Thursday, January 31, 2008

Another product from WSO2: WSF/Spring

We've just released a beta of another new product: WSF/Spring. This is a way to make Spring beans into Web services .. but in a 100% Spring-only way! That is, no more axis2.xml, services.xml etc. files - only Spring configurations. Its supports both code-first Web services and also contract-first services.

Paul has written a long blog explaining what we did and why we did it. Read it and see!

New WSO2 releases: ESB & WSAS

Last week was a busy release week for us .. we released version 1.6 of the WSO2 Enteprise Service Bus and 2.2 of the WSO2 Web Services Application Server.

New features of ESB 1.6 include:
  • Ability to pin a proxy or a task to server instances
  • Improved error handling in JMS transport
  • New Mail transport that supports POP3/IMAP/SMTP
  • Clustering support for the Cache/Throttle mediators
  • Maintainance mode support for the HTTP transport
  • JMX statistics monitoring and management support
  • New mediator - Callout
  • Improved REST/POX support
  • Annotations support for POJOCommand mediator
  • Ability to edit UI-less mediators in raw XML
Why should you download the WSO2 ESB? Because its the fastest, easiest-to-use, highest performing ESB out there - better than everyone else :). Don't believe me? Try it out and tell us why its not!

New features of WSAS 2.2 include:
  • Improved Data Services support including New & improved UI, and database connection pooling
  • WS-Security 1.1 support
  • Improved clustering support
  • Improved JSR-181 & JAXWS support
  • JMX based monitoring
  • Graceful shutdown & restart of the server
    Serve all pending requests before shutting down or restarting the server
  • Improvements to the Management Console
  • Various bug fixes to Apache Axis2, Apache Rampart & WSAS
Why should you download WSO2 WSAS? First of all, its a really, really, really easy to use version of Axis2 (plus Rampart and more fully integrated). So if you're struggling with configuring Axis2 or playing with security etc., WSAS is the way to go. Same license. Same price.

But probably the killer reason for many is data services: our unique feature for taking data out of a database or spreadsheet or other data source and making it into a service. Zero code. 10 minutes in front of your database and your data is Web accessible- that's right, via the HTTP binding we generate you can browse it directly from your browser. Try it and see; there's nothing else like this out there- it goes across any database and doesn't require any code at all. Compare with expensive proprietary alternatives like BEA Data Services Solution and Oracle TopLink. Our stuff is easier to use, solves the problem directly and simply and costs nothing!

WSO2 Mashup Server released!

I'm proud to announce that we released our mashup server product earlier this week! This is a "first" in many aspects of what "mashup server" means:
  • the only open source mashup server in town
  • the only one which has a straight, simple Javascript programming model
  • the only one that scales from a personal mashup server (mash the Web up to meet my own needs) to a scalable enterprise solution or in fact an Internet scale solution
  • the only one with lots of Web 2.0 style community features
  • the only one with a mashup sharing community site ... oh yeah, that's just the mashup server too!
Intrigued? You can try it online at .. that's running our mashup server and is the mashup sharing site we're offering to the mashup community. If you download our mashup server it can trivially upload and download mashups to/from the Mooshup site.

Jonathan, Keith, Tyrell, Channa and Yumani are the core team behind the mashup server. Thilina, now at Indiana University, was a key part of it too until he abandoned us to go to grad school :-).

Jonathan's blog has some more info about the release. Also, keep an eye on the Mooshup Blog, where we hope to keep everyone updated on mooshups, er, I mean mashups. Moo!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Blog about PHP Web services

Samisa, Nandika and the rest of the gang working on PHP Web services have a new blog - If you want to keep an eye on PHP Web services (both WS-* style and RESTful stuff .. more to come on the latter) then subscribe!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Sri Lanka - terrorism and cease fire

Recently the FBI had a story on the terrorist group operating in Sri Lanka - LTTE. If you don't know what these guys are like then you should take a look at that story; it'll shock you how much of a global terrorist player they are. And maybe it'll help you avoid supporting them .. unwittingly.

There has been much hullabaloo over the Sri Lankan government deciding to abrogate the "cease fire" that has been in place since 2002. We did have a somewhat real cease fire for a short time- but for the last 3 or so years that's really just been a joke. During this "ceasefire" the LTTE has killed the most well respected Tamil leader in Sri Lanka (former foreign minister Lakshman Kadirgamar) and a bunch of other politicians, killed several military leaders, and killed hundreds of civilians. The worst single attack was this one, which killed 64 innocent people.

So there really hasn't been a cease fire here at all for at least the last 2-3 years. All we had was a piece of paper which was a joke. What the government did is to recognize reality. The crocodile tears shed by the world is such a damned joke its not even funny.

LTTE is currently running a de facto state in a part of Sri Lanka. That is not a viable basis to solve the real underlying problems which are the root cause of terrorism in Sri Lanka. While there is no military solution to those problems, there has to be a military solution to stopping a terrorist group from having bases, having a navy, having an air force, and running a virtual state within a state.

So it looks like 2008 is going to be a tough year for Sri Lanka - the government has decided to deal with the terrorist threat head-on and of course LTTE will do its best to respond. In the last week they've responded by having a small roving group attack and kill civilians in the south (another claymore mine attack against a bus and then an attack on a village) .. all an attempt to reduce focus on the north where the military is clearly gaining an advantage over them. I certainly do believe it is possible to "kick them out" of being a de facto state.

However, that's akin to the US kicking the Taliban out of Afghanistan. The key is what happens next - kicking them out is the relatively easy part.

The hard part is going to be coming up with a political solution to the underlying discriminatory root causes that have been set up and exploited by every political party since independence (nearly 60 years ago .. on Feb 4th). The current government does not have parliamentary strength to do this on its own- it needs to bring the opposition parties along to a reasonable moderate solution (undoubtedly involving devolution of power). If they fail to do that and do it fast, we'll have in Sri Lanka what the US finds in Iraq and Afghanistan - do the easy part and fail at the hard part of solving the underlying issues.

Successive central governments in Sri Lanka have miserably failed at improving the lot of rural folks. Apparently a staggering 60% or so of ALL development funds since independence have been spent on the Western province - one of 9 provinces and the one in which Colombo sits. So not only should Tamil people be revolting against central government but Sinhalese and Muslims and all others outside of the Western provide should too! We absolutely need a decentralized form of government where the local region decides what they want to do it and does it - the central form has failed us miserably. Many Sinhalese are against a federal solution to the demands of Tamil people, but if you look at how badly Sinhalese people in the south, north and everywhere except the Western provide have been treated, they should be demanding a federal system more than Tamil people!

Will our military be able to reduce LTTE to a real terrorist group (and not one that's running a de facto state)? I'm certain it can. Do our Colombo-based politicians have the will and desire to take power away from themselves and enable the 9 provinces to really develop themselves? Unfortunately I'm not convinced ..

If we don't solve the underlying issues then we may be able to live "in peace" for a few years - but the revolt will not go away .. it'll come back once again in time to come.

WS-* vs. REST again

ARGH. I wrote this piece back in September or October (I can't even remember)- way before the two talks I gave on WS-* vs. REST in November. They were supposed to publish it around then - for some reason they held it and published it now. I wasn't trying to rekindle that debate!

It looks like that article has triggered quite a bit of response, including Mark Baker saying sayonara to this debate.

First of all, I want to say that I'm also really tired of this debate. Its no longer an interesting debate because pretty much everything that can be said has been said. People who are open minded have listened and those with closed minds have decided their positions. When new people run into this debate I'm sure they will find some of this debate in the bowels of the Internet and use it to make up their own minds.

Just for the record- I certainly do not believe that WS-* all busted as the RESTafarian camp seems to think. I certainly do believe that RESTful solutions have their place- the fact that the WSO2 Registry is a purely RESTful system should make that clear. I'm disappointed that the technical literati haven't been able to find a common ground but I guess that's not surprising - this is no different than other religious battles.

When I find the time I will write a long article on where I think each approach is suited for. One of these days.