Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

WSO2 moving to a new building in Sri Lanka

After many many months of painful work, we are finally starting work at our new location in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Here's a picture taken from my cell phone yesterday afternoon:

The most awesome thing is that we will all be in one building again in Sri Lanka! That's after more than 3 years when we started adding new offices .. we had three here until yesterday; today we have one!

We still have quite a bit of work to do to finish everything .. including a nice surprise coming in the front at the street level :-). The cage you see on the roof is our enclosed rooftop basketball court! The rest of the roof is taken up by the gym and the creche - will take another month to be fully ready. I'm waiting for the punching bag.

Today's not our official opening day - that's next Wednesday with Paul Fremantle also present. We are moving in today however and will have a small ceremony (lighting the lamp and kiribath table).

Its taken just over 8 years of incredible hard work by a super team of passionate people to get us here. Thank you to everyone who made it possible - including our customers, investors and of course the killer (past and present) team! 

This is only a small step along the way however ..

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Congratulations Dr. Dasarath Weeratunge!

It gives me great pleasure to post extremely belated (he completed in December last year!) congratulations to Dr. Dasarath Weeratunge on his completing his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana (where I got my Ph.D. too). Dasarath's Ph.D. was in compiler optimization (don't have the exact topic) and was co-advised by Suresh Jagannathan and Xiangyu Zhang. Dasarath is now working in Intel Labs.

I advised Dasarath's final year project when he was an undergrad at Univ. of Moratuwa - he worked on what became Apache Kandula, a WS-Atomic Transactions implementation for Apache Axis. Later he also contributed to Apache Axis2 and worked on making Kandula work with Axis2. He joined Purdue in August 2005 IIRC.

Congratulations Dr. Malinda Kaushalye Kapuruge!

It gives me great pleasure to post extremely belated (he completed in October last year!) congratulations to Dr. Malinda Kaushalye Kapuruge on his completing his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Swinburne University in Australia. Kau's thesis topic was "Orchestration as Organization: Using an organisational paradim to achieve adaptable business process modelling and enactment in service compositions" and was supervised by Prof. Jun Han and Dr. Alan Colman. Kau's going to stay on in Swinburne as a Research Scientist for some time.

Kaushalye worked in WSO2 for 2 years from 2006 to 2008 before going to grad school to pursue his Ph.D. work. Congratulations and good luck!

(I'm going to post a few catch up congratulations so I can be up to date :-).)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Launching Initiative

Over the last many months, I've been privileged to be part of a fantastic team of volunteers working on a new effort:
This is an effort to help people who are considering moving to Sri Lanka to work and live. 

Me? Move to Sri Lanka?? What?!

Yes, Sri Lanka. No more war. No more bombs. No one trying to (systematically .. yeah we have our share of crazies) kill anyone. Great weather. Majorly improving infrastructure. A second airport (with no flights yet .. but that's ok everyone's gotta start at the bottom!). A real, honest-to-goodness highway (dinner in Galle tonite?) and many more coming. Apartments everywhere. Parks all over Colombo.

Compare that to where you're living? Do you go thru a metal detector to your workplace? Not in Sri Lanka any more. We had a long period of that .. but no more .. war finished in 2009, nearly to the day today (May 18th is the anniversary).

Anyway :-). Our objective is to first be a one-stop-site for anyone who's considering moving to Sri Lanka. Everything you need to know from what kind of jobs are available, how much does housing cost, how much do cars cost to kids schooling to visa stuff. All there, all in one place. All done in an objective, volunteer, independent kind of way. The site is still in its infancy of course .. more to come but its got a lot of stuff already!

With regards to jobs- if you're a senior person returning we will even help you get into the "network" to get into the loop of things. We have a pretty connected set of friends who are helping to get that done. We're also partnering with pretty much every industry body so that we can reach into all of those networks.

Going beyond the information portal we want to become an advocacy group to promote what's good about moving to Sri Lanka and also to work hard on breaking down more barriers. Even ex-Sri Lankans returning have some major barriers in the system now and we want to work towards removing them. 

This was a totally volunteer group of people from all over the place. Check us out at the site!

We had a fantastic launch event on Tuesday (May 14th) evening. We had the Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka come and give the keynote talk and then had a superb panel. More on that coming soon at the site itself.

Check it out and give us your feedback - plenty of places in the site to do that. Enjoy surfing!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

WSO2Con 2013 is here!

After months of planning, WSO2Con 2013 is starting today in London. We already ran the tutorials in Sri Lanka last week - today (Tuesday 12th) is tutorials in UK and then the main conference is Wednesday 13th and Thursday 14th.

Yes this is a globally distributed conference! We have nearly 500 registrants (which is at least 50% more than we expected) in the two locations and they are connected via 4 high quality video streams so we have 2-way video interaction. The amount of technical details underneath is incredible - we will blog about that later. We even have one speaker doing his presentation from New York as he was unable to travel .. if everything goes off without a hitch that'll be a technological marvel :-).

We have 4 fantastic external keynote speakers:

Eben Upton
Eben Upton, Founder & Trustee of the Raspberry Pi Foundation talking about the hottest little computer in the world. Oh and BTW, if you haven't heard yet, we've been putting together around 40 node R-Pi cluster and that system will be live running WSO2 middleware powering the WSO2Con app. Azeez has been blogging about it.

Brian Behlendorf
Brian Behlendorf, Founder of Apache, CollabNet and a long time god of open source (and my friend and also WSO2 Advisor) and currently Senior Advisor for Science and Technology at the World Economic Forum talking about how open source can still save the world.

Pankaj Srivastava
Pankaj Srivastava, Vice President of the Cisco Industry Solutions Group talking about how they are building next generation cloud and embedded business systems. Guess what stuff they use :-).

Yefim Natis
 Yefim Natis, VP and Distinguished Analyst at Gartner talking about their view of Platform as a Service. Yefim leads Gartner's analysis on PaaS and has a super clear view of the future.

In addition, Paul and I will be doing keynote talks as well - I will be talking a bit about WSO2, our vision and most importantly how we see the future of enterprise computing. Paul will be talking about how to achieve that vision incrementally via a pragmatic milestone plan.

In addition we have nearly 20 external speakers (selected from over 50 submissions which we got in response to our open call for papers) and another 20 WSO2 speakers covering all aspects of our product platform.

We also have some super cool sponsors for the first time this time. Thank you to our Gold Sponsors Suse and Yenlo and our Silver Sponsors Grid Solut, Wipro and Redpill-Linpro.

The App

Oh yes the conference app .. we have a conference app that lets you do a bunch of stuff including rating talks and chatting to others. This too of course was written our stuff (and PhoneGap) and the back end will run on the Raspberry Pi cluster. Crazy? Yes. But super fun and majorly cool :-). Search for WSO2Con in the Google Play Store or you can use it with a browser here:  You need to have a WSO2 user account to log in - get one at Unfortunately the wonderful people in the Apple App Store haven't yet approved the updated version :-( .. we're keeping our fingers crossed it will happen today at least.

Putting it together

This event, like every previous WSO2Con event and all WSO2 events, is being organized by our internal marketing team. Hasmin (Director of Communications) is the general chair and she lives in Saskatoon, Canada and most of the rest of the team are in Sri Lanka! Harindu is out event God and he doesn't seem to lose hair yet. The "advance team" (of Harindu and Tasha) moved to London about 3 weeks ago and have been operating out of our Portsmouth office putting the final touches together. The rest of the marketing folks operating the UK event started arrived a week ago. There's another team managing the event in Sri Lanka. The Sri Lanka event is at a rather odd time since it starts at 2:00pm and runs until 10:30pm! We were very keen to have a live, bi-directional telecast in Sri Lanka as that's where we are based and that's where we have our team and a large community of supporters, users, and customers.

Coming back to London, overall we have nearly 50 WSO2 folks flying in from all over the world to London! I'd be remiss if I didn't acknowledge the infinite amount of work done by Maryam and our outsourced travel team lead by Zakir .. its not easy to manage all of this while still running the daily operations of the company.

Thank you to all the wonderful team at WSO2 for putting this together! And thank you to everyone participating (whether in London, Colombo or just watching over the Internet) ... we're doing this for you.

I look forward to a fun week :-).

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

API Management: The missing link for SOA success

Nearly 2 years ago I tweeted:

Well, unfortunately, I had it a bit wrong.

APIs and service do have a very direct and 1-1 relationship: an API is the interface of a service. However, what is different is that one's about the implementation and is focused on the provider, and the other is about using the functionality and is focused on the consumer. The service of course is what matters to the provider and API is what matters to the consumer.

So its clearly more than just a new name.

Services: If you build it will they come?

One of the most common anti-patterns of SOA is the one service - one client pattern. That's when the developer who wrote the service also wrote its only client. In that case there's no sharing, no common data, no common authentication and no reuse of any kind. The number one reason for SOA (improving productivity by reusing functionality as services) is gone. Its simply client-server at the cost of having to use interoperable formats like XML, JSON, XML Schema, WSDL and SOAP. 

There are two primary reasons for this pattern being so prevalent: first is due to a management failure whereby everyone is required to create services for whatever they do because that's the new "blessed way". There's no architectural vision driving proper factoring. Instead its each person or at least each team for themselves. The resulting services are only really usable for that one scenario - so no wonder no one else uses them!

Writing services that can service many users requires careful design and thinking and willingness to invest in the common good. That's against human intuition and something that will happen only if its properly guided and incentivized. The cost of writing common services must be paid by someone and will not happen by itself.

That's in effect the second reason why this anti-pattern exists: the infrastructure in place for SOA does not support or encourage reuse. Even if you had a service that is reusable how do you find out how well it works? How do you know how many people are using it? Do you know what time of day they use it most? Do you know which operations of your service get hit the hardest? Next, how do others even find out you wrote a service and it may do what they need? 

SOA Governance (for which WSO2 has an excellent product: WSO2 Governance Registry) is not focused on encouraging service reuse but rather on governing the creation and management of services. The SOA world has lacked a solution for making it easy to help people discover available services and to manage and monitor their consumption. 

API Management

What's an API? Its the interface to a service. Simple. In other words, if you don't have any services, you have no APIs to expose and manage.

API Management is about managing the entire lifecycle of APIs. This involves someone who publishes the interface of a service into a store of some kind. Next it involves developers who browse the store to find APIs they care about and get access to them (typically by acquiring an access token of some sort) and then the developers using those keys to program accesses to the service via its interface.

Why is this important? In my opinion, API Management is to SOA what Amazon EC2 is to Virtualization. Of course virtualization has been around for a long time, but EC2 changed the game by making it trivially simple for someone to get a VM. It brought self service, serendipitous consumption, and elasticity to virtualization. Similarly, API Management brings self service & serendipitous consumption by allowing developers to discover, try and use services without requiring any type of "management approval". It allows consumers to not have to worry about scaling - they just indicate the desired SLA (typically in the form of a subscription plan) and its up to the provider to make it work right. 

API Management & SOA are married at the hip

If you have an SOA strategy in your organization but don't have an API Management plan then you are doomed to failure. Notice that I didn't even talk about externally exposing APIs- even internal service consumption should be managed through an API Management system so that everyone has clear visibility into who's using what service and how much is used when. Its patently obvious why external exposition of services requires API Management.

Chris Haddad, WSO2's VP of Technology Evangelism, recently wrote a superb whitepaper that discusses and explain the connection between SOA and API Management. Check out Promoting service reuse within your enterprise and maximizing SOA success and I can guarantee you will leave enlightened.

In May this year, a blog on talked about how "Startups Are Creating A New System Of The World For IT". In that the author talked about open source as the foundation of this new system and SOA as the load bearing walls of the new IT landscape. I will take it to the next level and say that API Management is the roof of the new IT house.

WSO2 API Manager

We recently introduced an API Management product: WSO2 API Manager. This product comes with an application for API Providers to create and manage APIs, a store application for API Developers to discover and consume APIs and a gateway to route API traffic through. Of course all parts of the product can be scaled horizontally to deal with massive loads. The WSO2 API Manager can be deployed either for internal consumption, external consumption or both. As with any other WSO2 product, this too is 100% open source. After you read Chris' whitepaper download this product and sit it next to your SOA infrastructure (whether its from us or not) and see what happens!