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Apache Leads Synapse Project to Cross the Divide Between Web Services

The Apache Software Foundation has been talking up Synapse, an open-source project to develop an interoperable framework for Web service infrastructure software, including an enterprise service bus, Web services brokers and Web services management products.

This proposal is to build a set of components that work together with AXIS2 and other Apache and open-source projects to create a flexible transformation, management and routing system, according to details published at http://wiki.apache.org/incubator/SynapseProposal.

According to ASF, Synapse provides a framework to intermediate between two or more Web services, allowing users to introduce transformation and routing, promote loose coupling between services, and support greater reliability and resiliency.

Although the framework will support connections to external systems, the fundamental model of this architecture will be based on the core Web Services standards, including SOAP, WSDL, WS-Addressing, WS-Policy, WS-Security and WS-ReliableMessaging, say contributors to the project. Where possible, the project will re-use existing Apache implementations of these specifications, as well as the AXIOM object model from AXIS2.

Synapse is a followup to the foundation work developing open-source Web services code and an opportunity for ASF to help shape the broker/ESB marketplace through the creation of a high-quality, Web services-centric implementation, the organization says.

Several vendors have contributed code and other resources to the project, including Blue Titan, Iona, Infravio, Sonic Software and WSO2.

"As one of the first open-source initiatives to develop an architectural model for Web services infrastructure, the Synapse project will be influential in driving the adoption of SOA principles among enterprise architects and developers," says Dave Chappell, VP and chief technology evangelist for Sonic Software. "Service mediation has been a cornerstone of the ESB for several years now, and the Synapse project allows us to bring that concept to the open-source community and work with them to vet out a mediation-centric model for building SOAs. As Apache AXIS has become the industry-standard SOAP engine, Synapse will become the standard Web service mediation framework."

Additional details about Synapse are available on the Apache Software Foundation Incubator site.

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