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Is Open Source Ready To Implement SOA?

Is there such a thing as service-oriented architecture built on open-source code, or does the proposed combination represent just a marriage of convenience?

"Open-source code is extremely well-adapted to service-oriented architecture," says Winston Damarillo, a co-founder and chairman of startup LogicBlaze Inc. It has matured to the point where it can take on SOA responsibilities, he says.

LogicBlaze has launched an integrated suite of open-source code designed to get businesses started with SOA. Called Fuse, it includes several pieces of open-source code from the Apache Software Foundation, plus three from the Apache incubator. The claim that all the pieces have matured must be tempered by the fact that incubator projects at Apache aren't yet full-fledged open-source projects; rather, they're getting an organization and community established around a core code donation.

But one thing in Fuse's favor is that it comes with IBM's WebSphere Community Edition, the Java application server better known as the Geronimo project at the Apache Foundation. IBM acquired a version of Geronimo integrated with Linux, the Apache Web server, and the Apache Pluto Portal when it acquired open-source integrator Gluecode Software last May. Gluecode was Damarillo's previous open-source startup.

In addition, the Fuse SOA stack includes Apache ActiveMQ, an open source code project still at the incubator stage. Its goal is to develop a system that transports messages between the application server, a firm's infrastructure applications and databases, and its Web services. ActiveMQ is based on an implementation of Java Messaging Service, a specification of the Java Community Process, the multivendor consortium that makes additions to Java.

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