Today we're announcing RiftSaw, our return to the WS-BPEL space. Ever since I helped write the initial WS-T work and BPEL4WS, I've believed that BPEL is an important part of WS-* and subsequently SOA. Is it perfect? Of course not. In fact since it's initial release I think some of what we did in the OASIS technical committee made it less useable and less interoperable. But the same could be leveled at a lot of other standards efforts then and now.
A few years back we had our own BPEL engine, based on jBPM. Because we needed to focus on making jBPM the best embedded workflow engine around, we decided to not pursue this as a product, though it's still part of our community offerings. Meanwhile we released our own ESB and then SOA Platform, both of which use jBPM for workflow/task-flow, but both of which have a need for BPEL as well. However, it made no sense whatsoever for us to try to do this alone, for exactly the same reasons as were behind our decision to adopt Apache CXF. So where did that leave us? Apache ODE, with its long history going back to PXE from FiveSight was the best open source candidate, allowing us to participate in a thriving community as peers. (The added bonus was that I'd worked with the FiveSight guys back in my Arjuna days.)
We've been working on integrating ODE with our projects and platforms for a little while. This announcement is really to make it official. This is a really important step for us as the combination of Riftsaw, jBPM and Drools will help us to create a world-class offering in this space. I have high expectations for the months and years ahead, both for RiftSaw as a community project and for how we'll extend it and use it within our platforms. If you're interested in SOA, workflow, or just plain BPEL, now is the time to get involved!
Note we're doing a couple of webinars on RiftSaw. They should be available for those who couldn't attend in a few days.
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