I met up with Atul Saini, CEO of Fiorano Software, on Jan. 21 and as usual it was a no-holds-barred view of the state of the middleware market. And I'm only going to repeat some of the milder comments below.
Fiorano has a new version of its platform coming out in February and Atul's making the worldwide circuit of London, Silicon Valley, Tokyo and so forth to spread the word. But when I spoke with him he was home in India between trips to get caught up with the laundry.
So what do you think of standards, Atul? "SCA and SDO took off on the wrong tangent." Maybe he thinks like I do about standards: good for the suppliers but not much help to the users yet.
Next question: Some analysts call you a business process management (BPM) vendor, Atul; is that accurate? "I am not getting sucked into the BPM trap. BPM is good for human-centric processes, not back-end integration."
In this case I disagree, but I think it's because we define BPM differently. One distinction he makes is that flows are handled by message queues with Fiorano's architecture rather than a process engine. With my view that BPM is a value proposition, it doesn't matter what technology you use to enable it.
But it doesn't matter how I define it; Atul does not think of Fiorano software as supporting the BPM value proposition. To him it's the best tool out there to deliver composite apps (hence, see what he thinks of SCA and SDO above).
So you're offering just another piece of message-oriented middleware? No he says, "We're different than Sonic" (random choice of competitor, I'm sure) because the orchestration is drag-and-drop, no need for months of professional services. He didn't say it this way, but enterprise service bus (ESB) adoption is held back if you have to call in Accenture or IBM Global Services. For ultimate success, ESBs and the software that surrounds them have to provide the same value proposition on the asynch side of the world as Apache HTTP or Red Hat JBoss provide on the synch side.
His new version is adding lifecycle management, so that, Atul says, you can go from QA to production in one step no matter what the machine or parameters. And his staff added hooks to Eclipse studio for development (but it's not limited to Java; it also supports Spring and C##). What I found interesting is that there is even support for the IBM iSeries/AS-400.
Fiorano is not as well-known as the larger middleware suppliers, but well worth a look. And look for the announcement of Version 9 of the Fiorano platform soon.