WSO2 offers open source, componentized SOA

Carbon framework lets developers deploy only needed components and eliminate complexities of middleware integration

Open source SOA vendor WSO2 on Monday will debut a componentized framework for SOA based on OSGi, with the intent of letting user sites assemble just what they need for their own deployments without having to carry excess software.

Called Carbon, the framework will first be featured in upgrades to the company's enterprise service bus, application server, and registry as well as in a new business process management product. Developers can deploy needed components and eliminate complexities of middleware integration, according to WSO2. OSGi is featured for modularization, with Carbon based on the Eclipse Equinox OSGi engine.

[ Related: A prominent analyst recently declared SOA dead | For more about SOA, check out David Linthicum's Real World SOA blog. ]

"What we’ve done is basically broken down the implementation of the server platform that we had into a collection of components based on OSGi," said Sanjiva Weerawarana, CEO of WSO2. Without this type of componentization capabilities, users can end up with too much overhead, security issues, and complications in upgrading, Weerawarana said.

As part of the rollout, the company is introducing WSO2 Business Process Server 1.0, a business process management product based on Apache ODE (Orchestration Director Engine), which executes business processes based on the WS-BPEL specification.

Other products based on the Carbon framework include the following:

-- WSO2 Web Services Application Server 3.0, featuring XML, REST and WS-Policy editor support.

-- WSO2 Enterprise Service Bus 2.0, with an enhanced sequence designer for developing flow logic.

-- WSO Registry 2.0, with enhancements to the SOA governance model including improvements to publication and management of WSDL services.

 Componentized versions of WSO2 Mashup Server and WSO2 Data Server are due in the middle of the year. A core Carbon framework, which will enable users to add what they want, also is due in mid-2009.

Carbon offers a plug-and-play architecture that will, for example, save users from having to download both the application server and ESB as separate products. Developers instead could start with the ESB and add application server components such as Java service hosting and data services. Also, users could download relevant business process management components rather than the entire product, WSO2 said.

Initially, users will need to download entire products and then they can use only needed components. Individual components will be available within one month of the initial product release, allowing developers to add new capabilities to any of the core products.

The common Carbon framework provides enterprise capabilities for management, security, clustering, logging, statistics, and tracing along with a "Try-It" testing function. A graphical, unified management console is featured for deploying and managing services, processes, and statistics across SOA components.

Service types added into the Carbon platform inherit tracing, security, and other capabilities. Also, developers can deploy other OSGi bundles based on existing open source projects or their own custom OSGi components on top of Carbon.

WSO2 is offering a "fairly intelligent use of OSGi," said Michael Meehan, senior analyst at Current Analysis. "They're really embracing the modularity of it," Meehan said.

In addition to ODE, Carbon components are based on Apache projects such as the Axis2 Web services engine, the Tomcat servlet container, and the Synapse ESB.

Developers need to download one of the four products to get the core Carbon framework and unified management console.

Products will be offered as open source offerings under the Apache 2.0 license. WSO2 sells service and support options via subscriptions. A one-year subscription to the business process server will cost $12,000 per CPU while the other three products will cost $8,000 per CPU per year.

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