SOA News: Iona's Open Source Initiative

Iona launched a series of open source SOA products based on various Apache projects. The company's new Fuse open source SOA products are being offered following Iona's acquisition of privately held LogicBlaze. The Fuse products include an enterprise service bus, message broker, a services framework (based on Iona' Celtix technology), and a mediation router. In addition, Iona established a Web site for Fuse users.

Iona has been producing products based on open standards, from CORBA to Web services standards, since the early 1990s. Its principal product lines include its Orbix and Artix solutions for SOAs.

The company's new Fuse initiative signals a renewed effort in the open source space, according to Gartner Analyst Massimo Pezzini. He wrote about Iona's open source efforts in a Gartner publication, "Iona's Fuse Boosts Credibility of Open-Source SOA Software."

"Fuse gives Iona an opportunity to boost its open-source business -- which has had only moderate success so far -- by supporting well-known products like ServiceMix and ActiveMQ. Fuse means Iona joins Red Hat, whose open-source JBoss products already enable SOA," Pezzini stated.

He noted that the use of the Apache license is a differentiator for Iona's Fuse products. In addition, Fuse products work with the company's Artix components, resulting in a complementary effect.

"Fuse still lacks important SOA-enabling elements, such as registry/repository and service network management, but Iona can offer some of these as Artix-based products," Pezzini wrote. He expected to see greater integration between Fuse and Artix products in the future, although the two products have followed separate development paths up to now.

SOA Deals
In other SOA news, A Canadian provider of extended health and dental coverage is using Progress Software's enterprise service bus product to improve customer services and consolidate its legacy IT systems. Pacific Blue Cross needed a more flexible IT structure to accommodate customer payment options specified by the Canadian Payment Association. The company selected Progress' Sonic ESB to support new services and reduce enrollment processing times.

"We plan to fully transition our IT infrastructure to an SOA over the next several years," said Bruce Hogg, enterprise architect at Pacific Blue Cross.

In another SOA deal, the U.S. Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) is using HP's SOA governance solution in a pilot to ensure that services can be shared across agencies. DISA is a global IT combat support organization for the executive branch and Department of Defense. HP's Systinet 2 was used in DISA's Net-Centric Enterprise Services Program for the pilot.

SOA Testing
Crosscheck Networks released an improved version of its SOA testing product. SOAPSonar v3.0 makes it easier to set up test cases across the SOA lifecycle. The solution enables rapid test creation, integrated test scheduling and report generation. Users can isolate a problem in a test case "without manually inspecting every SOA request and response message," according to an announcement issued by Crosscheck.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is online news editor, Enterprise Group, at 1105 Media Inc.