MuleSource decides to bypass a 'check box' feature in its next-gen product

2009 InfoWorld CTO 25 Awards: Ross Mason

2009 InfoWorld CTO 25 Awards

Ross Mason


As a leader at a young company, MuleSource CTO Ross Mason is required to carefully focus limited development resources on products and features that truly make a difference. But that's easier said than done, especially as technologies take on a life of their own when adoption spreads.

One of the biggest decisions Mason faced in 2008 was whether to include UDDI support in the initial releases of its Mule Galaxy SOA registry. Although Mason remained confident that the world was moving away from UDDI, it is often a "check box feature" in the RFPs of organizations looking to adopt an SOA governance tool. So he gambled and instead chose to make a stand that this software category required a new, simpler architecture (namely, REST) -- despite feedback from some vocal customers that they would not deploy or purchase the product without UDDI functionality. Mason also brought on Dan Diephouse, creator of XFire and today a vocal proponent of REST, to provide HTTP as a simpler alternative to the heavy-development-oriented SOAP communication protocols for calling SOA services.

Today, it seems that Mason's gamble paid off. Analysts and pundits are calling for the "death" of traditional top-down and heavyweight SOA approaches, such as those based on UDDI and SOAP. Eight months after Galaxy Enterprise's release, MuleSource the product has seen thousands of downloads, hundreds of deployments, and more than a dozen paying customers.

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