|By Rod Cope||
|May 3, 2007 04:15 PM EDT||
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
|Slim Tebourbi 05/25/07 04:22:44 AM EDT|
|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.
DevOps tends to focus on the relationship between Dev and Ops, putting an emphasis on the ops and application infrastructure. But that’s changing with microservices architectures. In her session at DevOps Summit, Lori MacVittie, Evangelist for F5 Networks, will focus on how microservices are changing the underlying architectures needed to scale, secure and deliver applications based on highly distributed (micro) services and why that means an expansion into “the network” for DevOps.
Jul. 1, 2015 07:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,520
Containers have changed the mind of IT in DevOps. They enable developers to work with dev, test, stage and production environments identically. Containers provide the right abstraction for microservices and many cloud platforms have integrated them into deployment pipelines. DevOps and Containers together help companies to achieve their business goals faster and more effectively. In his session at DevOps Summit, Ruslan Synytsky, CEO and Co-founder of Jelastic, reviewed the current landscape of...
Jul. 1, 2015 05:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,226
Conferences agendas. Event navigation. Specific tasks, like buying a house or getting a car loan. If you've installed an app for any of these things you've installed what's known as a "disposable mobile app" or DMA. Apps designed for a single use-case and with the expectation they'll be "thrown away" like brochures. Deleted until needed again. These apps are necessarily small, agile and highly volatile. Sometimes existing only for a short time - say to support an event like an election, the Wor...
Jul. 1, 2015 05:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,650
The cloud has transformed how we think about software quality. Instead of preventing failures, we must focus on automatic recovery from failure. In other words, resilience trumps traditional quality measures. Continuous delivery models further squeeze traditional notions of quality. Remember the venerable project management Iron Triangle? Among time, scope, and cost, you can only fix two or quality will suffer. Only in today's DevOps world, continuous testing, integration, and deployment upend...
Jul. 1, 2015 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,949
Discussions about cloud computing are evolving into discussions about enterprise IT in general. As enterprises increasingly migrate toward their own unique clouds, new issues such as the use of containers and microservices emerge to keep things interesting. In this Power Panel at 16th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the state of cloud computing today, and what enterprise IT professionals need to know about how the latest topics and trends affect t...
Jul. 1, 2015 02:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,198
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Red Hat's Chief Arch...
Jul. 1, 2015 02:21 PM EDT Reads: 659
Summer is finally here and it’s time for a DevOps summer vacation. From San Francisco to New York City, our top summer conferences list is going to continuously deliver you to the summer destinations of your dreams. These DevOps parties are hitting all the hottest summer trends with Microservices, Agile, Continuous Delivery, DevSecOps, and even Continuous Testing. Move over Kanye. These are the top 5 Summer DevOps Conferences of 2015.
Jul. 1, 2015 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,001
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'...
Jul. 1, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,710
"Plutora provides release and testing environment capabilities to the enterprise," explained Dalibor Siroky, Director and Co-founder of Plutora, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @DevOpsSummit, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
Jul. 1, 2015 11:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,034
Containers are changing the security landscape for software development and deployment. As with any security solutions, security approaches that work for developers, operations personnel and security professionals is a requirement. In his session at DevOps Summit, Kevin Gilpin, CTO and Co-Founder of Conjur, will discuss various security considerations for container-based infrastructure and related DevOps workflows.
Jul. 1, 2015 10:30 AM EDT Reads: 863
Cloud Migration Management (CMM) refers to the best practices for planning and managing migration of IT systems from a legacy platform to a Cloud Provider through a combination professional services consulting and software tools. A Cloud migration project can be a relatively simple exercise, where applications are migrated ‘as is’, to gain benefits such as elastic capacity and utility pricing, but without making any changes to the application architecture, software development methods or busine...
Jul. 1, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,924
Data center models are changing. A variety of technical trends and business demands are forcing that change, most of them centered on the explosive growth of applications. That means, in turn, that the requirements for application delivery are changing. Certainly application delivery needs to be agile, not waterfall. It needs to deliver services in hours, not weeks or months. It needs to be more cost efficient. And more than anything else, it needs to be really, dc infra axisreally, super focus...
Jul. 1, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,981
The most often asked question post-DevOps introduction is: “How do I get started?” There’s plenty of information on why DevOps is valid and important, but many managers still struggle with simple basics for how to initiate a DevOps program in their business. They struggle with issues related to current organizational inertia, the lack of experience on Continuous Integration/Delivery, understanding where DevOps will affect revenue and budget, etc. In their session at DevOps Summit, JP Morgenthal...
Jul. 1, 2015 09:32 AM EDT Reads: 650
Overgrown applications have given way to modular applications, driven by the need to break larger problems into smaller problems. Similarly large monolithic development processes have been forced to be broken into smaller agile development cycles. Looking at trends in software development, microservices architectures meet the same demands. Additional benefits of microservices architectures are compartmentalization and a limited impact of service failure versus a complete software malfunction. ...
Jul. 1, 2015 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 890
Many people recognize DevOps as an enormous benefit – faster application deployment, automated toolchains, support of more granular updates, better cooperation across groups. However, less appreciated is the journey enterprise IT groups need to make to achieve this outcome. The plain fact is that established IT processes reflect a very different set of goals: stability, infrequent change, hands-on administration, and alignment with ITIL. So how does an enterprise IT organization implement change...
Jun. 29, 2015 12:45 PM EDT Reads: 2,819
While DevOps most critically and famously fosters collaboration, communication, and integration through cultural change, culture is more of an output than an input. In order to actively drive cultural evolution, organizations must make substantial organizational and process changes, and adopt new technologies, to encourage a DevOps culture. Moderated by Andi Mann, panelists discussed how to balance these three pillars of DevOps, where to focus attention (and resources), where organizations migh...
Jun. 28, 2015 05:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,050
At DevOps Summit NY there’s been a whole lot of talk about not just DevOps, but containers, IoT, and microservices. Sessions focused not just on the cultural shift needed to grow at scale with a DevOps approach, but also made sure to include the network ”plumbing” needed to ensure success as applications decompose into the microservice architectures enabling rapid growth and support for the Internet of (Every)Things.
Jun. 28, 2015 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,920
Mashape is bringing real-time analytics to microservices with the release of Mashape Analytics. First built internally to analyze the performance of more than 13,000 APIs served by the mashape.com marketplace, this new tool provides developers with robust visibility into their APIs and how they function within microservices. A purpose-built, open analytics platform designed specifically for APIs and microservices architectures, Mashape Analytics also lets developers and DevOps teams understand w...
Jun. 27, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,948
Buzzword alert: Microservices and IoT at a DevOps conference? What could possibly go wrong? In this Power Panel at DevOps Summit, moderated by Jason Bloomberg, the leading expert on architecting agility for the enterprise and president of Intellyx, panelists peeled away the buzz and discuss the important architectural principles behind implementing IoT solutions for the enterprise. As remote IoT devices and sensors become increasingly intelligent, they become part of our distributed cloud envir...
Jun. 26, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,257
Sumo Logic has announced comprehensive analytics capabilities for organizations embracing DevOps practices, microservices architectures and containers to build applications. As application architectures evolve toward microservices, containers continue to gain traction for providing the ideal environment to build, deploy and operate these applications across distributed systems. The volume and complexity of data generated by these environments make monitoring and troubleshooting an enormous chall...
Jun. 26, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,562