Showing posts with label Debbie Moynihan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Debbie Moynihan. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Rapidly Evolving IT Trends Make Open, Agile App Integration More Important Than Ever

Transcript of a sponsored BriefingsDirect podcast on the maturing of open source integration software and its role in making enterprises responsive to a rapidly changing IT landscape.

Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes/iPod and Download the transcript. Register for CamelOne. Sponsor: FuseSource.

Dana Gardner: Hi, this is Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions, and you're listening to BriefingsDirect.

Today, we present a sponsored podcast discussion on how enterprise integration requirements are rapidly shifting to accommodate such trends as cloud computing, mobile devices' explosion, and increased demand for extended enterprise business processes.

Application-to-application integration inside an enterprise's four walls is well understood, but very quickly the demands placed on integration are spanning multiple enterprises, multiple types of applications, and varieties of service providers. Software as a service (SaaS) and cloud computing are joining with legacy systems to form new and varied hybrid models that require whole new sets of integration needs and challenges.

Once these newer breeds of integrations are set up, can the old, brittle management and upkeep of them suffice -- or will agility and rapid upgrades and innovations require new tools to make integration a lifecycle function with ongoing management and more automated governance?

In this discussion, we'll examine how open-source integration projects like Apache Camel and lightweight integration implementations and graphical tools are making developers and architects more agile. At the same time, these open-source approaches are proving less vulnerable to the complexity, fragility, and cost that often plague aging commercial middleware integration products. [Learn more about the CamelOne conference May 24 in Washington, DC.]

Here to examine the new need for open and agile integration capabilities is Rob Davies, Chief Technology Officer at FuseSource. Welcome, Rob.

Rob Davies: Hi, Dana. Good to be here.

Gardner: We're also here with Debbie Moynihan, Vice President of Marketing at FuseSource. Hello, Debbie.

Debbie Moynihan: Hi, Dana.

Gardner: Debbie, what's going on out there? Why are things happening so rapidly? Why do people need to rethink integration?

Many challenges

Moynihan: Dana, there are so many things happening out there -- integration, in particular. There are so many challenges right now. The business models are changing and people are being asked to do more with less. Teams and applications are more distributed than they have ever been.

There are a lot of new technologies coming out that people are struggling to learn about, and figuring out how to incorporate them into their infrastructure: cloud, mobile, the explosion of the huge amounts of data that enterprises are trying to understand and make sense out of. Not to mention the social media technologies that people are being asked about and wondering how to incorporate into their enterprise infrastructure.

There are a lot of different skills that people are looking to have that they've never been asked to have before. More and more people are being asked to perform IT tasks. It isn’t just highly skilled developers, but also business analysts and people who have never done integration before are being asked to do integration activities.

A lot of people are looking for solutions and ideas. They're not sure how to keep up with all of these changes. Costs are a problem because essentially everyone has the same or smaller budget going forward and a lot of people have fewer people to do what they've been doing before.

People are challenged. I think open source is a great solution. At FuseSource, we've seen a lot people looking more and more to open source to solve some of these problems.

The reason why open source is a good solution is that with open source there's a lot of flexibility. When the environment changes and new technologies come out, you need to integrate new things into your environment.

The community people, when they see a problem or new technology, just make it happen. They can add, expand, and modify what's involved in the various open-source integration projects without the overhead and bureaucracy of some of the traditional software development environments.

Gardner: Debbie, in the past, when we had a shift in computing, we'd bring in a new set of applications, we'd update our platforms, and then think about integrating them. It was a sequential process and it could take three to five years to go through something like that.

We don’t really have that luxury anymore. Now things are happening in a simultaneous fashion. So integration really can't be an afterthought, but needs to be part and parcel with how you go about designing and implementing your applications.

Doesn’t open source, in a sense, allow for a compression of the time that we’ve traditionally taken with commercial products?

Moynihan: Absolutely. Open-source is a componentized, lightweight approach. As people develop their applications, they develop them in such a way that they can be broken apart in new and different ways down the road, and it's very transparent. It makes it easier over time to further integrate what you’ve built and to make changes as you need.

Gardner: Rob Davies, let's dive a little deeper into this notion of open and agile integration capabilities. What's wrong with simply going into traditional, commercial integration capabilities and somehow broadening them into this new domain? Is it not something that can be extended?

The pace of change

Davies: I think it is, but I think the real crux of the problem goes back to what Debbie was talking about earlier -- the pace of change. If you’ve got an open-source framework, you can actually have an insight into how the project works.

After we launched Apache Camel at the Apache Software Foundation, we provided a number of default integration components for Camel. But, as soon as they got out there and the community started to use them and saw the benefits of using them, we saw no end of contributions. People contributed adapters to weird and wonderful systems, and contributed them right back into the Apache project. [Learn more about the CamelOne conference May 24 in Washington, DC.]

Then we’ve got other components that people use to automate open-source but not at Apache. A number of components have grown rapidly since the inception of a project. When we started, we had probably 20 components, and now it's well over 100. Those are the ones we know about, the ones that people have open-sourced.

We know from our customers that they’ve got specific needs. They’ve got legacy applications. Because we've gone to the effort of making sure that it's very easy to add a new component into Apache Camel, it's very straightforward for someone to add in extra functionality.

For example, if you want to write a component for legacy mainframe application, you could very easily do in a matter of hours. The old approach would take you weeks, months, maybe even years, especially if you don’t have access to the source code. So, you’ve got that added flexibility.

The fact that it's an open-source project at Apache means that there is a vibrant community of users and developers.

The fact that it's an open-source project at Apache means that there is a vibrant community of users and developers. You can get feedback instantly, if you’ve got issues and problems. Of course, if you want professional help, there’s FuseSource as well. We have our own community at So, all these things combined means that you have more flexibility and a much more agile way of doing integration.

Gardner: You know it strikes me that when we begin to talk about integration that I’d mentioned service-oriented architecture (SOA), but that was sort of yesterday’s buzzword. We're now into cloud, hybrid, and mobile. But, from an architectural perspective, you can't really scale and leverage these open components without that proper underpinning, typically an enterprise-service-bus (ESB) architecture.

Rob, help me understand why doing this correctly from an architecture (not just an open-source) perspective is really important as well.

Davies: You hit the core things about the SOA and the ESB architectures. We see where people are using, in particular, Apache Camel and some of our other open-source projects. They want flexibility there. So, they want to leverage a service bus, put things on, expose them as service, and expose them over the service bus, which uses different transports to enable that bus, be that messaging, HTTP, or whatever other means you want to use.

Application integration

At the same time, you also want to have the flexibility now to do it in application integration. You want to have that flexibility for some services and you very much need that enterprise service bus in place. But for other cases, you want to be able to do that more locally, where the integration points are.

The approach that we have is that we enable you to do both, because you can embed Apache Camel inside an application server, if you want it inside your application itself. If you want to use it in a more traditional sense, you can deploy it into ServiceMix. You can define your apps easily, deploy them into ServiceMix, and use it to manage the container.

Having that flexibility as well means that you can have the right architecture for your particular solution. If you look at how people would do the integration before, they’d have to get an ESB, and that would force the whole architecture of how they do things. When you’ve got more flexibility, it means that you can make the right architecture choices that you need, and you're not constrained to one particular style of integration.

Gardner: I'm facing a lot of questions more recently about how to cross the domains that we've mentioned -- SaaS, cloud, on-premises, traditional architecture, and private cloud architecture.

Does the service-bus approach and the open-source approach also give us some sort of a path or vision for how to go about this? I think we're just starting to enter into how to integrate my legacy applications with cloud or SaaS applications in a meaningful way? What are your thoughts about that, Rob?

You can only really get that speed of innovation to keep up with the way the environment is changing by choosing open source.

Davies: I completely agree. Having open source enables you to have the insight into how the integration application works. But more importantly, those environments are changing very rapidly.

If you just look back just a couple of years, when people were starting to use the cloud, they weren’t even thinking about having hybrid clouds. Now, we're seeing more and more people, more of our customers, looking to hybrid clouds and have a private cloud for applications.

When they need the capacity, obviously they can get that capacity in a public cloud. But, to have all those PCs working together seamlessly, they need the agility that you get from an integration solution that can be deployed on a public cloud, locally, or a combination of both. That’s something that you can only get from software that has evolved at the same pace as the demands of the environment.

You can only really get that speed of innovation to keep up with the way the environment is changing by choosing open source, because the open-source community itself is driving the projects to keep up with the demands.

So, you have to try to move outside of a traditional release cycle that you would get from a traditional product company. You don’t really have any other alternatives, if you want to keep up, than to look at open-source projects, the Apache ones in particular. [Learn more about the CamelOne conference May 24 in Washington, DC.]

Apache projects certainly hit the right notes in that you've got both very business-friendly license from the Apache license and very active communities, and you’ve got diversity in that community. You know these projects are going to live beyond the lifetime of particular individuals on the projects.

Support and consultancy

ou also have the benefit of having companies like FuseSource, which created the projects in the first place, and who are there and able to provide support and consultancy if you need it. You get the best of having a dynamic community, a dynamic project, and you also get the security of having professional company to back it up.

Gardner: I'd like to revisit that thought about the traditional upgrade path in the product cycle. Many organizations have faced two stages of this. One is to wait for the commercial vendor, to come out with the upgrade or often, an association with larger projects that they have across different platforms, brings in various versions and iterations that they've done.

It's a fairly complex undertaking for the vendor, but then there is the complexity of them bringing that into your organization, and there's cost, because you have the upfront licensing cos. Many times, you’ll incur hardware cost and many times you want to have cohabitation of your older deployments, as well as new ones that come online. This is sometimes a three- to five-year process.

Tell me why an open-source approach and, from a cost perspective, that upgrade path is much different.

Davies: Because it’s open source. The projects that we are involved in Apache are Apache licensed. ActiveMQ, which is a message bus, Camel, ServiceMix, and CXF, are Apache licensed. It means that you don't have to pay the license costs upfront.

The problem that organizations are facing now is that the environments that they can deploy into and have to interface with are changing and evolving so quickly.

You're actually right about the time of the release cycle for a traditional product company. The problem that organizations are facing now is that the environments that they can deploy into and have to interface with are changing and evolving so quickly. You just can't have a luxury waiting for a three- to five-year release cycle.

And what often happens is that the software you are trying to integrate with is really out of date and people have moved onto something else. So, up front, you have to look at what you can use to integrate with these systems as they evolve. Things are evolving more quickly over time. There are different sorts of social networks that you have to interface with, and that market has been very dynamic over the last few years.

Twitter has been around for a few years, but we see people using Twitter as asynchronous communication within their organizations to give out real-time information updates. So, that’s important. Who knows what's going to be just around the corner, because things have evolved very quickly.

If you want your organization to keep pace with the changing environment we're in, you have to look for the right integration solutions right now, and choose the ones that will be able to keep pace.

Gardner: How rapidly are the iterations within the Apache project, within Camel in particular, happening? How rapidly is innovation taking place?

Very fast pace

Davies: It’s happening at a very fast pace. When we do release these out of Apache, it's typically every three months, but in that three month period there could be other components that have gone into the Apache Camel Framework. Because it's open source, people can actually look about, release their own components into an open-source environment, or develop them separately without necessarily releasing to Apache, just to get the functionality out.

That pace of change is very fast and it’s near real time. When the need comes up, within a few days or a week, you would probably find someone who has already written that integration component that you need and it’s available.

Gardner: This is, of course, a global community. You have a great number of different inputs and parties involved, different locations that are supported, and different localizations, and languages.

Davies: Absolutely. That’s another benefit of having an open-source, and a well-known open-source, community to drive our innovation and to back it up.

Gardner: Debbie, let's go look at what's happening in the community. I understand you have a conference that’s coming up May 24, a first of its kind. Why is this a good time to be pulling together the Camel Community, and what you’re going to do?

The nice thing about Camel is that it provides a basic foundation and a terminology of well-defined patterns.

Moynihan: We’re really excited. We have an event coming up in May. It’s called CamelOne and the reason why we focused on Camel with the name of the event, is that it’s actually an event for open-source integration and messaging overall. It’s because Camel is a really great way for people to get started, and it’s also a great way for more advanced integration developers as well. It brings together the entire community.

Rob was talking about earlier about how there is always these new technologies coming up and people can add components. The nice thing about Camel is that it provides a basic foundation and a terminology of well-defined patterns. The integration patterns themselves are very well-defined, but what's happening is all the different ways in which you connect and what you are connecting to have been changing and evolving over time.

Camel is a great foundation and CamelOne is an event to bring together users of Camel and other open-source integration and messaging technologies to learn more about Camel, open-source messaging like ActiveMQ, and ESBs like Apache ServiceMix.

You were talking earlier about cost savings. More and more people are being asked to do integration. The nice thing about Camel and about these other technologies is some people maybe just only needed to do lightweight integration. They can just learn how to use Camel and learn the basics.

Other people are going to be doing more in-depth management of many integration patterns and they may need to know all the nuances of an ESB platform. The focus of CamelOne is to bring people together to understand, learn about, and meet each other and to grow this community of open-source integration users.

Gardner: So, this is CamelOne, May 24, in the Washington D.C. area. Why Washington D.C.? Is there a lot of this going on in the public sector?

Central location

Moynihan: Actually, we do have a lot of users in the Washington D.C. area. We also thought that was a central location, where people could come from not only anywhere in the US but also from other regions of the world as well. There are a lot of direct flights to that location. But, we do have a lot of users in the area. For example, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is going to be speaking and they have selected open-source integration for the next generation of their services infrastructure.

Since they connect with a lot of other agencies, there is a lot of interest in learning more specifically about that program and about the technologies that it's built upon, because a lot of other agencies need to connect.

Gardner: One of the other aspects of this that I'm seeing in the market is that more people need to take part in integration. It can't just go through a bottleneck of "beard-and-sneaker guys" in the back room who can do coding. Integration needs to be part and parcel with process innovation. That means we need to elevate it out to a wider group of individuals, maybe as many as possible that are on the front lines of process innovation and analysis.

The addition of tooling is going to help broaden how many people can do integration, and we're real excited.

What's being done about the integration that we've been describing? It’s wonderful that we have the open source and we have the cost benefits, but how about bringing this to a larger class of individuals, Debbie?

Moynihan: On April 11, we announced the general availability of a new graphical tooling for Apache Camel. [Users can download a trial version of the plug-in, which includes some of the functionality of the fully paid version found on the subscription-based Fuse Mediation Router.]

The addition of graphical tooling makes it easier for more people to do integration development. They don't have to write code. They can use a drag-and-drop environment to select the integration patterns that they want to implement, and the software will implement them. They can test them and deploy them into production as well.

The addition of tooling is going to help broaden how many people can do integration, and we're real excited. We've been doing a beta program since the end of January with over 500 participants. Rob mentioned the breadth of all the components and how hot Apache Camel has been. We're not surprised that more and more people want to use it. So, the idea of having tooling on top of it is really attractive to users.

Gardner: So, what's the name and where do you go to find out more about them?

Moynihan: The Fuse IDE for Camel is the name. It plugs into an Eclipse environment and you can get it at

Gardner: And how about more information on CamelOne? It’s simple, I suppose search on CamelOne will get you there.

Moynihan: Yes, is the website as well.

Gardner: Now, you guys have been involved with a series of books and you have something new coming out in that series. Tell me about that.

Camel in Action

Moynihan: There are a couple of books that recently have come out. One is Camel in Action, which is fantastic for people who want to get going with Camel and learn how to use and deploy it. Rob is coauthor of the ActiveMQ in Action book, which has come out in print recently from Manning Publications.

Davies: ActiveMQ in Action is really a scripted book, which goes through all the different use cases of using ActiveMQ, right from getting started and what messaging is about. It walks you through different deployment options, all the way up through using clusters of ActiveMQ brokers, to using ActiveMQ as a wide area network, so you can connect geographically dispersed locations.

It shows you how to tune the performance of ActiveMQ and get the best out of it. So it's very comprehensive book about how to use ActiveMQ. It's somewhat complementary to Camel in Action as well, which goes through all the different patterns you can use.

It doesn't talk about using Camel. It talks about integration patterns as well and then describes how you can use those using Apache Camel, and you can use Apache Camel with ActiveMQ. ActiveMQ also can embed Apache Camel. So, you have routes running inside the broker from Camel. The two of them are very complementary.

Gardner: Let's step back for a wider perspective. I'm seeing that the need for integration is increasing. The things that need to be integrated are increasing, perhaps exponentially. The pace at which that needs to take place is very rapid and dramatic, compared to the history of computing. Open source is well established. We’ve seen many different organizations embracing this. We saw Red Hat come out recently with some very strong growth figures.

It's coming to the point where organizations won’t have a choice other than to use open source as a way to try to keep up with a pace of change.

So, it seems to me that open source is a very mature approach now, not something that’s a new kid on the block, by any stretch. When you put these factors together and when you look at the need for integration as a service within applications from the start -- not something you bolt on or think about after the fact but actually build applications for, of, and by integration capabilities -- this perhaps spells a historic shift.

Maybe we could riff on the future or even look at this from an abstract or even philosophical perspective. Rob, are we at a shift here where the ability to integrate becomes an essential character of businesses?

Davies: We probably are at that shift right now. Sometimes, it's difficult to see things happening like that, if you’re actually right inside in the middle of it. But, if you look at the way the environments change, you’ve got to actually be running your compute resources.

We’ve talked about cloud environment. Also there’s social network, SaaS, and mobile devices, and you need to link all those together. It's coming to the point where organizations won’t have a choice other than to use open source as a way to try to keep up with a pace of change.

We're probably at a point now, where we’re going to see that the traditional model of providing software is going to dwindle over time, probably pretty rapidly as well, as organizations realize that they need the flexibility and the ability to change what they’re doing very quickly.

Future-proofing applications

It's a really good point that you made. You have to start thinking about how you're going to future-proof your applications right from the beginning to adapt to changes in their environments. You have to architect in how you’re going to integrate and future-proof your applications, because it does get more costly if you do it as an afterthought.

Gardner: Many of the SaaS providers are doing multitenancy and providing applications as services on demand at a very attractive and aggressive price point. They're leveraging open source on the back end, I have to imagine. Do you have any insight into what the service providers themselves are building with?

Davies: Most applications now, in particular on the cloud, are using open source at the back end. We can't give you any specific details of vendors that are doing that, but I know they're using open-source projects, and not just the SaaS vendors, but some of the other existing product vendors use open-source as well to enable their products.

We certainly see open-source as definitely mainstream now, and we’ve seen it has been the first choice that people use for building any kind of application or service they’re providing. It's more a case of people asking the questions now of not should we be using open source, but why shouldn’t we use open source? It's starting to become a first choice for people to go to.

Gardner: Let's look at some of the ways in which those people are making that choice. Debbie, you mentioned the FAA. Are there other organizations that you can point to and say, either by name or by use case scenario, that they’ve taken this leap, they’ve made those choices, they’ve embraced some of the new requirements around integration, and they have some positive proof points? Any examples that we can look to?

It’s more dynamic and flexible, and being involved with the community is really exciting.

Moynihan: Sure. Sabre is one of our customers. Sabre Holdings is using the FuseSource open-source software, and they started using open-source software many years ago. Years ago, a lot of people chose it because they were looking at cost and flexibility. Now, they're seeing that you actually were getting more features faster in open source than you were getting in traditional software. It’s more dynamic and flexible, and being involved with the community is really exciting.

One of the things that Sabre has done with open-source software is a travel gateway. They connect to many different airline technologies and travel agencies and they have over one-and-a-half billion transactions running through their infrastructure on any given day. They've been using FuseSource open-source software for over a couple of years with zero downtime.

Being able to use open-source, they have that flexibility, have the interaction with the community, and also have high-performance and reliability.

People are getting all of the traditional benefits of high-quality software, but also that dynamic ability to get new features, to get new technologies, to get bugs fixed, for example, really quickly with the community. With support vendors like FuseSource providing subscription so that they can have access to the engineers directly who are working on these projects, they can quickly get turnaround and get what they need to make those dynamic changes in their business.

Retail industry

Another area that we are seeing a lot of people look at open source is in the retail industry. Earlier on, people were looking for cost savings. If you think about retail, it’s common for retailers to have a lot of locations, whether it’s franchises or stores. Using open-source, you can save a lot of cost on your IT footprint in those locations.

Specsavers is one of our customers. They're deploying open-source to over 1,000 retail stores. We're seeing more and more retailers looking at open-source to be able to do that. They're going to get all the flexibility of being able to incorporate these new technologies as we incorporate them into the open-source projects really quickly. But, right from the get-go, they have reduced costs, flexibility and the involvement within the open-source community and directly with the development teams through working with vendors like FuseSource that support the open-source communities.

Gardner: For folks who are looking to ramp up their adoption of open-source integration, are there some resources that they should be aware of in terms of getting started?

Moynihan: I would encourage people, specifically if they are looking at open-source integration and messaging, Apache Camel is a good place to get started. We have a productized distribution at as well.

I would encourage people, specifically if they are looking at open-source integration and messaging, Apache Camel is a good place to get started.

The reason why I suggest Apache Camel is that it's is based on the enterprise integration patterns book and provides a nice foundation and definition around some of the most commonly used integration patterns. It’s a great way to get started.

People could obviously come to CamelOne, which is going to be really exciting, meet a lot of the people who are experts in the community, and meet other users of open-source integration messaging software.

Also on our website, we have a lot of webinars, which are happening live on a regular basis. We have a lot of archived webinars, which actually walk you through technical tutorials on how to get started with these various open-source projects.

So I’d highly recommend to check that out and to check out the books that we've mentioned and the documentation on our site as well.

Gardner: Very good. We have been talking about how enterprise integration requirements are rapidly shifting in order to accommodate such general and global trends as cloud computing, mobile device use explosion, and the increase demand for extended enterprise business processes.

I want to thank our guests, Rob Davies, Chief Technology Officer at FuseSource. Thanks a lot, Rob.

Davies: Thank you very much, Dana.

Gardner: And Debbie Moynihan, Vice President of Marketing at FuseSource. Thanks, Debbie.

Moynihan: Thank you, Dana.

Gardner: You've been listening to a sponsored BriefingsDirect podcast. This is Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions. Thanks for listening, and come back next time.

Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes/iPod and Download the transcript. Register for CamelOne. Sponsor: FuseSource.

Transcript of a sponsored BriefingsDirect podcast on the maturing of open source integration software and its role in making enterprises responsive to a rapidly changing IT landscape. Copyright Interarbor Solutions, LLC, 2005-2011. All rights reserved.

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Monday, October 25, 2010

FuseSource Gains New Autonomy to Focus on OSS Infrastructure Model, Apache Community Innovation, Cloud Opportunities

Transcript of a sponsored podcast discussion on the status and direction of FuseSource, which is being given its own corporate identity today by Progress Software.

Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes/iPod and Download the transcript. Sponsor: FuseSource.

Dana Gardner: Hi, this is Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions, and you're listening to BriefingsDirect.

Today, we present a sponsored podcast discussion on the rapid growth, increased relevance, and new market direction for major open source middleware and integration software under the Apache license.

We'll learn how the FUSE family of software is now under the FuseSource name and has gained new autonomy as its own corporate identity. We'll also look at where FuseSource projects are headed in the near future. [NOTE: Larry Alston also recently joined FuseSource as president.]

Part of the IONA Technologies acquisition by Progress Software in 2008, FuseSource has now become its own company, owned by Progress, but now more autonomous, to aggressively pursue its open source business model and to leverage the community development process strengths.

Even as the IT mega vendors are consolidating more elements of IT infrastructure, and in some cases, buying up open-source projects and companies, the role and power of open source for enterprise and service providers alike has never been more popular or successful. Virtualization, cloud computing, mobile computing, and services orientation are all supporting more interest and increased mainstream use of open-source infrastructure.

Please join me in welcoming ours guests. We're here now to discuss how FuseSource is evolving to meet the need for open source infrastructure with Debbie Moynihan, Director of Marketing for FuseSource. Welcome to the show, Debbie.

Debbie Moynihan: Hi, Dana. Thank you. It's great to be here.

Gardner: We're also here with Rob Davies, Director of Engineering for FuseSource. Welcome to the show, Rob.

Rob Davies: Hi, Dana. Good to speak to you today.

Gardner: Debbie, tell me about some of the trends. As I said, we're seeing some of the most aggressive use of open source and IT infrastructure. We're seeing great success in terms of total cost, efficiency, and agility. Why is that happening now, and where do you see the demand trends headed to in the next several years?

Cost reduction

Moynihan: As we all know, over the past couple of years, there has been a lot of focus on cost reduction, and that resulted in a lot of people looking at open source who maybe wouldn’t have looked at open source in the past.

The other thing that’s really happened with open source is that some of the early adopters -- we have had customers for many years -- started out with a single project and now has standardized on FuseSource products across the entire organizations. So there are many more proof-points of large global organizations rolling out open source in mission-critical production environments. Those two factors have driven a lot of people to think about open source and start adopting open source over the past couple of years.

Then, the whole cloud trend came along. When you think about scaling in the cloud, open source is perfect for that. You don’t have to think about the licensing cost as you scale up. So, there are a lot of trends that have been happening and that have really been really helpful. We're very happy about them helping push open source into the mainstream.

From a FuseSource perspective, we've been seeing over 100 percent growth each year in our business, and that’s part of the reason for some of the things we're going to talk about today.

Gardner: How about the popularity of the Apache license? We see controversy, in some cases, a lack of clarity and understanding about where some other licenses are going, but Apache seems to be pretty solid and pretty accepted.

Moynihan: We really like the Apache license. There's a lot of confusion around open source licensing. There are many different licenses. There is a lot of fine print. A lot of people don’t want to think about it, and a lot of legal departments get concerned about the gray areas. The Apache license is very easy to understand and it's very permissive in what you can do with software that’s licensed under the Apache license.

Essentially, you can make any modifications you want to the software and you don’t necessarily have to contribute back to the community. It's nice, if you can contribute back, but from a business perspective, if you want to use any of the components, it's what's considered a non-viral license. So, you're pretty free to do what you want, as long as you give credit back to those who wrote the initial code.

Gardner: Rob, we've seen a lot of popularity for open source in operating systems -- server operating systems, in particular -- but why has the use of open source for infrastructure, say for integration and middleware, become so popular? Why do you think that’s going to continue with such things as cloud?

Davies: There has been a trend over the last few years, and Debbie alluded to this, with companies looking to open source and kicking the tires around. In fact, I recently spoke to a large customer of ours in the telco space. They had this remit. Any open source that came in, they wouldn’t put into mission-critical situations, until they kicked the tires for a good while -- at least a couple of years.

Because there has been this push for more open source projects following open standards, people are now more willing to have a go using open source software.

Snowball effect

We've been around in this space for a while, but the earlier adopters who were just trying out in distinct groups are now rolling this out into broader production. Because of that, there is this snowball effect. People see that larger organizations are actually using open source for their infrastructure and their integration. That gives them more confidence to do the same.

In fact, if you look at the numbers of some of our larger customers, they are using Apache ServiceMix and Apache ActiveMQ to support many thousands of business transactions, and this is business-critical stuff. That alone is enough to give people more confidence that open source is the right way to go.

Gardner: Debbie, tell us a little bit about the FuseSource move toward more autonomy. This clearly is an opportunity, but it’s a different opportunity than a purely commercial license and software model. Tell us what’s going on with Progress Software and FuseSource.

Moynihan: We're really excited as a team. Progress is launching a new company called FuseSource that will be completely focused on the open source business model. The FuseSource team has been an independent business unit, since IONA was acquired by Progress Software. We have been fairly independent within the company, but separated as our own company we'll be able to be completely independent in terms of how we do our marketing, sales, support, services, and engineering.

When you're part of a large organization, there are certain processes that everyone is supposed to follow. Within Progress, we are doing things slightly differently (or very differently depending on the area) because the needs of the open source market are different. So being our own company we'll have that independence to do everything that makes sense for the open-source users, and I'm pretty excited about that.

Being our own company we'll have that independence to do everything that makes sense for the open-source users, and I'm pretty excited about that.

Gardner: So, here we are in the middle of October, and this is pretty much now a done deal. Tell me about the history of FuseSource and what led up to this movement.

Moynihan: Rob, who is on the call, can maybe talk about the early days. He was actually a founder of a startup company and that was really the genesis of that is now FuseSource. So Rob, why don’t you start out and I can chime in if needed.

Davies: The notion is of having open source infrastructure start with a group of developers and founders in open source projects. It worked for commercial license based infrastructure product companies before. We -- the other individuals are James Strachan, Hiram Chirino, and Guillaume Nodet -- realized that the best way to deliver open source for infrastructure was to develop open source at Apache.

We decided that open source is the best thing to do, because it opens up the software for engineers to look at, use, and enhance. We felt like that was a very good way to grow a community around the projects we wanted to do.

We started this company called LogicBlaze, which was acquired three years ago by IONA. At that time, we decided to sell to IONA because we wanted to piggyback on their expertise of doing large infrastructure rollouts. IONA, the FUSE brand, and the FUSE product line then really came into the forefront.

Get the message out

ebbie Moynihan, who was the director of open source at IONA, was working on another project at the time called Celtix, which morphed into Apache CXF. We decided to collaborate on this effort to get this message out about using really good infrastructure based on Apache open source projects and get that into the marketplace.

Then, when IONA was acquired by Progress, Progress initially liked the idea, or liked the fact that it’s disruptive. They invested in the group: we added more employees, more sales people, more people in marketing, etc. We have been involved in that for the last two years.

But, it has gotten to a point where we realized that to operate it in its most effective way it has to be outside of Progress to a degree, because it is so different in the go-to-market strategy and what we deliver to customers compared to the rest of what Progress is doing with the one-product solution.

Moynihan: Also, from a business prospective, Progress’ go-to-market is, as Rob said, offering solutions at the business level, whereas open source has traditionally been looked at by developers and project managers more from a technical perspective and more from an open source advocate perspective.

That’s growing over time, as we have talked about earlier. Open source is becoming more and more mainstream, but our approaches to marketing and sales are different in the FuseSource team and are much more community oriented and grassroots than the way that corporate marketing is done at Progress Software.

Our model is that there is no license cost. It’s a subscription support model.

Gardner: Let’s face it, the business models are quite different. The way in which you develop revenue is more through support and maintenance and not on the upfront costs and implementations. Maybe you could explain why the business models being separate makes more sense.

Moynihan: Absolutely. From a practical perspective, the business model is very different. In traditional enterprise software sales, there is a license fee which is typically a large upfront license cost relative to the entire cost over the lifetime of that software. Then, you have your annual maintenance charges and your services, training, and things like that.

From an open source perspective, typically upfront, there is no license cost. Our model is that there is no license cost. It’s a subscription support model, where there is a monthly fee, but the way that it is accounted for and the way that it works with the customer is very different. That's one of the reasons we split out our business. The way that we work with the customers and the way they consume the software are very different. It’s a month-to-month subscription support charge, but no license charge.

Gardner: It’s interesting to me that Progress with FuseSource recognizes that there is that little bit of apples and oranges going on, and perhaps keeping them separate is in the best interest of the users and the community. But, we're seeing the opposite in other companies, where people are looking to fold open source projects and products into a larger family or stable of commercial products.

Do you think that we are going to see that trail off in the market? I guess the question is: what about these mega vendors and the direction of how an open source model and a commercial model should or shouldn’t overlap or exist together?

Very difficult

Moynihan: There are a lot of opinions out there on whether or not open source can be successful in a hybrid model within a single mega vendor. My view is that it’s very difficult, especially because the business model is different. If you're a company and you're out there selling a large portfolio of products, where only a small amount of it is open source, you have a team of people trying to sell, market, and grow business around that portfolio. They're going to focus on the license product.

They're going to have a tendency to focus on those products that are going to drive revenue in the short-term, from a business perspective. It has nothing to do with whose model is better.

I'm very happy that Progress has decided to separate out FuseSource. We already had our own sales team, but now we can be completely focused on working with our customers to help them adopt open source, and when it makes sense, they can work with us to get support and to get training.

It’s a very consultative partnering model. In the early days we really like to provide everything someone needs to get going at no cost. You can come to and get a lot of documentation, and you can get a lot of training webinars for free. We have weekly webinars that show you how to get going on our products, and that’s nothing that you would see in traditional commercially licensed software.

Gardner: Debbie, tell me about what a customer should expect. If you're a user of FuseSource and if you're in the community, how will this move towards autonomy actually impact you? Will you perhaps not even notice too much?

Overall, it will be really good for our customers. We've talked with them, and they're pretty excited about it. We're all excited about it.

Moynihan: From a customer perspective, this change will have a small but significant impact. We are continuing to do everything that we have been doing, but as I mentioned earlier, we will be able to have even more independence in the way that we do things. So it will all be beneficial to customers.

From an administrative perspective, our email address will change to and invoices will say FuseSource instead of Progress Software, for example. But, from who they're going to be working with, who their account managers will be, who is developing the software, and who is providing the services and the support, it’s going to be the same people that they have been working with.

We have also launched a new community site at, which we're pretty excited about. We were planning to do that and we've been working on that for several months. That just provides some additional usability and ability to find things on the site.

Overall, it will be really good for our customers. We've talked with them, and they're pretty excited about it. We're all excited about it.

Gardner: Let's get back to looking at the overall market for infrastructure, open source infrastructure in particular. Rob, tell me a little bit about what's going on in the market?

We're seeing a lot of interest in clouds, private clouds, hybrid clouds. We're certainly also seeing a great deal of emphasis on reducing costs, particularly from the service provider, where they are going down to minute margins in some cases. They really need to make to sure that they're doing this in the most cost-effective manner. Then I have to imagine that if the service providers are able to provide IT-as-a-service at a low cost, the IT enterprises themselves will have to follow suit.

Help me understand the new economics of IT and how open source infrastructure fits into that.

Disruptive in the market

Moynihan: From a market perspective, at a high level, open source is really disruptive in the market in that it's affecting how people are buying software. Generally, we've seen a lot of changes over the past 5 to 10 years anyway, where license costs seem to be coming down with more and more discounting, and people are looking at it.

Historically, software vendors looked at license revenue as the premium part of the business to focus on. More and more they're realizing that a lot of value really does come from the services side. Why? Because that’s where you partner with your customer. That’s where you get to know them. That’s where you help them select the right solutions.

In the open source community, that’s how it works. People come to the community and work with the developers directly. It eliminates a lot of the cost involved in large, complex software organizations, where you might have to wait to schedule time of the product manager, who then would have to spend time with the engineers understanding what's happening with the products, so that he could then relay it to the account team, and then they would meet with the customer.

Open source just breaks down a lot of barriers and eliminates a lot of the costs involved in getting the best software to the users. Why? Because people are talking directly to the developers in the community. The developers are getting the feedback directly.

While we do have some level of product management for open source, a lot of it is based around packaging, delivery, licensing, and these types of things, because our engineers are hearing directly from customers on a moment-by-moment basis. They're seeing the feedback in the community, getting out there, and partnering with our customers. So, from an economic perspective, the model is different.

You pay as you go. You scale as you go. And you don’t have that upfront capital expenditure cost.

Just from the overall "how it works" from a buy-in perspective for the customer, it's very different. It's very attractive in these times that we are having right now, because upfront you don’t have the capital expenditure costs. You can get going. You can go to an open source community site, download the software, and try it out.

We've actually seen people get to proof of concept before they have even spoken with us. We've seen people build our stuff into a product as an application provider, as an OEM, and then come to us. That will tell you how easy it is for people to consume and use open source without having to spend a lot trying to select or figure it out, before they even can try it out.You can try it before you buy it, and when you go to buy, you pay as you go.

That’s also the reason people like cloud. You pay as you go. You scale as you go. And you don’t have that upfront capital expenditure cost. For new projects, it can be really hard to get money right now. All these benefits are why we're seeing so much growth in FuseSource.

Gardner: Are there some salient examples that demonstrate what you've been talking about? I'll throw this out to either one of you. Some of your customers might be good examples of how this can work, both from an economic, technical, and innovation freedom perspective as well.

Moynihan: I'll mention a couple of examples. They are kind of similar and something that we are seeing more and more. Sabre Holdings delivers a lot of applications for various airlines. They have a lot of partners, travel agencies, and airlines. Also, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Those are two of our customers.

In both of those cases, they started looking at open source at the project level, but eventually came to standardize on open source for their common integration infrastructure, and to recommend it - not just within their own organizations - but in both of those cases, to their partners.

Integration is easy

That’s the really nice thing about open source. Integration within your own company is easy. You can have any crazy interface and you'll figure out how to do it. But when you partner, you can't tell your partner how to build their interfaces. But, you can have a common integration platform and say, "Can you transform your stuff so it can connect to this platform?"

With open source, they don't have to have a license for that. So, it's quite nice. They can get going, try it out, and see how it works without requiring their partners to pay any cost. From an economic perspective, they could try it out, get going, look at some proof concepts, test it out, and then rolled it out for a standardized infrastructure internally for some major projects. Then, work with partners to roll it out further.

Gardner: To your point Rob, we've heard a call for more standards in the market around cloud, such as common operating environments and standards for interoperability. In lieu of having those structured standards develop rapidly, we have the open source fallback position. We can't always know what the commercial underpinnings are for services across an ecosystem of cloud consumers or providers, but having a common open-source infrastructure base might very well serve that purpose. Is that what we are finding technically?

Davies: That’s really on the money, Dana. There is this trend as well. When you look at cloud, there are different issues you have to overcome. There is the issue about deploying into the cloud. How do you do that? If you're using a public cloud, there are different mechanisms for deploying stuff. And there are open source projects already in existence to make that easier to do.

This is something we have found internally as well. We deploy a lot of internal software, when we are doing our big scale testing. We make choices about which particular vendors we're going to use. So, we have to abstract the way we are doing things. We did that as an open source project, which we have been using internally.

You have to have choice. You can’t really dictate to use it this way or the other way. You've got to have a whole menu of different options for connecting.

When you get to the point of deploying, it’s how do you actually interface with these things? There is always going to be this continuing trend towards standards for integration. How are you going to integrate? Are you going to use SOAP? Are you going to use RESTful services? Would you like to use messaging, for example, to actually interface into an integration structure?

You have to have choice. You can’t really dictate to use it this way or the other way. You've got to have a whole menu of different options for connecting. This is what we try to provide in our software.

We always try to be agnostic to the technology, as much as how you connect to the infrastructure that we provide. But, we also tend to be as open as we can about the different ways of hooking these disparate systems together. That’s the only way you can really be successful in providing something like integration as a service and a cloud-like environment. You have to be completely open.

Gardner: It sounds as if we've been able to capture the best of both worlds, with FuseSource being based on mature Apache software projects with the model around the FuseSource support, which is several years old and very well demonstrated in the market. But now that you are autonomous, you're also getting the benefits of being a startup, of being innovative, being able to move, being fleet, being able to be agile.

Debbie, is that a fair characterization? By going autonomous with FuseSource, you're getting the best of a mature, established mission-critical enterprise supplier, but also, you're able to move quickly in a rather dramatically changing market.

Best of both worlds

Moynihan: Definitely. We're really excited about it. Definitely being backed by Progress Software provides us the benefit that customers can have that assurance that we're backed by a large organization. But, having FuseSource as standalone company, as you said, gives us that independence around decision making and really being like a startup.

Sometimes, we get ideas, we want to make it happen, and we can make it happen. We can make it happen, the same day or the next day. We'll be able to move as quickly as we want. And, we'll be able to have our own processes in any functional area that we need to best meet the needs of the open source users.

Gardner: Rob, from a technical perspective, how do you view this best-of-both-worlds benefit?

Davies: From a technical perspective, it’s really good for us. The shackles are off. There’s a lot of suddenly reinvigorating that seems to move forward. We've got a lot of really good ideas that we want to push out and roll out over the coming year, particularly enhancing of the products we already have, but also moving onto new areas.

There's a big excitement, like you would expect when you have got a startup. It just feels like a startup mentality. People are very passionate about what they're doing inside FuseSource.

Because those shackles have been taken away, it means that we can actually start innovating more in the direction we really want to drive our software too. It’s really good.

It's even more so, now that we have become autonomous of Progress. Not that working inside Progress was a bad thing, but we were constrained by some of the rigors and procedures that you have to go through when you are part of a larger organization. Because those shackles have been taken away, it means that we can actually start innovating more in the direction we really want to drive our software too. It’s really good.

Gardner: Well, great. How can people learn more about FuseSource? You said earlier Debbie that you have a website that’s been refreshed. Are there some URLs or directions that you would point people to in order to learn more?

Moynihan: Yes, I would point people to They can always contact us directly as well. Rob and I would be happy to speak with anyone that has questions. You can send an email to and we would love to talk with anyone that has any questions or wants to hear more about it. is the place to get information on the web. We have a Twitter account,, that you can follow as well.

Gardner: I want to thank you both. We have been discussing how a newly autonomous FuseSource is evolving to meet the need for open source infrastructure in a rapidly changing marketplace, and of course in an environment where cost and low risk are all very much top of mind.

So, thanks again to Debbie Moynihan, Director of Marketing for FuseSource. Thanks, Debbie.

Moynihan: Thank you, Dana.

Gardner: And also, Rob Davies, Director of Engineering for FuseSource. Appreciate your joining us, Rob.

Davies: No problem. Good to speak to you, Dana.

Gardner: This is Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions. You've been listening to a sponsored BriefingsDirect podcast. Thanks for listening, and come back next time.

Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes/iPod and Download the transcript. Sponsor: FuseSource.

Transcript of a sponsored podcast discussion on the status and direction of FuseSource, which is being given its own corporate identity by Progress Software. Copyright Interarbor Solutions, LLC, 2005-2010. All rights reserved.

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