Open source is well known as disruptive software industry force in the guise of operating systems (Linux, Solaris), servers (Apache, TomCat, JBoss), databases (MySQL, PostgreSQL) and other categories, ranging from business intelligence (JasperSoft, Pentaho) to system management (Qlusters, GroundWork).
The latest project to come out of the shadows to challenge the incumbent, proprietary software vendors is Mule, a popular open source integration/enterprise service bus platform. Ross Mason, who created the Mule project in 2003, will be CTO of the new company, MuleSource. According to MuleSource CEO Dave Rosenberg, over 100 organizations, including 5 of the Fortune 50, are Mule users. Wall Street investment banks, for example, are using Mule in high transaction volume trading environments, he said.
MuleSource hopes to capitalize on the Mule’s popularity, selling support subscriptions with services, including deployment and patch management. MuleSource’s code distribution will be available under a Mozilla Public License with attribution. Pricing for MuleSource’s support and services will start at $12,000 per server, which Rosenberg claimed is around 10 percent of what proprietary vendors such as BEA, IBM and Tibco charge for similar capabilities. Mule, along with the Spring Framework and Apache Tomcat (the "SMuT" stack) provides an alternative application server to BEA’s WebLogic and IBM’s WebSphere, he said. Other open-source integration projects--Celtix, JBoss Messaging and the Java System Enterprise Server Bus-- are also aiming to disrupt the proprietary establishment.
The Mule site overview describes the integration platform as follows:
- J2EE 1.4 Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) and Messaging broker
- Pluggable connectivity such as JMS (1.0.2b and 1.1), VM (embedded), JDBC, TCP, UDP, multicast, http, servlet, SMTP, POP3, file, XMPP.
- JBI Integration.
- Orchestration of services using WS-BPEL and Mule components and routers.
- Support for asynchronous, synchronous and request-response event processing over any transport.
- Web Services using XFire (STaX-based) Axis or Glue
- Flexible deployment [Topologies] including Client/Server, Peer-to-Peer, ESB and Enterprise Service Network.
- Declarative and Programmatic transaction support including XA support.
- End-to-End support for routing, transport and transformation of events.
- Spring framework Integration. Can be used as the ESB container and Mule can be easily embedded into Spring applications.
- Highly scalable enterprise server using the SEDA processing model.
- REST API to provide technology agnostic and language neutral web based access to Mule Events
- Powerful event routing based on patterns in the popular EIP book.
- Dynamic, declarative, content-based and rule-based routing options.
- Non-Intrusive approach. Any object can be managed by the ESB container.
- Powerful Application Integration framework
- Fully extensible development model
To kickstart the company, MuleSource has banked $4 million in venture capital funding from Hummer Winblad and Morgenthaler. With the company launch, MuleSource also announced partnerships with several companies, including ActiveGrid, Alfresco, cohesiveFT, EnterpriseDB, Funambol, GigaSpaces, Hyperic, Interface21, Jaspersoft, MySQL, OpenLogic and SugarCRM.