Progress spins-off FuseSource to pursue open-source integration

Jack Vaughan

Progress Software Corp.'s Fuse product line has set up shop as an independent company, dedicated to providing professional integration and messaging software, training and consulting based around a portfolio of open source software. Known as FuseSource, the new company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Progress.

FuseSource offers Fuse Enterprise Service Bus (ESB), based on Apache ServiceMix, as well as a message broker based on Apache ActiveMQ, a mediation router based on Apache Camel and the Fuse Services Framework, which handles Web services deployment and is based on Apache CXF. All the software is Java based.


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grows out of an effort begun by Iona Software prior to its purchase by Progress in 2008. The FuseSource company will be headed by Larry Alston, who has served at Progress in ESB and open source marketing roles.

FuseSource joins MuleSoft, Sopera and a handful of other independent vendors focusing on open source ESBs posed as alternatives to standards-based licensed ESBs from larger vendors.

How does making FuseSource independent from Progress better enable the Fuse business prospect? We asked that of new FuseSource President Larry Alston.

''With open source you do things differently. We thought it should be run as a separate company. We implement a subscription model rather than a license model," he said. FuseSource subscriptions include certified distributions of Apache Software Foundation projects, documentation, support, SLAs, and runtime management tools, Alston indicated.

The company comes out of the gate with over 200 customers, some of them - like the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Sabre Holdings - quite visible.

''If any [early] verticals have emerged, they are retail and government,'' said Alston. ''The underlying reasons are kind of the same. Both are looking for cost effective ways to deliver IT. But they are looking to have a relationship with an entity that provides the support and training they are used to.''

On the main, FuseSource works with customers who have discovered and begun to work independently on open source ESB implementations. "The customers hit an issue where they need architectural help – help, for example, with a specific API," said Alston.

Open source ESBs take wing

ESBs – and the message brokers that often represent the bulk of their integration traffic – seem to be a top enterprise candidate for open source treatment. The U.S. Government is pursuing new open source initiatives, and ESBs are part of that. Earlier this year, spoke about open source ESBs with Ahmad Usmani, the program manager for a System Wide Information Management (SWIM) project within the FAA.

Usmani told reporter Matt Barros that being able to access source code is a major advantage over past processes. The FAA's SWIM project uses Fuse software.

''Being able to look at source code is a huge benefit over just getting a black-box executable we can't even look at,'' he said. But, keeping track of open source software updates can be a burden, and Usmani looks to a company to provide the many version updates.

The open source ESB trend has momentum, according to industry analyst Dana Gardner.

''Even as the IT mega vendors are consolidating more elements of IT infrastructure, and in some cases, buying up open-source projects and companies, the role and power of open source for enterprise and service providers alike has never been more popular or successful,'' wrote Gardner on a recent edition of his Briefings Direct weblog.



Includes reporting by Matt Barros.

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