My first meeting at the EclipseWorld conference this week in Cambridge, Mass. turned out to be one of the best. IONA Technologies detailed its bear-hug embrace of open source as a burgeoning market driver for the company. IONA is not just dabbling in open source, it does appear now as its fundamental road to the future.
As part of that drive, the IONA Artix commercial ESB, which formed a core for the Celtix open source ESB project, has a new progeny. A few weeks ago, Celtix was moved to Apache Software Foundation oversight and joined with the Codehaus XFire open source Java SOAP framework initiative to form CeltiXfire.
Apache Incubator CeltiXfire will provide an open source services framework, and will join a number of other SOA-oriented open source projects, including the Eclipse SOA Tools Platform Project, Apache Incubator Yoko (CORBA initiative), Apache Incubator Tuscany (Services Component Architecture [SCA] initiative), and Apache Incubator Qpid, a message broker project that aims to define protocols (and take up where JMS left off).
These projects, while still in hard-to-predict development mode, portend the possibility of a robust and ecology-driven SOA infrastructure stack and framework set. With the likes of Apache and Eclipse as the models -- and given their past successes and the clout of their partners -- the intersection of SOA and OSS could indeed be a hot spot. IONA is taking up an increasingly prominent role in this area.
Indeed, the attraction of OSS as a foundation for services and subscription business models is extending into the upper reaches of enterprise software modernization, standardization, and development.
Hey, I'd rather be an ecology-driven, de-facto industry OSS standard with a steady stream of long-term recurring revenue, albeit at a lower margin, than a best-of-breed commercial product running solo with a high margin but limited lifecycle.