Saturday, August 27, 2005

Open source ESB projects Synapse and Celtix contributed

Open source ESB projects Synapse and Celtix contributed

A little more on the ESB and Open-Source. At what point do big companies who rely on mission critical software, start looking at the open-source offerings. Every company is unique in its tolerance for risk. The question becomes what is more risky? Closed systems from a single vendor with no control over end of life cycles or changes in product direction? Or using software from a community effort or small financially questionable company? Not an easy answer I am afraid. Both have their risks and impacts to corporations.

The open-source path. Simply having the source and being able to control your own destiny sounds good but what about in actual practice? Do you have the development expertise to handle the source, make changes? Do you really want to do that? What about support? Is your corporation self-sufficient from support standpoint or do you rely heavily on vendor support? I think the answers to these questions would have to drive your decisions. I think corporations with strong Unix and Java backgrounds would tend to do better here as a start.

Closed vendor path. The benefits here tend to be (but not always) stronger vendor stability and a more robust/dependable support structure. ie escalation paths when things go bad. There is probably a better long term outlook for the software from the vendor and a more well defined plan. The catch tends to be lock-in. The vendor will make decisions on direction based upon their business needs. If their needs and your needs align, very good. If they do not align, you could find yourself with some difficult and costly decisions.

The choices and decisions are not easy ones to make. But every corporation should be aware of the software market and the impact open-source offerings are starting to have.


Conneva said...

Is it just me or does Dave L. sound a bit skeptical about Synapse?

Mark Griffin said...

Yep, I would say so. It will be interesting to see how this products end up and what shape they take. I think one of the strengths of vendors like webMethods, is that it hides a lot of the complex wiring that goes on in the "mediation" layer. I think all but the more advanced IT shops would struggle trying to implement something like this. Heck most struggle with toolsets that make it relatively easy in comparison.