OS3G - Open Source, 3rd Generation

A (humble) attempt to publish news from the trenches where Free/Libre/Open-Source Software is brought to the mainstream -- and Francois Letellier's blog, too

Thursday, October 27, 2005

ObjectWebCon '06 -- Call for Proposals Open

The ObjectWebCon '06 CFP is open!

There are calls for:
  • presentations during parallel sessions (abstract due: November 21th, 2005, notification: starting December 5th, 2005)
  • candidates to the best use case awards (abstract due: November 21st, 2005, notification: Starting December 15th)
This years, teh best use cases will be selected by public vote (online vote: December 1-12). Don't forget to submit your use cases to run for an award!


Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Bill Save our (French) Souls

Peter Sayer just published a paper in InfoWorld about "Gates lend[ing] a hand to French developers".

It just made me think how small the world is. It's like the world is shrinking. Let's see... JBoss announced a partnership with Microsoft 2 weeks ago. As Peter noticed, JBoss CEO Marc Fleury is French. This spring, INRIA announced a partnership with Microsoft (in the news again these days). Yesterday Microsoft lended a hand to French developers. Well, thanks Mr Gates.

Gates -- is it a pun? Would you say the gatekeeper lends you a hand when he's reaching with his hand to insert the key in the bolt of your gate and lock it? Knowing Peter and his [British] humor, I'd not be surprised the pun was intended!

Petals JBI in the Press

The Petals project, created in June and hosted by ObjectWeb since then, is in the news today.

The Petals services platform extends ObjectWeb ESB initiative with a JBI container as a core element to build standard based integration solutions. Built on top of Celtix, the project adopts a highly distributed integration approach, in which many JBI containers running on different Java Virtual Machines (JVMs) achieve location transparency via a JMS based transport layer. In a next step, the platform is expected to provide specialized B2B bindings enabling organizations to expand their information systems beyond their physical and business boundaries. Petals is supported by EBM WebSourcing (France) and Fossil E-Commerce (Brazil), two corporate members of ObjectWeb specialized in business integration technologies.

Massimo Pezzini, VP Distinguished Analyst, Gartner: "Thanks to web services, service oriented architecture is entering the mainstream and users are increasingly looking for standard-based, extensible enterprise service buses to support their SOA strategies. Therefore ESB technology will rapidly commoditize and open source will play a crucial role in terms of dramatically accelerating this trend."

InfoWorld, eWeek

Monday, October 24, 2005

JOnES Project Accepted

The JOnES project has been selected by the French RNTL network. JOnES is a project submitted to RNTL so to help funding the development effort around a JBI based ESB framework.

JOnES is expected to provide significant contribution to the ObjectWeb ESB initiative activities, more specifically the Petals project.

Close collaboration b/w several ESBi actors: EBM WebSourcing, France Telecom R&D, Odonata, Open Wide, ScalAgent, integrators, users and research laboratories (Ecole des Mines)
It will contribute to valorize of INRIA R&D technologies (Fractal, Dream, GoTM) and integrate ObjectWeb components (JORAM, LeWYs, XQuare).

Demonstrators for integration and valorisation of the usage of components will be developed (Telco-oriented use case, cross-enterprises collaborative process and heterogeneous applications)

Monday, October 17, 2005

... Join Them!

Talking to CBR, Marc Fleury (JBoss) mentionned the idea of JBoss joining ObjectWeb:

"As well as IBM, JBoss is also considering getting closer to the ObjectWeb Consortium, home to the rival JOnAS application server. "ObjectWeb has had JOnAS for a long time and it has been the focus to some degree," said Mr Fleury"

As ObjectWeb is quickly becoming the natural home-ground for open source middleware players, this would be a pretty natural move (and a significant recognition for ObjectWeb). The consortium is expanding fast (size doubles every year), is gaining significant traction (eg: in the SOA space) and is still open to all. ObjectWeb is undoubtedly a source for high-end technology. For a SMB such as JBoss Group who sells professional services, it would make a lot of sense to cut down R&D costs by leveraging existing open source projects and to benefit from business traction in the ecosystem.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Cheesy Details

Paul Sterne, whom I met at LinuxWorld this summer, just published a paper in LinuxWorld where he presents ObjectWeb: "ObjectWeb is truly a Gallic institution with all the peculiarities of that wonderful nation of 200 different cheeses and the Ecole Polytechnique."

Thanks to Paul for this overview of what he calls a "membership" business model. There are a couple of (very slight and forgivable) inaccuracies in the article that I'll try to correct here. Although I sometimes talk in the name of ObjectWeb, I'm neither the Chairman nor the Executive Director of the consortium. It's a little exagerated to call me the "leader" of the consortium. Paul was kind enough to describe me as an engaging man though, which strongly incites me to forgive him altogether for any error in the paper!

But I can not let Paul describe OW as originating from the country of 200 cheeses. To my knowledge, there are over 400 different cheeses in France!

Later in the paper, Paul writes: "It [ObjectWeb] views IBM's recent acquisition of Gluecode, one of the main sponsors of a competing composite application framework called Geronimo (hosted by Apache Software Foundation), as a threat to its basic mission." Well, I guess what I meant when we talked is that IBM's recent acquisition of GlueCode is a threat to Apache's mission. Not to ObjectWeb's. Why so? Because Apache is supposed to be meritocratic and designed by individuals for individuals. Strong backing of some projects by commercial companies is not quite in line with the foundation's rationale. It actually is more in line with ObjectWeb's.

Oh, and a last thing. Published on Oct 12, 2005, the paper was dated "Nov. 18, 2005 05:00 PM"... Is it that Paul is becoming precognizant? I would not be surprised ;-)

INRIA: forum on ICT in Brazil

INRIA (Paris) organized three days about ICT in Brazil. being in Paris today, I attended the afternoon session, with outstanding presentations from D.Petit & L. Marques (SOftex). Brazil spent $11.4 billion in 2005. 10% of the population is connected to the internet, with an objective of 40% in 2015. According to D. Petit, Brazil's bank system is the most advanced in the world. Due to the hyper-inflation that prevailed till 1994, the banks IT system got developped to take into account frequent and drastic modifications of the regulations and processes. The IT teams also acquired a culture of high flexibility and reactivity. e-government is a reality, as electronic ballots are used for most elections (president, governors, etc). This capacity helps ensure proper democracy process in a country where a part of the population lives in very remote areas. 97% of individuals fill their income tax declaration online, while 100% of companies do it online. Brazil counts over 200,000 It professionals. The average cost of a work hour is about $25-30, to be compared to a reference of $100/h in the US. The open source community is wide and vibrant. Brazil counts about 5,400 IT vendors (hardware, software, services).

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

ObjectWeb Architecture meeting -- Day 3

Pr Wang presented Orientware, a consortium of Chinese companies who work on middleware development. Orientware middleware, which is not open source, relie on open standards (OMG, W3C, JCP). Their solutions include J2EE AS, portal, CCM, SOAP engine. Main contributors include Beihang university, Chinese academy of Science. Dr Bin Zhou presented a CORBA based WS engine. The presented mechanism (StarWebService) basically offers a way to expose objects in a CORBA domain as web services. It is an extension to Axis 1.0. They are university member of OMG, and also got involved in the open source movement one year ago (www.starmiddleware.net).

I missed a presentation from representatives of Unifor.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

ObjectWeb Architecture Meeting - Day 2

Morning Session:

Status on Public Funded Projects related to ObjectWeb

Pascal Moussier (INRIA/ObjectWeb Executive Committee) starts off the day by introducing the context of European Funded projects and presenting the NESSI technology platform, co-founded by ObjectWeb. The Framework Progemme is the European Union's main instrument for funding research and technology development. For FP6, the topicsof interest for ObjectWeb mainly is theme 2 (Information Society Technologies); for FP7 it'll be theme 3 (Information and Communication Technologies). In FP7, joint technology initiatives will be mainly embodied as European Technology Platforms. EU's goal is to invest 3% in R&D. Progess on the Libon agenda has been slow so far; after mid-term review, it has been decided to accelerate it.

NESSI is an ETP. First step, completed today, was to develop a vision document? Step 2, undergoing, is to define the strategic research agenda. Last step (and most important) will be the implementation of this agenda with existing EU funding instruments (IP, STREP, SSA, NoE, ...) NESSI aims to provide a unified view for European research in service architectures and software 60% of jobs created in Europe over the last 5 years were highly skills. High-knowledge employment was 3 times faster than average growth in more traditional sectors. ETPs such as NESSI are a pragmatic step in implementing EU i2010 policy so to make this trend sustainable in the long run. OSS is changing the overall economic balance; EU discovered that OSS is to be key to Europe too, and ObjectWeb is the only vibrant professional open-source community with large enough a scope in Europe (although floks such as MMBase do a tremendous job, at a more local level). EU aims at balancing the fact that, although 70% of OSS developers are from Europe, basically all well known OSS communities are North-American. It's worth noticing that IBM is involved in NESSI, considers that middleware should be open source and also considers that services should be treated as a scientific research domain (maybe this is connected to their IGS strategy).

Infrastructure: coherent virtualization, storage, network; a missing piece is infrastructure middleware. Service integration is SOA, (re)configuration. Semantics machine to machine communication, translation between business and technical language.

Transversal aspects are trust and security, quality and reliability, management services, interoperability and open standards.

NESSI is the last technology platform accepted by the commission (other were ENIAC, eMobility, NEM and Artemis). NESSI is to be software glue across all ETPs. Governance principles are organized around flexibility and openness. Key success factors include funding availability, critical mass (EU, global), good interactions, interoperability and open solutions and bridging the gap between research and industrial solutions. The final goal is not technology; it is impact. Estimated budget over the 7 years to come: 2.5 billion Euros. Expected impact is to contribute to create 250,000 jobs per year.

NESSI Roadmap: Oct 05: governance rules defined. Nov 05: meeting to enlarge the industrial circle. Jan 06: SRA v1 available. 2 SSA have been submitted so to help NESSI take off: NESSI-SOFT and NESSI-Grid (in which ObjectWeb is involved).

Pascal presented QualiPSo, a proposal for a 48 months IP involving ObjectWeb, OW members Engineering, Atos, Bull, Mandriva, Thales and 16 other companies and research labs from Europe, China and Brazil. QualiPSo is about investigating and implementing development processes including business models, methods and tools to foster wide adoption of Open Source Sofware. QualiPSo aims at linking existing communities together.

Alain Boulze (INRIA/ OW EC) presented Caraway, an FP6 SSA proposal related to the Artemis ETP. Caraway aims at jump starting an ecosystem around open standard basec open source platform for mission critical systems. The technical platform behind are to be CARDAMOM and OpenCCM, ObjectWeb projects implementing the CORBA Component Model. Alain presented the JOnES (Java open ESB) proposal targeting the development of an open source ESB framework compliant with JBI and leveraging existing ObjectWeb components. JOnES is a proposal submitted to the RNTL funding network. EBM Websourcing, Odonata, Open Wide, ScalAgent, France Telecom, ObjectWeb, Ecole des Mines are involved. Alain also presented the FedrID RNRT proposal. It targets implementation of a unified and simplified solution for identities federation with a focus on Liberty Alliance specifications for federated identities process management. Linagora, Thales IS Business One are involved.

Alain mentionned the S4All ITEA project, which started in July 2005 (an S4All private meeting to be held and co-located with

OW architecture meeting tommorrow in Grenoble, France). S4All has the vision of a world of services easy to create, to share, to use, and still user centric. The open source side of this project is to be handled under ObjectWeb's umbrella.

Alain also briefly presented Grid4Biz, a proposal for a STREP project. Grid4Biz targets grid technologies, systems and services and targets the development of a grid model for e-business and e-government applications. Asustria, China, France, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, UK involved).

Jose Remy (Secur.net) presented the SIHIS IP proposal. SIHIS involves 56 participants from 15 countries. SIHIS is about migrating complex legacy / proprietary systems to full open source. SOA and ESB play a key role in this endeavour. The first 18 months are bout software development. During the next 18 months, real world applications will e created in the healthcare sector.

I briefly presented EO SSA. EO SSA aims to facilitate and support the development of open source communities in Europe. Telvent, Zenc, MMBase Foundation, Telefonica I+D, Interaction Design, Philips, ObjectWeb are involved.

Rafael Marins (Fossil EC) presented a request submitted in Brazil to help fund the development of the ObjectWeb Petals project.

ESB initiative

Alain Boulze introduced the ESBi workshop. ESBi is not about building a single project, but to share technical expertise, promote a way of thinking and, eventually, foster the adoption of open-source technology and of open standards in the industry and public administration. The initiative has been formally kicked off on October 4th, 2004 in Parid la Defense, France.

Alain gave a brief overview of JBI. Two new projects in the ESB initiative: Celtix and Petals. Celtix is lead by Iona. It is intended to be a Java ESB using standards and SOA. M1 available. Petals is the result of the merge of two proposal that had been submitted to ObjectWeb to implement a JBI container. Co-lead by EBM WebSourcing and Fossil EC, Petals targets implementation of a distributed JBI container, along with B2B oriented binding components (EDIINT AS, OdetteFTP, etc). Proof of concept release August 2005. In Eclipse, the Eclipse STP proposal is under review. ObjectWeb and Ioan are PMC member, Sybase is lead. Open Wide also proposed to create Eclipse JWT (Java Workflow Tool).

ESBi representatives were at the Integration Summit this year. IC being nonprofit, focused on integration and real-world/user oriented, ObjectWeb ESBi have opportunities to seek synergies with some IC committees (SOA, RFID, OASIS, Synergy, ...) Ecosystem federated by ESBi: S4All, JOnES (if accepted), Fractal, Dream, GoTM, JORAM JMS, LeWYS, XQuark...

Christophe Loridan (Bull) gave an overview of BSOA, Bull SOA project. For two years, Bull has been working on integrating ObjectWeb projects (JOnAS, Bonita, eXo Platform) and Eclipse tooling (mainly WTP). The principles is a collaborative architecture, an emphazise on tools and models, and leveraging of JOnAS. Bonita has been significantly improved, as far as performances. Proprietary complements has been developped. A proprietary BPEL 1.1 engine has been developped by Bull, with persistent and non persistent modes and transport abstraction (to accomodate other transports than web services). Next steps will cover integrating a JBI bus and binding components and an Event-driven architecture. Bull is evaluating Celtix, Petals, ServiceMix and Axis2. Christophe explained that ESB fits well within ObjectWeb and ESBi & BSOA have a natural fit in knowledge sharing.

Afternoon Session: ESB Initiative cont'd

Eric Samson presented XCalia Intermediation Platform. XCalia here presents as a consumer of ObjectWeb projects. XIM leverages ObjectWeb components in the XCalia intermediation core. After reusing OW components, XCalia (formely Libelis) now proposes to contribute some for its proprietary code to ObjectWeb (Jalisto, Navilis). XIP packages JORAM, JOTM, Tomcat, Axis and connectors from (formerly) Librados. As for ESB, Eric finds there are many projects in ObjectWeb -- maybe too many of them. They are evaluating OW ESBi, Mule, ServiceMix, etc. Eric: "sounds like in the open source world, people like having at least two projects doing the same thing" :) A major criterion for selecting the project to use would be ease of integration within XIP; the JBI compliance; maturity, stability, performance, scalability. Very interesting ideas in JOnES: the fact it's a toolbox, not a packaged platform (and this because XCalia wants to integrate it, not reuse it as a product).

Carl Trieloff (Iona) presented the Celtix project and Iona's open source strategy, including their involvement in the Eclipse SOA Tools Platform. Opportunities to work with Celtix include: certifying Celtix with JORAM and JOnAS (incl. test suites, also replacement of Axis 1.1 in JOnAS by Celtix / Axis 2); creating additional transports (Dream, Sync4j); integrating Enhydra, Groovy, XQuark; and contributing to tools (contact: celtix-dev at objectweb.org). Celtix M1 supports SOAP 1.1, and will support 1.2 soon. Celtix brings a distributed bus: bus is the core of all Celtix components (logical bus extends outside the process boundaries); configuration domains can span across any umber of machines. There's a lightweight mechanism for adding, deploying and installing services. Celtix is extensible at all levels. Celtix supports a notion of container unrelated to JBI, and defined earlier than JSR 208.

Rafael Marins (Fossil EC) and Gael Blondelle (EBM Websourcing) gave a presentation about Petals. Petals' goal is to provide a lightweight service oriented platform based on JBI. Petals defined a specific project governance, with PMC, development by tasks, committers voting... A first release candidate is planned for end of November 2005. Petals is anticipated to provide ready-to-use solutions, e.g. transformation, logging, routing features, also B2B features. Synergy with Celtix is under consideration. The Petals team would contribute to Eclipse STP. The JOnES project, if accepted, would help growing the communityy and ecosystem around Petals. Petals is intended to be distributed container, build on existing ObjectWeb components: Fractal, Dream, JORAM, XQuare, Lewys.

Monday, October 03, 2005

ObjectWeb Architecture Meeting Q405 - Day 1

The Q405 ObjectWeb Architecture meeting started today at 2:30PM at INRIA's facility. Here's a quick report of some sessions I attended.

Alcatel gave a presentation about an IMS application server -- which I unfortunately missed.

Gaƫl Blondelle (EBM WebSourcing) presented basics of the SIP protocol. SIP is an asynchronous, even-driven protocol. He argued there's a need for an application layer framework on top of SIP servlets as a key element for an industrial approach to SIP application development. Adding SIP in the Java world brings extra requirements beyond the simple level of functionality provided by SIP servlets. A question is: is there a need for integration between such a JBI framework and a J2EE appserv. Is it a matter of convergence, or integration through WE or ESB? Although distribution may be nice from a conceptual perspective, a more integrated platform might make sense for performance reasons. France Telecom R&D is working on a SIP servlet container for JOnAS in order to lead experimentations about convergence of the two technologies. They are open to initiating collaboration on an open source ObjectWeb project in this area when other members feel interest in open source middleware for the telco.

Bruno Dillenseger (France Telecom R&D) presented CLIF, an ObjectWeb project for load injection and performance benchmarking. CLIF works with the notion of "scenarios", with behavior modeling user interactions, and load profiles to manage the number of instances. CLIF is extensible with a mechanism of plug-ins. There are plug-ins for HTTP, DNS, etc. CLIF will investigate leveraging Eclipse TPTP probes.

CNRS joins ObjectWeb

The French National Center for Scientific Research (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, CNRS) joins ObjectWeb. From the beginning, CNRS teams were actively involved in the work of the community, but CNRS itself was not a member of the consortium. The membership agreement between ObjectWeb and CNRS makes this involvement official and allows all CNRS laboratories to be more present in the evolution of the consortium.

Along with CEA (French Atomic Energy Commission), CNRS and INRIA recently acknowledged the importance of open source software by creating together an open source license, called Cecill , which is in conformance with French law, while perfectly suited to international projects.

More here.