|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 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...
Sep. 25, 2016 10:45 PM EDT Reads: 4,399
If you’re responsible for an application that depends on the data or functionality of various IoT endpoints – either sensors or devices – your brand reputation depends on the security, reliability, and compliance of its many integrated parts. If your application fails to deliver the expected business results, your customers and partners won't care if that failure stems from the code you developed or from a component that you integrated. What can you do to ensure that the endpoints work as expect...
Sep. 25, 2016 10:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,576
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management solutions, helping companies worldwide activate their data to drive more value and business insight and to transform moder...
Sep. 25, 2016 09:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,485
Throughout history, various leaders have risen up and tried to unify the world by conquest. Fortunately, none of their plans have succeeded. The world goes on just fine with each country ruling itself; no single ruler is necessary. That’s how it is with the container platform ecosystem, as well. There’s no need for one all-powerful, all-encompassing container platform. Think about any other technology sector out there – there are always multiple solutions in every space. The same goes for conta...
Sep. 25, 2016 09:00 PM EDT Reads: 955
Let's recap what we learned from the previous chapters in the series: episode 1 and episode 2. We learned that a good rollback mechanism cannot be designed without having an intimate knowledge of the application architecture, the nature of your components and their dependencies. Now that we know what we have to restore and in which order, the question is how?
Sep. 25, 2016 07:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,201
About a year ago we tuned into “the need for speed” and how a concept like "serverless computing” was increasingly catering to this. We are now a year further and the term “serverless” is taking on unexpected proportions. With some even seeing it as the successor to cloud in general or at least as a successor to the clouds’ poorer cousin in terms of revenue, hype and adoption: PaaS. The question we need to ask is whether this constitutes an example of Hype Hopping: to effortlessly pivot to the ...
Sep. 25, 2016 05:45 PM EDT Reads: 849
Enterprise IT has been in the era of Hybrid Cloud for some time now. But it seems most conversations about Hybrid are focused on integrating AWS, Microsoft Azure, or Google ECM into existing on-premises systems. Where is all the Private Cloud? What do technology providers need to do to make their offerings more compelling? How should enterprise IT executives and buyers define their focus, needs, and roadmap, and communicate that clearly to the providers?
Sep. 25, 2016 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,522
SYS-CON Events announced today the Kubernetes and Google Container Engine Workshop, being held November 3, 2016, in conjunction with @DevOpsSummit at 19th Cloud Expo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. This workshop led by Sebastian Scheele introduces participants to Kubernetes and Google Container Engine (GKE). Through a combination of instructor-led presentations, demonstrations, and hands-on labs, students learn the key concepts and practices for deploying and maintainin...
Sep. 25, 2016 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,622
There is little doubt that Big Data solutions will have an increasing role in the Enterprise IT mainstream over time. Big Data at Cloud Expo - to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - has announced its Call for Papers is open. Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is...
Sep. 25, 2016 12:45 PM EDT Reads: 2,473
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...
Sep. 25, 2016 12:15 PM EDT Reads: 3,388
The many IoT deployments around the world are busy integrating smart devices and sensors into their enterprise IT infrastructures. Yet all of this technology – and there are an amazing number of choices – is of no use without the software to gather, communicate, and analyze the new data flows. Without software, there is no IT. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will look at the protocols that communicate data and the emerging data analy...
Sep. 25, 2016 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,579
All clouds are not equal. To succeed in a DevOps context, organizations should plan to develop/deploy apps across a choice of on-premise and public clouds simultaneously depending on the business needs. This is where the concept of the Lean Cloud comes in - resting on the idea that you often need to relocate your app modules over their life cycles for both innovation and operational efficiency in the cloud. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at19th Cloud Expo, Valentin (Val) Bercovici, CTO of So...
Sep. 25, 2016 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,357
Video experiences should be unique and exciting! But that doesn’t mean you need to patch all the pieces yourself. Users demand rich and engaging experiences and new ways to connect with you. But creating robust video applications at scale can be complicated, time-consuming and expensive. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Zohar Babin, Vice President of Platform, Ecosystem and Community at Kaltura, will discuss how VPaaS enables you to move fast, creating scalable video experiences that reach your...
Sep. 25, 2016 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 956
SYS-CON Events announced today the Enterprise IoT Bootcamp, being held November 1-2, 2016, in conjunction with 19th Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Combined with real-world scenarios and use cases, the Enterprise IoT Bootcamp is not just based on presentations but with hands-on demos and detailed walkthroughs. We will introduce you to a variety of real world use cases prototyped using Arduino, Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone, Spark, and Intel Edison. Y...
Sep. 25, 2016 06:30 AM EDT Reads: 2,838
With the rise of Docker, Kubernetes, and other container technologies, the growth of microservices has skyrocketed among dev teams looking to innovate on a faster release cycle. This has enabled teams to finally realize their DevOps goals to ship and iterate quickly in a continuous delivery model. Why containers are growing in popularity is no surprise — they’re extremely easy to spin up or down, but come with an unforeseen issue. However, without the right foresight, DevOps and IT teams may lo...
Sep. 25, 2016 04:30 AM EDT Reads: 924
As applications are promoted from the development environment to the CI or the QA environment and then into the production environment, it is very common for the configuration settings to be changed as the code is promoted. For example, the settings for the database connection pools are typically lower in development environment than the QA/Load Testing environment. The primary reason for the existence of the configuration setting differences is to enhance application performance. However, occas...
Sep. 25, 2016 03:45 AM EDT Reads: 706
When scaling agile / Scrum, we invariable run into the alignment vs autonomy problem. In short: you cannot have autonomous self directing teams if they have no clue in what direction they should go, or even shorter: Alignment breeds autonomy. But how do we create alignment? and what tools can we use to quickly evaluate if what we want to do is part of the mission or better left out? Niel Nickolaisen created the Purpose Alignment model and I use it with innovation labs in large enterprises to de...
Sep. 25, 2016 01:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,240
Information technology is an industry that has always experienced change, and the dramatic change sweeping across the industry today could not be truthfully described as the first time we've seen such widespread change impacting customer investments. However, the rate of the change, and the potential outcomes from today's digital transformation has the distinct potential to separate the industry into two camps: Organizations that see the change coming, embrace it, and successful leverage it; and...
Sep. 25, 2016 12:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,064
SYS-CON Events announced today that Numerex Corp, a leading provider of managed enterprise solutions enabling the Internet of Things (IoT), will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Numerex Corp. (NASDAQ:NMRX) is a leading provider of managed enterprise solutions enabling the Internet of Things (IoT). The Company's solutions produce new revenue streams or create operating...
Sep. 25, 2016 12:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,945
While DevOps promises a better and tighter integration among an organization’s development and operation teams and transforms an application life cycle into a continual deployment, Chef and Azure together provides a speedy, cost-effective and highly scalable vehicle for realizing the business values of this transformation. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 19th Cloud Expo, Yung Chou, a Technology Evangelist at Microsoft, will present a unique opportunity to witness how Chef and Azure work tog...
Sep. 25, 2016 12:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,645