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Sun SOA launch sucks in open source

JavaCAPS 6.0 released

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You remember SeeBeyond Technologies? Rather successful application integration company? Lots of really big customers and $140m in annual revenue? Purchased by Sun Microsystems in 2005 for the knockdown price of $387m.

Yes, well, Sun has released Java Composite Application Suite (CAPS) 6.0, an updated version of SeeBeyond's old Integrated Composite Application Network (ICAN) suite that takes the core foundation of that $387m investment and throws it to the wind, as open source code.

The core of version 6.0 is an open source Enterprise Service Bus (ESB), thanks to its use of Java Business Integration (JBI) in Sun's Open ESB project.

Also, Sun has announced a Master Data Management (MDN) suite based on Mural, a project announced at last month's JavaOne in San Francisco, California. MDM is designed to provide a single view of the customer in different applications. Mural is old SeeBeyond code; so far, it's unclear who, apart from Sun, is supporting it.

So if this is all open source code, what is Sun adding to the equation? According to Sun, JavaCAPS 6.0 still features some of the old closed-source 5.x code from ICAN, which was so valuable to customers in the past. Also, Sun's offering its support for Mural and OpenESB. Sun is charging for its time via subscription or you can pick a perpetual license.

This is a modular stack, and you can opt simply for the ESB, in which case subscriptions are $50 per employee per year and a perpetual license is $20,000 per socket.

Being open source, you can download the bits and bytes yourself. The benefit to customers of using Sun's implementation of Mural and OpenESB over other open source ESB products, though?

You get to use the rest of Sun's open source tools and middleware, namely the NetBeans IDE 6.1 and Glassfish 2.0 application server, according to director of service oriented architecture (SOA) and business integration Ashesh Badani told The Register.

Hmmm...

The disadvantage? Banking on software that's still new, and appears lacking in the usual rich ecosystem of templates, adaptors and plug-ins that are the hallmark of integration software.

Sun has 350 JavaCAPS partners, but was unable to give numbers on whose participating in Mural. Badarni hopes others will step forward and create additional components for MDM - such as customized templates and matching engines.®

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