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 needs.

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 ServiceMix).

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 future.

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

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 ServiceMix, 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 Camel.

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 [email protected]

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