MuleSource Kicks Into SOA Governance

MuleSource is taking its first steps into providing a governance solution for service-oriented architectures (SOAs). The San Francisco-based company is best known as a provider of open source SOA infrastructure software based on the Mule open source enterprise service bus (ESB) and integration platform. The company is billing its just-released community edition of Mule Galaxy (v 1.0) as "the first open source SOA governance platform to come with an integrated registry and repository."

MuleSource's CEO and Cofounder Dave Rosenberg said that Galaxy is designed to provide users with a range of registry and repository features. Those features include governance and lifecycle management, dependency management, artifact management, and querying and indexing capabilities, all of which are managed from a Web console. The pluggable Galaxy governance platform can be deployed alongside the company's flagship Mule ESB as a part of a larger Mule architecture, or as a standalone component in an SOA infrastructure. It also integrates with other frameworks, such as Apache CXF and WCF.

"SOA has been something of a rich man's sport," Rosenberg said. "And registry and governance have been the sport of kings. And not for that great a payback. You see companies with, say, 20 services managing them with Excel spreadsheets. So this seemed to us to be a place where open source made a lot of sense."

Galaxy 1.0 was architected by Dan Diephouse, founder of Envoi Solutions, creator of the Xfire SOAP framework, and project lead for Apache CXF. He joined MuleSource in August of 2007. Diephouse said he took a "pragmatic approach" to the Galaxy project, incorporating the needs of the Mule user community with the wider software community. He employed a RESTful HTTP AtomPub interface "to accommodate a wide variety of use cases and integrate with a wide variety of frameworks and platforms."

"Think about it this way," Rosenberg explains. "The way registry and governance has worked thus far has been all about UDDI (Universal Description, Discovery and Integration -- the XML-based Internet registry and early Web services standard), which is one of those ninth-circle-of-hell kind of things. We're trying to show that services and governance and registry should really be more like RSS (Really Simple Syndication). You should be able to publish and subscribe to these things, layer on different levels of authentication, and layer on lifecycle, just like you could with a blog."

MuleSource was founded in 2006. The company's core technology, Mule, is a lightweight integration framework for Java developed in 2003 by MuleSource CTO and Cofounder Ross Mason. Mule is based on messaging platforms that can be used as an ESB. Its project's name comes from Mason's frustration over integration "donkey work."

"An SOA governance program is required if you want your SOA initiative to be successful," Anne Thomas Manes, VP and research director at the Burton Group said in a statement. "Building that governance program around a RESTful repository brings a lot of value. REST ensures that the repository is simple, lightweight, easily accessible and searchable. Open source adds even more value by lowering the barriers to entry and ensuring the freedom to extend the product as required."

Mule Galaxy 1.0 is licensed under GPLv2. The product is available now and the company plans to release an enterprise version of it in the second quarter of this year to subscribers.

MuleSource also unveiled two other products: Mule Saturn, a new business-level monitoring tool, and Mule 1.5, an enterprise edition of its flagship ESB.

Rosenberg calls Mule 1.5 an "out-of-the-box SOA infrastructure platform solution." Mule 1.5 is available via subscription only and comes with monitoring, data management and patch management tools. A Community Edition is available as a free download at the MuleSource Web site. Mule Saturn is also available via subscription only.

About the Author

John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached at [email protected].