Thursday, February 12, 2009

WSO2 announces componentized framework for expansive SOA deployment and integration

A full and componentized service-oriented architecture (SOA) framework is the latest offering from WSO2, the open-source SOA platform provider.

The Mountain View, Calif. company has announced the general availability of WSO2 Carbon, which will allow users to deploy only the components they need and simplify middleware integration. [Disclosure: WSO2 is a sponsor of BriefingsDirect podcasts.]

It's amazing to me that this amount of open source SOA and web development and deployment technology is available in open source. It's really an impressive feat, with many parties around the world responsible, to produce so much code in a fairly brief time. Congrats to the effort, and the whole Apache model.

Built on the increasingly popular OSGi specification, the framework is accompanied by four related products:
  • WSO2 Web Services Application Server (WSAS) 3.0
  • WSO2 Enterprise Service Bus (ESB 2.0)
  • WSO2 Registry
  • WSO2 Business Process Server (BPS)
The Carbon framework provides such enterprise capabilities as management, security, clustering, logging, statistics, and tracing. Also included is a "try it" testing function. Developers can deploy, manage, and view services from a graphical unified management console.

The componentized OSS platform changes the way developers implement SOA middleware. They no longer need to download both the WSAS and ESB as separate products. They can, for example, start with the ESB, which includes the framework, and then add the other functionality as components.

The components of the Carbon platform are based on Apache Software Foundation projects, including Apache ODE, Axis2, Synapse, Tomcat, Axiom, among many core libraries. Other key features include:
  • Full registry/repository integration that allows a complete distributed Carbon fabric to be driven from a central WSO2 Registry instance.
  • Eventing support, including a WS-Eventing Broker, to support event driven architectures (EDA).
  • WS-Policy Editor for defining Web service dependencies and other attributes.
  • Transactional support for JMS and JDBC, facilitating error handling for services and ESB flows.
  • Transport management control for all services.
  • Active Directory and LDAP support across all products, providing integration into existing user stores including Microsoft environments.
WSAS 3.0 offers enhanced flexibility for configuring SOAs. Developers can separate the administration console logic from the service-hosting engine of WSAS 3.0, making it possible to use a single front-end server to administer several back-end servers simultaneously.

Other enhancements in the WSAS 3.0 are:
  • XSLT-to-XQuery transformation for Java and Data Services
  • Enhanced administration user interface,
  • WS-Policy Editor to configure services using the W3C standard.
  • Improved support for Microsoft Active Directory allowing administrators to integrate WSAS into existing user management infrastructure.
ESB 2.0 allows developers to plug in extra components to handle tasks like service hosting, business process management and SOA governance without disrupting existing flows and configuration. Developers can also separate the management console logic from the ESB routing and transformation engine of the ESB 2.0, making it possible to use a single front-end management console to administer several back-end ESB instances simultaneously.

Other key features of the WSO2 ESB 2.0 include:
  • Enhanced sequence designer, which lets users develop ESB flow logic using a wide variety of built-in mediators, as well as customer provided code.
  • An enhanced proxy service wizard, which provides the ability to create a robust proxy service using simple editors to configure the behavior.
  • Support for events
  • A new security management wizard.
Registry 2.0 includes significant improvements to the publication and management of WSDL-based services. It lets users define custom lifecycles with conditional state transitions. Additionally, it offers well-defined extension points for a flexible, plug-in approach to linking resources and allowing users to encode their own governance rules and polices.

WSO2 BPS, powered by the Apache Ode BPEL engine, provides a full BPEL runtime, deploys business processes written following the WS-BPEL 2.0 and BPEL4WS 1.1 standards, and manages BPEL packages, processes and instances. Other key features include:
  • Eclipse BPEL support, including the ability to work with Eclipse BPEL tooling and the availability of a plug-in to deploy Eclipse-developed processes in WSO2 BPS.
  • Caching and throttling support for business processes to ensure optimal performance and availability.
  • Shutdown/restart support, which allows the administrator to suspend, resume and terminate processes.
  • Transport management allowing simple configuration of JMS, Mail, File and HTTP transports.
  • Full security via the core Carbon framework, including authentication and authorization, with full support for WS-Trust, WS-Security and WS-SecureConversation.
Four products based on Carbon are available for download today from the WSAS 3.0, ESB 2.0, WSO2 Registry 2.0, and the new WSO2 Business Process Server 1.0. Developers need to download one of the four products in order to get the core Carbon framework and unified management console that drive all of the components.

Individual components will be available within one month, allowing developers to simply add new capabilities to any of the core products as needed. Componentized versions of the WSO2 Mashup Server and WSO2 Data Services are expected to roll out in mid-2009.

Incidentally, in October, a new data services offering arrived from WSO2 that allows a database administrator (DBA) or anyone with a knowledge of SQL to access enterprise data and expose it to services and operations through a Web services application-programming interface (API).

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