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2006

 

In October 2005, JBoss announced its Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) strategy and positioned the JBoss Enterprise Middleware Suite (JEMS) as the Open Source Platform for SOA. In reality, JBoss was giving credit to its many customers already deploying enterprise SOA using JEMS in mission critical environments such as financial services, media and insurance. JBoss also presented its roadmap to expand JEMS to include an Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) to further ease the development and deployment of SOA to automate business processes and improve enterprise competitiveness.

Strategy

 

JBoss ESB aims to combine open source products and components to deliver SOA to the mass market in an easily consumed product. With that said, the goal of JBoss ESB is to leverage SOA principles within the ESB architecture itself and present them to third parties and customers. This means JBoss will not tie itself to one standard, but enable greater flexibility with a plug-and-play architecture. We will support the Java Business Integration (JBI) standard and we will also present a simple POJO plug-in interface for services subsystems as well as transports. JBoss will leave the door open to support other ESB and SOA plug-in standards as well. JBoss also believes that developers are looking to build services using a simple, easy and fast to develop to, services component architecture. JBoss ESB will enable the widest choice of service architectures. These include web services, EJB3 and Seam/Web Beans. In particular, Seam has been getting rave reviews by developers actually using the application framework for its ability to simplify stateless, stateful, transactional and process workflow applications and services. Seam can integrate an SOA deployment into Web 2.0 rich clients as well. JBoss ESB is open to support other service architectures such as the Services Component Architecture (SCA) despite its complexity and cost if it becomes important to our customers. We see services and application developers getting their job done the fastest with the least cost and highest quality with Seam and EJB3 and have received lots of feedback that reinforces this view.

 

Personally, I was amazed at the overwhelming reception for Seam when I went “On the Road” with Gavin King, at Java One, and at JBoss World Vegas!

 

JBoss ESB will be licensed under the LGPL because the LGPL (and GPL) have been the license that successful mass market platforms such as Linux and JBoss Application Server have been based. The LGPL is the best license for both the community as well as business interests. The LGPL significantly reduces the risk of fragmentation and eliminates proprietary “strip mining” where a vendor will take open source software and embed it in a competing closed source product, denying developers and end-users much of the benefit of the open source model. Additionally, the LGPL allows ISVs and businesses to build upon JBoss ESB while protecting their intellectual property and fully benefiting from the professional open source model with JBoss ESB.

 

JBoss already is a key participant in the Apache community with respect to Tomcat and other technologies. We expect to expand our participation in the Apache community on technologies that enable JBoss ESB and other ESBs to interoperate. We believe the Apache model is best for driving protocols, interoperability and tools and history has borne that out with the success of Apache web server, struts, etc… JBoss will bring Apache technologies to the mass market within JBoss ESB product as open source (!) and as add-ons where there is developer, partner and customer demand.

 

History has shown that the LGPL is the stronger license for the ESB platform for mass market consumability by ISVs, partners and customers and the Apache (or BSD) license is good for widespread tool and protocol proliferation.

Roadmap

 

Mark Little, JBoss Director of Standards and ESB development manager, recently blogged about a community donation of ESB technology that will accelerate the JBoss ESB roadmap and maturity. An insurance company that is a customer of JBoss contributed the Rosetta ESB which has been running in production for more than three years. Rosetta ESB is their integration platform built on JEMS to integrate insurance industry processes connecting Oracle 11i Applications, mainframe and JEE applications with end-user interaction. Tens of thousands of real time events and transactions are processed through this ESB each day. Rosetta ESB will be open source under the LGPL and a key technology input to JBoss ESB.

 

As described in Mark’s blog, the Rosetta ESB offers a full suite of basic ESB capabilities including supporting multiple messaging services, transformation, event registry for governance, basic transport, a pluggable architecture and a notification service. Figure 1 illustrates the Rosetta ESB.

Figure 1. The Rosetta ESB.

 

This will be the foundation for release 1 for the end of 2006. Capabilities under consideration to add to release 1 include web services, EJB3, and JBoss Messaging support.

 

Release 2 of JBoss ESB is planned for 2007. This is where JBoss will add a POJO and JBI pluggable interface for protocols and subsystems encouraging third parties to add their value and benefit from a true open source, mass market ESB. Figure 2 illustrates JBoss ESB for release 2 and beyond.

Figure 2. JBoss ESB.

 

We have a significant and growing community for JBoss ESB and invite you to join!

 

Also, please attend our JBoss ESB webinar to be held Wednesday, June 21 at 1PM EDT. Please register here.

 

Mark Proctor and the Drools team have released the first JBoss Rules product last week. This adds an important building block to JEMS, the Open Source Platform for SOA, enabling a more modular and easily modified application and business process architecture. JBoss Rules will allow business process and application developers to separate evolving business policies and rules from slower changing business logic and process logic. As business policies and rules change, applications and SOA deployments become easier to maintain, enhance and modify by reducing or eliminating the need to rebuild and redeploy monolithic applications. Additionally, multiple applications and business process flows can share the same rules.

 

A simple example of a small set of rules is what does an airline offer its Platinum members when they purchase tickets online. Changing daily specials offered to different travel groups (e.g., Gold, Platinum) may involve such items as seat upgrades, discounts, partner special offerings (e.g. hotels or rental cars), and other add-on offerings (e.g., tour packages). The business logic required to code this in Java is quite significant and difficult to modify on a daily or weekly basis when these rules are embedded within Java business logic. Separating these rules out of an application or SOA deployment into JBoss Rules will enable IT to rapidly and affordably change their SOA and applications to meet daily business needs.

 

Scale this scenario up into more complex business processes and interelationships amongst a group of businesses and JBoss Rules really pays to utilize many times over!

 

Checkout the latest release of JBoss Rules and save yourself and organization a lot of time and money as you build up your business's rules repository.

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