though I guess age of projects is a subjective thing. Also its maybe worth mentioning that LogicBlaze also offer eclipse based tooling for ServiceMix which makes configuration of the ESB much simpler.

@MicroservicesExpo Stories
A company’s collection of online systems is like a delicate ecosystem – all components must integrate with and complement each other, and one single malfunction in any of them can bring the entire system to a screeching halt. That’s why, when monitoring and analyzing the health of your online systems, you need a broad arsenal of different tools for your different needs. In addition to a wide-angle lens that provides a snapshot of the overall health of your system, you must also have precise, ...
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long dev...
Sharding has become a popular means of achieving scalability in application architectures in which read/write data separation is not only possible, but desirable to achieve new heights of concurrency. The premise is that by splitting up read and write duties, it is possible to get better overall performance at the cost of a slight delay in consistency. That is, it takes a bit of time to replicate changes initiated by a "write" to the read-only master database. It's eventually consistent, and it'...
The burgeoning trends around DevOps are translating into new types of IT infrastructure that both developers and operators can take advantage of. The next BriefingsDirect Voice of the Customer thought leadership discussion focuses on the burgeoning trends around DevOps and how that’s translating into new types of IT infrastructure that both developers and operators can take advantage of.
With so much going on in this space you could be forgiven for thinking you were always working with yesterday’s technologies. So much change, so quickly. What do you do if you have to build a solution from the ground up that is expected to live in the field for at least 5-10 years? This is the challenge we faced when we looked to refresh our existing 10-year-old custom hardware stack to measure the fullness of trash cans and compactors.
The emerging Internet of Everything creates tremendous new opportunities for customer engagement and business model innovation. However, enterprises must overcome a number of critical challenges to bring these new solutions to market. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Martin, CTO/CIO at nfrastructure, outlined these key challenges and recommended approaches for overcoming them to achieve speed and agility in the design, development and implementation of Internet of Everything solutions wi...
This digest provides an overview of good resources that are well worth reading. We’ll be updating this page as new content becomes available, so I suggest you bookmark it. Also, expect more digests to come on different topics that make all of our IT-hearts go boom!
SYS-CON Events announced today that Isomorphic Software will exhibit at DevOps Summit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Isomorphic Software provides the SmartClient HTML5/AJAX platform, the most advanced technology for building rich, cutting-edge enterprise web applications for desktop and mobile. SmartClient combines the productivity and performance of traditional desktop software with the simp...
Thomas Bitman of Gartner wrote a blog post last year about why OpenStack projects fail. In that article, he outlined three particular metrics which together cause 60% of OpenStack projects to fall short of expectations: Wrong people (31% of failures): a successful cloud needs commitment both from the operations team as well as from "anchor" tenants. Wrong processes (19% of failures): a successful cloud automates across silos in the software development lifecycle, not just within silos.
Node.js and io.js are increasingly being used to run JavaScript on the server side for many types of applications, such as websites, real-time messaging and controllers for small devices with limited resources. For DevOps it is crucial to monitor the whole application stack and Node.js is rapidly becoming an important part of the stack in many organizations. Sematext has historically had a strong support for monitoring big data applications such as Elastic (aka Elasticsearch), Cassandra, Solr, S...
SYS-CON Events announced today that 910Telecom will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Housed in the classic Denver Gas & Electric Building, 910 15th St., 910Telecom is a carrier-neutral telecom hotel located in the heart of Denver. Adjacent to CenturyLink, AT&T, and Denver Main, 910Telecom offers connectivity to all major carriers, Internet service providers, Internet backbones and ...
As the world moves toward more DevOps and Microservices, application deployment to the cloud ought to become a lot simpler. The Microservices architecture, which is the basis of many new age distributed systems such as OpenStack, NetFlix and so on, is at the heart of Cloud Foundry - a complete developer-oriented Platform as a Service (PaaS) that is IaaS agnostic and supports vCloud, OpenStack and AWS. Serverless computing is revolutionizing computing. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Raghav...
Monitoring of Docker environments is challenging. Why? Because each container typically runs a single process, has its own environment, utilizes virtual networks, or has various methods of managing storage. Traditional monitoring solutions take metrics from each server and applications they run. These servers and applications running on them are typically very static, with very long uptimes. Docker deployments are different: a set of containers may run many applications, all sharing the resource...
It's been a busy time for tech's ongoing infatuation with containers. Amazon just announced EC2 Container Registry to simply container management. The new Azure container service taps into Microsoft's partnership with Docker and Mesosphere. You know when there's a standard for containers on the table there's money on the table, too. Everyone is talking containers because they reduce a ton of development-related challenges and make it much easier to move across production and testing environm...
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportuni...
DevOps at Cloud Expo – being held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises – and delivering real results. Am...

Modern organizations face great challenges as they embrace innovation and integrate new tools and services. They begin to mature and move away from the complacency of maintaining traditional technologies and systems that only solve individual, siloed problems and work “well enough.” In order to build...

The post Gearing up for Digital Transformation appeared first on Aug. 26, 2016 01:30 PM EDT  Reads: 1,482

Using new techniques of information modeling, indexing, and processing, new cloud-based systems can support cloud-based workloads previously not possible for high-throughput insurance, banking, and case-based applications. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, John Newton, CTO, Founder and Chairman of Alfresco, described how to scale cloud-based content management repositories to store, manage, and retrieve billions of documents and related information with fast and linear scalability. He addres...
Cloud Expo 2016 New York at the Javits Center New York was characterized by increased attendance and a new focus on operations. These were both encouraging signs for all involved in Cloud Computing and all that it touches. As Conference Chair, I work with the Cloud Expo team to structure three keynotes, numerous general sessions, and more than 150 breakout sessions along 10 tracks. Our job is to balance the state of enterprise IT today with the trends that will be commonplace tomorrow. Mobile...
The following fictional case study is a composite of actual horror stories I’ve heard over the years. Unfortunately, this scenario often occurs when in-house integration teams take on the complexities of DevOps and ALM integration with an enterprise service bus (ESB) or custom integration. It is written from the perspective of an enterprise architect tasked with leading an organization’s effort to adopt Agile to become more competitive. The company has turned to Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) as ...