Open source ESB, Java program model advance

Two companies are unveiling open source efforts in the categories of enterprise service bus (ESB) and Java models. SymphonySoft is updating the Mule ESB and JBoss is introducing its Seam model for building enterprise Java applications.

Version 1.1 of the Mule open source ESB can make use of Java Business Integration (JBI) and BPEL (Business Process Execution Language) or WS-BPEL. Mule is an open source enterprise messaging architecture, said SymphonySoft CTO Ross Mason. SymphonySoft has Codehaus hosting Mule ESB and sells consulting services.

"[Mule is] basically for integration projects or any sort of messaging projects in the enterprise," Mason said.

Separating Mule from other open source ESBs is its longevity and the fact that it doesn't require the use of XML.

It's "messaging-agnostic" for performance reasons, Mason said.

"You wouldn't parse around XML because XML is really slow," he said. Mule does allow for use of XML or any proprietary message format such as a binary file.

BPEL support includes the embedding of FiveSight's PXE (Process eXecution Engine) BPEL engine.

"For our customers, it means they can now use BPEL orchestration to map their business processes," Mason said.

Mule 1.1 supports management of EJB session beans as Mule components, which can load the beans from an existing container. This eliminates the need to do custom coding for EJBs, Mason added.

Also in Version 1.1, SOAP requests can be made via the Apache Axis Web services stack. SOAP named parameter support and WSDL generation have been improved to make it easier to invoke non-Java Web services such as .Net.

A REST (Representational State Transfer) service wrapper component in Mule 1.1 allows a remote service to be used as a local Mule service.

This makes it easier to use REST in Mule, Mason said.

REST is seen as an alternative to SOAP- and WSDL-based Web services. "It's a much simpler invocation model," Mason said.

JMX (Java Management Extensions) support in Version 1.1 enables use of secure e-mail to manage a Mule server instance. Other new features include support for RMI (Remote Method Invocation) transport as well as FTP transport, allowing Mule events to be sent and received over FTP. XMPP-based (Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol) transport for instant messaging has been improved to allow group chats and different message types.

JBoss, meanwhile, is releasing beta 1.0 of JBoss Seam, which provides a Java model that unifies EJB 3.0 and JavaServer Faces into a single component model. The technology enables process-driven applications and provides a framework for building EJB applications. Hibernate framework founder Gavin King is being spearheading Seam.

Seam utilizes declarative state management in the application state, as opposed to doing this manually. The manual approach can result in bugs and memory leaks, according to JBoss.

JBoss also is offering JBoss Microcontainer 1.0A‚Â , a lightweight container for managing the deployment and configuration of POJOs (plain old Java objects). The technology will be featured in JBoss Application Server 5.0 but is available now for use with JBoss Application Server 4.x.

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