Time for an SOA-open source mashup

Commercial software vendors talk SOA; open-sourcers talk SOA. 'Mashup' time!
Written by Joe McKendrick, Contributing Writer

Since I went through the entire year of 2005 without using the term "mashup" even once, it's high time I got with the program and had my own mashup. And what a mashup we are seeing between Web services/SOA and open source.

Namely, many of the services in a service-oriented architecture -- and the supporting infrastructure underneath -- will be built and maintained on open-source components.  And, open-source applications rely on  -- and encourage the use of -- standardized Web services components and interfaces.


It's an unavoidable fact; many SOAs will be running on the LAMP (Linux-Apache-MySQL-PHP/Perl/Python) and LAMJ
(Linux-Apache-MySQL-J2EE) stacks.

Consider the evolving strategies of two of the biggest infrastructure providers, IBM and BEA. IBM loves Linux, of course, one, because it's not Microsoft, and two, because the open-source OS provides a growth path for Big Blue's legacy systems. IBM has been behind a lot of the momentum for SOA as well. In September of this year, IBM launched an open-source version of its core Java EE offering, called WebSphere Application Server, Community Edition (CE). The product is based on GlueCode's Java EE-compliant Geronimo server, which IBM acquired earlier in the year. For IBM, this is an entree into the small to medium size business market, and in response to the growing prevalence of open-source products such as JBoss and JonAS.

BEA is straddling both the commercial and open-source sides of the fence with its "blended" strategy. For example, in October, BEA announces a "blended" approach to provide automated management and production-level support for customers using the open-source Apache Tomcat servlet container. Previously, BEA Systems has made overtures to the open-source folks, announcing that new updates to its Beehive component-based development environment were available through the open-source Apache Software Foundation. The Apache Beehive projects will also be able to run on JOnAS, Apache Geronimo, and Apache Tomcat servers

The open-source JBoss, JonAS, and Apache application servers are also open-source phenomena that are becoming a huge part of the Web services/SOA scene.  True, an SOA can be constructed entirely on commercial software with standardized interfaces. But an SOA running on a commodity open-source environment — built with open-source toolsets — is an incredible value proposition, far more than an SOA built on WebSphere, WebLogic, or Microsoft BizTalk and .NET. These app servers have steep licensing costs, and companies looking for low-end platforms to build their services can turn to open-source app servers such as JBoss and Apache Geronimo.

Now that's what I call a mashup.

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