The virtuous adoption engine that ignites when a tool and runtime complement one other and help to drive market adoption of the "platform" is one of those effects that I always thought deserves a law associated with it, ala Moore's Law or Metcalfe's Law. How about, The Integrated Law of Viral Software Adoption, or perhaps better yet, Gates's Law?
In any event, a latest whirling dervish of the adoption power of tools and infrastructure came last week as Cape Clear set about injecting its Studio Tool functionality into the hugely influential Eclipse Open Source IDE. (Full disclosure: Cape Clear is a sponsor of my BriefingsDirect B2B informational podcasts.)
Cape Clear's ESB 6.5 SOA integration and management platform is now the functional arrow to be guided by the new Eclipse open source tools sharp tip to the market. One of my old bosses, Vance McCarthy, gets the details down here, to wit:
While the idea of non-programmers orchestrating business rules from an ESB console may seem far-fetched today, the most recent version of Cape Clear Studio tools for Cape Clearís ESB 6.5 today leverages metadata and abstractions in a number of ways, [Cape Clear co-founder David] Clarke said. Among them: the tools allow users to import UML, XML and BPEL modeling data, which in turn the Cape Clear Studio under the covers can use to generate a set of artifacts.
How the ESB market shapes up in 2006 will be fascinating to witness. I hear nothing but praise, even from those are generally reserved on Microsoft, for the forthcoming GA of Indigo. The word is that Redmond got this one right in terms of the proper degree of openness and automation in balance with integrated proprietary stack optimization. Some level heads are seeing Indigo as a candidate for a de facto industry standard, albeit late, for large portions of the SOA landscape.
One has to wonder then whether an open source ESB platform or an open source ESB tool set will provide the correct formula for embracing and extending the power of Indigo with the rest of the world. From Cape Clear's latest move, we can surely see they are betting on the tools as the proper focus for open source community ESB advantage, and their Cape Clear 6.5 ESB infrastructure to -- in best-of-breed fashion -- follow through as a trusted and reliable interoperability point.