Yesterday, LogicBlaze announced the availability of FUSE 1.2 and a related technology partnership with eCube Systems. FUSE, as I’ve written about previously, is an open source SOA platform, designed to serve three (interconnected) areas: high volume integration, service-oriented solutions and web 2.0.
Over the last four months, since the initial FUSE release, LogicBlaze has made good progress on both the product and business fronts, to make FUSE, and the idea of an open source SOA platform, more accessible to the enterprise.
On the product front, there are both new features and changes to the FUSE code build. The new features (from the press release):
— Single sign-on is now delivered through the Java Authentication and Authorization Service;
— Support for the WS-Security standard in the Apache ServiceMix enterprise service bus.
— Eclipse-based tooling for Apache ServiceMix and FUSE 1.2 provides end-users with a convenient, GUI-based solution to deploy and configure FUSE 1.2 components;
— Integrated support for Apache Maven enables developers to package and deploy services, assemblies and components, and manage dependencies among components.
Business Information Portal:
— LogicBlaze FUSE 1.2 now incorporates the LifeRay portal, providing end-users with a graphical interface for real-time visibility into business processes and information.
Of the new features, I think the tooling is critical for enterprise evaluation and adoption. While I applaud the LogicBlaze team for initially focusing on delivering a solid execution engine, the requisite XML hacking had to go. The tooling will undergo continuous development, FUSE 2.0 (October) will include BPEL designers and process flow designers. Beyond tooling improvements, next items on the FUSE roadmap are improvements for high availability (clustering at the message layer) and continuous availability (restart automations).
Rob Davies, LogicBlaze’s VP of Product Development, shared that he is very excited about the changes to the code build in FUSE 1.2. In previous releases, FUSE used the defined releases from Apache for ServiceMix, ActiveMQ, etc. This meant FUSE was dependent on the Apache community schedule, for new features, as well as bug fixes. In FUSE 1.2, LogicBlaze is doing its own code builds, based on the Apache software, and as appropriate adding some extensions. This change gives customers the best of both worlds. The talent of the Apache community, combined with vendor responsiveness and predictable packaging.
For those (like me) that prefer pictures, here is an Illustration of FUSE 1.2. I outlined the additions from the prior version in red.
[click on picture to enlarge]
On the business front, there are compelling (think innovation and cost savings) customer stories, customer success oriented services (CoRE network and quickstart training), and early partner agreements.
Customers: LogicBlaze has customers solving SOA, integration and/or Web 2.0 problems for a variety of industries (finance, telecommunications, defense, utility, SaaS). For some details, listen to the ebizQ podcast of Gian Trotta interviewing Rob Davies.
Partners: One of the features of FUSE’s JBI architecture is the ability to embed it into other applications. I asked the LogicBlaze team if any (application or infrastructure) vendors were currently doing this. Because we all know, a first step to wider enterprise adoption is getting the product in the door, in one form or another.
This question connected me with Peter Marquez of eCube Systems. eCube specializes in ‘technologies that are old and hard to deal with’, offering consulting and software solutions to extend the ROI of legacy technology.
eCube will be embedding FUSE 1.2 into the next version of its NXTware Evolution Server. This allows eCube to focus on its core technology solution (legacy side), yet have visibility into, and contribution input to, the technology for the modernization side. Peter’s response to my “Why FUSE?” was the modularity (pick and choose components to deploy) and supporting community. When I asked how the eCube team was doing learning JBI, he indicated they were just starting now. Their first project was building an adapter, which didn’t require any JBI knowledge.
As an aside, for anyone living with legacy Unix applications (TCP/IP or RPC) that wants to move to virtualization, eCube will be making an announcement in the next few weeks of a software solution to this problem. If that’s something of interest, keep an eye on eCube’s news.
So, enough talk. If the latest, more accessible, version of FUSE sounds intriguing, go check it out. Download FUSE here. After you try it, let me know what you think.