Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Sematext Blog, David Sprott

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
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...
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...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform and how we integrate our thinking to solve complicated problems. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm ...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 19th Cloud Expo, Yoseph Reuveni, Director of Software Engineering at Jet.com, will discuss Jet.com's journey into containerizing Microsoft-based technologies like C# and F# into Docker. He will talk about lessons learned and challenges faced, the Mono framework tryout and how they deployed everything into Azure cloud. Yoseph Reuveni is a technology leader with unique experience developing and running high throughput (over 1M tps) distributed systems with extre...
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...
Right off the bat, Newman advises that we should "think of microservices as a specific approach for SOA in the same way that XP or Scrum are specific approaches for Agile Software development". These analogies are very interesting because my expectation was that microservices is a pattern. So I might infer that microservices is a set of process techniques as opposed to an architectural approach. Yet in the book, Newman clearly includes some elements of concept model and architecture as well as p...
"We provide DevOps solutions. We also partner with some key players in the DevOps space and we use the technology that we partner with to engineer custom solutions for different organizations," stated Himanshu Chhetri, CTO of Addteq, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
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...
SYS-CON Events announced today that LeaseWeb USA, a cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider, 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. LeaseWeb is one of the world's largest hosting brands. The company helps customers define, develop and deploy IT infrastructure tailored to their exact business needs, by combining various kinds cloud solutions.
Adding public cloud resources to an existing application can be a daunting process. The tools that you currently use to manage the software and hardware outside the cloud aren’t always the best tools to efficiently grow into the cloud. All of the major configuration management tools have cloud orchestration plugins that can be leveraged, but there are also cloud-native tools that can dramatically improve the efficiency of managing your application lifecycle. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Venafi, the Immune System for the Internet™ and the leading provider of Next Generation Trust Protection, will exhibit at @DevOpsSummit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Venafi is the Immune System for the Internet™ that protects the foundation of all cybersecurity – cryptographic keys and digital certificates – so they can’t be misused by bad guys in attacks...
Ovum, a leading technology analyst firm, has published an in-depth report, Ovum Decision Matrix: Selecting a DevOps Release Management Solution, 2016–17. The report focuses on the automation aspects of DevOps, Release Management and compares solutions from the leading vendors.
Keeping pace with advancements in software delivery processes and tooling is taxing even for the most proficient organizations. Point tools, platforms, open source and the increasing adoption of private and public cloud services requires strong engineering rigor – all in the face of developer demands to use the tools of choice. As Agile has settled in as a mainstream practice, now DevOps has emerged as the next wave to improve software delivery speed and output. To make DevOps work, organization...
SYS-CON Events has announced today that Roger Strukhoff has been named conference chair of Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo 2016 Silicon Valley. The 19th Cloud Expo and 6th @ThingsExpo will take place on November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. "The Internet of Things brings trillions of dollars of opportunity to developers and enterprise IT, no matter how you measure it," stated Roger Strukhoff. "More importantly, it leverages the power of devices and the Interne...

Let's just nip the conflation of these terms in the bud, shall we?

"MIcro" is big these days. Both microservices and microsegmentation are having and will continue to have an impact on data center architecture, but not necessarily for the same reasons. There's a growing trend in which folks - particularly those with a network background - conflate the two and use them to mean the same thing.

They are not.

One is about the application. The other, the network. T...

If you are within a stones throw of the DevOps marketplace you have undoubtably noticed the growing trend in Microservices. Whether you have been staying up to date with the latest articles and blogs or you just read the definition for the first time, these 5 Microservices Resources You Need In Your Life will guide you through the ins and outs of Microservices in today’s world.
Before becoming a developer, I was in the high school band. I played several brass instruments - including French horn and cornet - as well as keyboards in the jazz stage band. A musician and a nerd, what can I say? I even dabbled in writing music for the band. Okay, mostly I wrote arrangements of pop music, so the band could keep the crowd entertained during Friday night football games. What struck me then was that, to write parts for all the instruments - brass, woodwind, percussion, even k...
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!
When people aren’t talking about VMs and containers, they’re talking about serverless architecture. Serverless is about no maintenance. It means you are not worried about low-level infrastructural and operational details. An event-driven serverless platform is a great use case for IoT. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Animesh Singh, an STSM and Lead for IBM Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, will detail how to build a distributed serverless, polyglot, microservices framework using open source tec...