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Iona Expands Open Source ESB, Moves into SOA Governance

Enterprise Service Bus vendor Iona announced today that it is upgrading
its SOA suite, rearchitecting its products around what it calls a hybrid
of open and closed source. Previously, it had pursued a strategy that
gave customers a choice but meant that the company was competing with
itself by offering two separate ESBs: its flagship Artix platform, which
grew out of its CORBA products and remains proprietary software; and
Fuse, an open-source ESB built on Apache code and originally developed
by LogicBlaze, which Iona acquired in July this year.

Iona still offers the two different ESBS, and admits that that it might
be cannibalizing some of its own sales. However, the new release
integrates the two by providing a common set of add-on modules that can
be used with either. At the initial launch there are three of these,
covering Data Services, Orchestration and Governance.

The last is particularly notable as it includes a Repository and UDDI

3.0 Registry, relatively new areas for Iona. It first shipped a
governance product about six months ago, but the new release adds new
versioning and metadata features. This brings Iona into competition with
a new set of specialized Governance vendors such as LogicLibrary and
Systinet, though Iona positions the product as part of the ESBs rather
than a separate offering. Iona continues to partner with AmberPoint for
run-time management.

The Fuse ESB is available as a free
, with Iona saying it makes money from consulting, training
and support services " essentially the same business model as Linux
vendors like Red Hat. However, the add-on modules also give it another
potential revenue stream, as all of them are still sold under
proprietary licenses. In this respect, Iona's business model is closer
to companies like Xen and VirtualIron, who layer their own closed-source
software on top of an open-source foundation.

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