FuseSource Interview

FuseSource: ‘open source middleware is the most flexible and efficient way of integration.’

Jessica Thornsby

FuseSource: ‘even more focused and visible on serving the needs of our customers as a stand-alone company.’

Progress Software recently launched FuseSource as a subsidiary
company. JAXenter spoke to Paul Broekhoven of FuseSource to find
out where the company’s focus lies, what products we can expect
from FuseSource and what the company can add to the original Apache
projects its product line is based upon……..

JAXenter: What are the advantages of Open
Source Middleware solutions compared to
commercial offerings?

Paul Broekhoven: The key advantages of open
source middleware relative to commercially licensed software
include reduced cost, faster innovation, and increased flexibility.
From a cost perspective, there is no initial license cost, which is
a large cost saver. From an innovation perspective, the open source
development model is very nimble and collaborative, resulting in
lightweight, flexible components that evolve quickly to meet user

From a flexibility perspective, particularly using software from
the diverse, Apache community, users are not locked-in to working
with a single vendor and the projects are inherently developed to
meet the needs of users of many different technologies. For
example, a user of Fuse Mediation Router (Apache Camel) can
download, modify and re-distribute the software at no cost. The
user can continually get updates on transports and technology
support. Because of the open architecture and license, the user can
deploy with any container, messaging transport, and integrate with
any technology. The same is true of Fuse ESB (Apache

A typical commercial product, on the other hand, requires a user
to pay a license cost up-front, even for evaluation. A typical
commercial product requires a user to pre-install a hefty stack of
underlying components, often including specific version of a
specific application server and other components that also require
commercial license purchases. A typical commercial integration
product is designed to work best with specific versions of specific
integration technologies, especially those provided from the same
vendor (which also require purchasing licenses!). If a user has a
bug with an open source product, they have three options: they can
analyze and fix the issue themselves, they can seek help in the
community mailing lists, or they can partner with a vendor that
provides Enterprise Subscriptions like FuseSource. If a user has a
bug with a commercially licensed product, they must own licenses
and pay maintenance to a single vendor to receive support.
Specifically for middleware we also find that there is a large
diversity on the applications that need to be integrated, a large
diversity of technologies used out there and lots of new
technologies coming forward, that open source middleware is the
most flexible and efficient way of integration, for now and the

JAXenter: Progress Software has founded a
subsidiary company; FuseSource. What is the focus of the new

Paul Broekhoven: This past week, we were very
excited to announce the launch of FuseSource as a wholly owned subsidiary of
Progress Software. As the world leader in open source integration
and messaging, FuseSource was already a well-established,
high-growth business with over 100% growth for the past three years
and over 200 customers, including well known organizations like
Zappos, FAA, CERN and Prudential. In order to best serve the users
of our open source software, we have a community-centric approach
that will be even more focused and visible on serving the needs of
our customers as a stand-alone company. FuseSource employs more
than 20 code committers for Apache
, ActiveMQ, CXF and Camel. No other organization knows these
projects better or has more input into the projects’ direction.

JAXenter: Can you share some details regarding
the Fuse product line?

Paul Broekhoven: FuseSource offers the
following certified open source products that are Apache-licensed
and based on popular open source integration and messaging projects
from the Apache Software Foundation:

* Fuse ESB – Based on Apache ServiceMix, Fuse ESB is a
fully productized enterprise service bus (ESB), the central
“backbone” supporting enterprise integration efforts.
* Fuse Message Broker – Based on Apache ActiveMQ,
Fuse Message Broker is an open source Java Message Service (JMS)
Message Broker, which enables applications and service components
to communicate with each other.
* Fuse Mediation Router – Based on Apache Camel,
the Fuse Mediation Router enables enterprises to quickly implement
enterprise integration patterns.
* Fuse Services Framework – Based on Apache CXF, the
Fuse Services Framework is a platform that enables rapid
development and deployment of Web services, which enable
applications to share specific functionality and information with
each other.

The FuseSource open source products are available at no cost
under an Apache license. For a monthly subscription fee, FuseSource Enterprise Subscriptions provide
additional tools, 24×7 mission critical support, and a close
partnership with our expert team of leaders in the underlying
Apache projects with a long history of successful open source
integration and messaging deployments. For example, we offer
additional tools to make it easier to deploy and manage open source
integration and messaging software, including the Fuse HQ
management tool

JAXenter: The Fuse projects are based on Apache
projects. What is the added value of Fuse, compared to the original
Apache projects?

Paul Broekhoven: The Fuse products offer
consistent, predictable product releases and fix updates including
additional platform testing, integration testing, tools, and
documentation to make it easier to deploy and manage the Apache
projects in an enterprise environment. Our Fuse distributions are
readily available for anyone to use at no cost under an Apache
license, so it makes sense for enterprise users to use the
FuseSource products whether or not they plan to use a FuseSource
subscription. Our FuseSource Enterprise Subscription adds
additional tools for the products for our subscribers, including
Fuse HQ for management. We have some additional tools under
development for our subscription customers, including new web-based
GUI tools for creating enterprise integration patterns with Apache

JAXenter: Fuse Forge is a developer community
for open source projects that are based on Fuse. Who is involved in
that community, and what projects have already signed up?

Paul Broekhoven: Fuse Forge was created by our
team as a place for anyone to incubate their ideas and develop
projects for users of open source integration and messaging. Anyone
can create a project there, and many cool projects have been
created by our team. HawtDB is a lightweight, embedded MVCC
Key/Value Database for Java applications, that can be used to
provide persistence with Apache Camel for example. Scalate is a
Scala Template Engine, like
JSP without the crap but with added Scala coolness. HawtDispatch is a libdispatch style API for Java and
Scala. Jansi is a small Java library that allows you to use
ANSI escape sequences to format your console output which works
even on windows.

JAXenter: From your point of view, what are the
actual trends in the middleware domain and how is FuseSource
reacting to these trends?

Paul Broekhoven: The three big trends that we
see are cost reduction, adoption of open source, and cloud. Many
architects and project managers are considering open source for new
projects and for expansion of existing infrastructures to save
money in the short-term and to enable flexibility and access to new
open standards into the future. Middleware continues to evolve and
open standards often emerge first in open source products. We
participate and support the new standards as they evolve – we
already provide full support for the OSGi programming model and
have plans to support AMQP as well. For cloud implementations,
Apache licensing is ideal, because you can expand your
installations within and beyond your enterprise without having to
be concerned about licensing. As integration in the cloud becomes
more and more prevalent, we will continue to offer additional
capabilities including advanced provisioning and management tools
to make it easier for users to deploy open source integration and
messaging in cloud environments.

For more information, please contact Paul Broekhoven at

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