Red Hat to Debut Enterprise SOA Platform

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Red Hat is gearing up for a huge push in the enterprise space, starting this week with its proclamation that JBoss middleware would be a major part of 50 percent of all enterprise software infrastructure deployments within seven years.

To achieve that hefty goal, Red Hat is opening technology centers, adding sales and marketing staff in key market areas, and releasing enterprise-class middleware that will include products such as JBoss Application Server, JBoss Cache, JBoss Transactions, JBoss Clustering and JBoss Messaging, reports InfoWorld.

Oh, and they also announced the release of JBoss Enterprise SOA Platform.

This is where things got confusing. Red Hat News has a post from the SOA Team noting that this is "the first version of our Service Oriented Architecture Platform, aka the SOA Platform 4.2." I'm sorry -- but if it's the first version, why is it number 4.2?

The news of this release was so complicated, I actually called Red Hat to clarify and got to chat briefly with Pierre Fricke, director of Red Hat's Product Line Management SOA Products.

Fricke said it's the company's first enterprise SOA platform, meaning it brings together in one package enterprise-class tools for deploying and managing services. However, it's leveraging JBoss' enterprise application platform, which is in version 4.2, as well as JBoss' ESB, also in version 4.2.

"Wait a minute," you may be thinking. "Didn't JBoss already offer a SOA platform in, like, 2005?" True, JBoss did announce a SOA platform back in 2005. But Fricke explains that that was more of a marketing positioning -- not an actual product. The name is a coincidence.

There's a lot going on with this platform, but here's what stood out:

  • It includes a second-generation ESB. First-generation ESBs supported just one protocol, such as Java or Web services, Fricke said. Second-generation ESBs support different protocols. It also supports event-driven architecture with such capabilities as keeping an event log.
  • It brings together SOA and BPM. The platform integrates the ESB with JBoss jBPM, which allows it to handle business events. It will also support BPEL through an extension available from a partner company.
  • Supported partners are Active Endpoints, Amberpoint, Information Builders and iWay Software, SeeWhy, SOA Software and Vitria Technology.
  • It will be available at the end of this month by subscription, which will include certified product access; technical support that includes code upgrades, revisions and updates; customer support portal; documentation; and long-term enterprise stability.

You can read Fricke's take on the release for more information.

In other integration-related news this week: Microsoft Updates Office Live Small Business Services. Microsoft's new release of the Web-based subscription product, Office Live Small Business Services, was unveiled this week. This isn't an integration product, but I did want to point out this piece, which shares a new Office plug-in called QuickShip, from FedEx. It will let customers perform shipping services form the Outlook communications client.

The article also discusses Microsoft's BizTalk Adapter Pack, which was released to manufacturing and will be generally available March 1. It includes Microsoft Office adapters for applications by Siebel, SAP, Oracle and others.

While we're on the topic of Microsoft, the New York Times ran a nice feature about how mashups are shaking up things at Microsoft, although it also notes some are skeptical about whether Microsoft can escape its application-centric culture.

OASIS Launches New Online Community for WS-BPEL. If you're really into Web Services Business Process Execution Language, you'll be glad to know that OASIS, the international standards consortium, has introduced a new online community dedicated to this standard. BPEL is sometimes used with SOA. The community, which can be found at the XML.org site, is open to the public and includes a wiki knowledge base on BPEL. You'll also find discussion boards, links to white papers, case studies, product listings, news and, of course, blogs.

WSO2 Releases New SOA Governance Registry. If you need a SOA registry with Web 2.0 capacities -- a Web-based interface, tagging, comments, ratings -- you might want to check out WSO2's new open source registry. It includes built-in support for common XML and SOA metadata formats.

SOA and Content Management Systems Bad Partners. CMS Watch is an analyst firm that evaluates content management technologies. This week, the group released a report pointing out that enterprise content management products are "ill-equipped to meet the security requirements of Service-Oriented Architecture." Their analysis included 30 leading enterprise content management vendors and found all were lacking in one way or another, despite declarations that their products are SOA ready. You can read the press release; the report is available for purchase.

New Version of Denodo Platform for Mashup Data Integration. Denodo Technologies, which sells enterprise data mashup software, released version 4.1 of its Denodo Platform, used for digital data integration. According to the press release, the new version offers:

  • Extended support for interacting with Web 2.0 and mashups, including REST Web Services and Ajax.
  • Intelligent automation of Web extraction processes using automatic scanners to reduce the time it takes to create and maintain Web extractions.
  • Advanced performance and scalability capabilities that provide alternative options for efficiently handling data for complex enterprise data mashups and social networking paradigms.