Sunday, May 30, 2010

Its not just standalone BPM that is dead!

There was a thread recently on InfoQ asking whether standalone BPMS is dead.

Yes it is dead.

But, that's not the only standalone thing that is dead! Standalone Business Rules Systems is dead. Standalone Application Servers are dead. Standalone ETL products are dead. Standalone Messaging products are dead. Standalone ESBs are dead. Standalone Enterprise Content Management systems are dead. Standalone Security products are dead. Yes, they're all dead.

They're all dead because customers are tired of being integration companies. What happens when a customer buys one of these standalone BPMS/BRS/ETL/etc. products is that the customer has to figure out how to integrate it to the other standalone products they've bought from other vendors. How does that help the customer's IT shop deliver business value to their organization?

Enterprise problems don't come neatly packaged into BPM problems or Business Rules problems or Data Transformation problems or any one such well defined category. Instead, enterprise problems are complex problems that require an entire repertoire of tools which can be combined nicely to solve the problem at hand. Attempting to build solutions to these complex problems with a single sledgehammer approach is one of the reasons why many IT projects take so long to complete and end up being so expensive.

The customer's IT shop is like the place which maintains the vehicle that the enterprise's IT is. What happens after a few years of taking standalone products and trying to live by their rules (not to mention their expensive consultants) and creating hodge-podge solutions is that the car ends up looking like this:
That's why enterprise middleware needs to be 100% internally self-consistent and fully integrated. Without that, every turn may drive the IT shop into a wall. Behind every dark spot on the road could be a pot hole. Or, at best, the IT shop is not able to drive the car down the freeway with cruise control turned on .. instead its constantly hitting speedbumps.

Don't like that? Well then you need middleware that can scale up and offer exactly the features that you need to solve the problem cleanly. Your IBM/Oracle/Tibco/JBoss middleware can't do that? Well then you have to try WSO2 Carbon based products .. and your car will end up looking like this :-).
The best part of course is that all of our products are 100% open source under Apache license and free for you to use. If you want absolutely world class enterprise support, call us and we'll sell it to you at $8000/server. All very simple.

Monday, May 17, 2010

What is an "open source business"?

Paul recently wrote a great article on what it really means to be an "open source business." Its now posted on SDTimes! Read it and you'll be able to tell the fakes apart :-).