Category Archives: News

WSO2 Joins Cloud Security Alliance

Cloud Security Alliance LogoAfter watching the good work of the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) for more than a year, WSO2 has joined as a Corporate Member.

As you know, WSO2 offers the very first completely open source Platform as a Service (PaaS). Taking our Carbon-based middleware platform to the next level, WSO2 Stratos offers the most complete, enterprise-grade, open PaaS, with support for more core services than any other available PaaS today. Unlike many cloud platforms, WSO2 Stratos, the software behind the WSO2 StratosLive Java PaaS, is available as a fully supported product that can be installed and run on-premise.

WSO2 Stratos provides the core cloud services and essential building blocks, for example federated identity and single sign-on, data-as-a-service and messaging-as-a-service and more, required for developing SaaS and cloud applications.

Building a cloud PaaS is actually quite a challenge, but no pain, no gain!

We took up the first challenge of getting our Carbon stack running on OSGi runtime, not an easy task and one that some vendors were unable to complete, but one that we found necessary to build cloud nativity deeply into the platform, and to enable incremental upgrades and addition of the platform as a live entity.

Security represents one of the biggest challenges we faced making Stratos a reality.  We had to rebuild the foundations of the system to focus on tenant isolation, data security, restricted operations, tenant-based user stores, standards-based security models, integration with other *aaS models among other concerns. Stratos today supports many of the most popular open standards related to security and identity management including SAML2, OpenID, OAuth, XACML and WS-Security.

KuppingerCole European Identity Award 2011A few months back we received some recognition of this work, as a recipient of KuppingerCole’s European Identity Award 2011 for the Cloud Provider Offerings category.  The award recognizes WSO2 specifically for WSO2 Stratos Identity, citing the multi-tenant open source cloud service for its OpenID and XACML support and its innovative features, including the ability to migrate from on-premise to a full cloud service (and back).

Stratos has come a long way, with customers now adopting the platform, and we welcome the opportunity to both share our experiences with other cloud providers and be part of the conversation in moving cloud security forward.

The CSA is a not-for-profit organization with a mission to promote the use of best practices for providing security assurance within Cloud Computing, and to provide education on the uses of Cloud Computing to help secure all other forms of computing.

Among many of our community, questions about whether to move to cloud or not, whether to move to a private or public cloud and so forth mostly revolve around security concerns.  We are looking to helping address those concerns, and contributing to the standards and guidelines promoted by the CSA to educate users about ensuring the future of cloud is secure.

Prabath Siriwardena, Architect & Senior Manager – Carbon Platform & Security
blog: http://blog.facilelogin.com

Gartner’s and Cobiacomm’s analysis of WSO2 SOA Governance

image[First published at http://blog.cobia.net/cobiacomm/2011/10/25/wso2-soa-governance/]

WSO2, the lean enterprise middleware provider, announced that it has been positioned by Gartner, Inc. in the “Visionaries” quadrant of a new report, Magic Quadrant for SOA Governance Technologies [1].

My analysis (from an ex-Gartner research team leader), the placement demonstrates WSO2 team leadership in defining a vision for policy based service governance. When publishing a service API for consumption, tracking published cloud-based service versions, monitoring service consumer connections, and delivering service-consumer interoperability, governance keeps the environment from devolving into chaos. Cloud based services, mobile devices, and multi-enterprise B2B interactions increase the environments where SOA governance technology must be applied. WSO2?s multi-tenant SOA governance infrastructure facilitates configuring models and policies associated with each participant’s business requirements. Many vendors have not yet modified their registries, repositories, and policy management systems to support multi-tenancy. As a result, organizations using single-tenant SOA governance tools are challenged to apply policies across diverse partners, customers, consumers, and internal corporate groups.

The WSO2 Carbon Governance and WSO2 Stratos Governance as a Service supports configuring a wide variety of design-time, development-time, and run-time policies. Built-in run-time policies include security access controls, authorization (via XACML), throttling, alerting, and caching, each of which accesses defined parts of the service message. The governance stack is also used to enforce software development policies when promoting applications and services across lifecycle stages (e.g. development to quality assurance, quality assurance to production). Granular cloud metering and billing is facilitated by collecting performance, faults, and business activity information in conjunction with the WSO2 Stratos Business Activity Management Service. WSO2 has posted good drill-down presentation describing how to use the governance registry.

The WSO2 Governance Registry not only interoperates and integrates with the WSO2 Carbon and WSO2 Stratos stack, but also with Cloud services hosted on other vendor stacks. Integration can occur at the network protocol level (i.e. HTTP, SOAP, FTP, AMQP, WebSphere MQ, POP3/SMTP, FIX, HL7, SAP iDoc/BAPI, and vendor-specific JMS variants), across multiple message formats (i.e. SOAP, XML, JSON, CSV, EDI, FIX, HL7, and REST), and multiple security and identity protocols (i.e. LDAP, SAML2, Kerberos, OpenID, OAuth, and XACMLA).

For more information, visit the WSO2 Governance Registry product page. To try out WSO2 Governance Registry as a Service for free, visit the StratosLive registration page.

[1] Gartner, “Magic Quadrant for SOA Governance Technologies,” by Paolo Malinverno and Daryl C. Plummer, October 17, 2011.

Chris Haddad, Vice President of Technical Evangelism
Chris’ blog: http://blog.cobia.net/cobiacomm

New role, new face: Chris Haddad joins WSO2

As WSO2 navigates the boundary between start-up and scale-up, we’re finding that one thing doesn’t change — the core of WSO2 is community.  Our open source technology had its genesis in the Apache community, and has spawned our own OxygenTank development portal.  The essence of the astoundingly productive development model is openness, input, and contribution from the community.  Our business model is based on matching needs in the user community with the skills of our community of developer-employees.  Our marketing and communication is about providing valuable information to the community and welcoming new members into that community.

As our community has grown, our ability to engage and serve that community also must scale up.  And since our community includes some pretty savvy folks, growing requires bringing on some pretty capable people.  I’m especially pleased to announce the latest data point in that trend:

Chris HaddadChris Haddad has joined our team in the role of Vice President of Technology Evangelism. Many of you may already be familiar with Chris’ work as a core analyst with Burton/Gartner specializing variously in Java, SOA, SaaS, PaaS, cloud, as those topics have each risen in importance to the industry.

Chris’ job will be (among other things) to help you — our community — understand better the trends, technologies, and tactics that make your technology investments pay off now and in the future.  Chris will also be bringing your stories back to WSO2, where they focus and improve WSO2’s technology and roadmap.

I encourage you to subscribe to Chris’ new blog, which will be full of his impressions as he broadens his exposure to the WSO2 platform.  Look for Chris at upcoming conferences, webinars, articles and more — or just drop him a line if you have a story to tell!

Chris, welcome to the WSO2 family!

Jonathan Marsh, VP Business Development and Product Design
Jonathan’s blog: http://jonathanmarsh.net/blog

YANO (Yet Another New Office) for WSO2

16 September 2011 saw the opening of another new WSO2 office – the second this year, with the expansion of the Colombo “campus” to a third building.  imageStarting this week, WSO2 will occupy the top two floors (with a third yet to be constructed) of the ICICI Bank building a couple of blocks from the existing Flower Road buildings.  The new facilities should go a long way to relieving the overcrowding of the existing facilities as the WSO2 team continues to expand, both within Sri Lanka and with imagegrowth in overseas offices and the addition of more remote employees around the world.

As customary, the opening ceremony includes employees at all levels who take turns lighting wicks in the jasmine-flower strung brass oil lamp.  The lighting of the five-foot lamp symbolizes the dispelling of ignorance (darkness), replacing it with knowledge – the greatest of all forms of wealth in Sri Lanka.  The lamp is topped by an image of a rooster further reinforcing the dawning of light as well as good fortune.

This simple ceremony seems especially fitting for WSO2, with our ceaseless mission to discover and invent technologies that will solve current and future enterprise problems and build the best foundation for enterprises to succeed in our rapidly-changing world.  And then make these innovations available to the world freely as open source.

image

After the lamp-lighting Paul and Sanjiva shared a few words of gratitude for the incredible accomplishments of the team so far this year – as well as a simagetern warning not to rest on our laurels as we have much to accomplish!  We can’t rest but must continue to “do what it takes to get it done” for our customers and users.

I can’t help but include a candid snapshot of Sanjiva prior to the ceremony demonstrating the breadth of his duties as CEO.  “Do what it takes to get it done.”  That’s a bit of knowledge we all acquire as members of the WSO2 team.

Jonathan Marsh, VP Business Development and Product Design
Jonathan’s blog: http://jonathanmarsh.net/blog

Growing the Business

As you probably know already, we announced a $6.5M funding round a couple of months ago. Along with that we announced the opening of an office in Palo Alto, CA and then soon after that we hired a new VP of Marketing and a Director of Sales for Europe. On the product side, we recently released a platform-wide update – simultaneously releasing new versions of all 12 of our existing WSO2 Carbon based products and throwing in two more (WSO2 Message Broker and WSO2 Complex Event Processing Server) for good measure. If you have ever written any complex software then you know it’s no mean task to release 14 products at once.

This week we are releasing a new version of WSO2 Stratos, the world’s only 100% open source PaaS offering which meets real enterprise needs, as well as WSO2 StratosLive, our own hosted service version of it. imageStratos and StratosLive are going out with ALL 14 of our Carbon based products — yes you can sign up and instantly get your own (virtual) app server or ESB or message broker or whatever just like that. Try releasing the world’s most advanced open source PaaS and deploying all of that into production in an elastically scalable environment all at once. Yep, our engineering rocks.

The engineering beauty of our stuff will appeal to geeks: all WSO2 Carbon products and the corresponding WSO2 Stratos services version of them are in fact, exactly the same codebase. We “simply” run as a single tenant in the Carbon case and as a multi-tenant, self-serviced, elastically scalable system in the Stratos case. No one, NO ONE, but us has ever built a single enterprise middleware stack that provides a single environment that scales from traditional on-premise deployment to private cloud deployment to public service like that. We know all of our competitors are trying to do it, but most are AT LEAST 5 years away. Eat our dust guys.

The launch of StratosLive (which has been available in beta since late last year) marks our foray into the cloud service provider space as well. In other words, we are no longer just a software manufacturer but we provide it as a service too. I believe this is a key part of all open source businesses in the future — write and release software, and also host it for others to use. Many (old world) pundits say one organization can’t do both well — we are simply going to prove them wrong.

MonicaWith the product engineering (and now online services) side kicking butt, our marketing and sales engine is also running in high gear. With Monica coming in to drive marketing, with Jonathan’s renewed focus on business development and with Paul Broekhoven joining Lavi’s sales machine we are growing rapidly on the business side too. We’ve been pretty much doubling our business each year and of course that becomes difficult as the numbers become larger (and eventually impossible) but we believe we can do that at least for the next few years. That’s partly because of our business model — a very large portion of Paulbour revenues are out of recurring production support meaning we don’t start at zero every year, and partly because our products are soooo much better than the incumbents it’s quite easy to get in through the door. It’s very hard for a consulting and services business to grow like that but it is possible for a business like ours to do it.

We’re also looking for a few fantastic people to join our team! In California we are looking for a Business Development person to work with Jonathan on OEM and channel business. We’re the only enterprise middleware company in the world that has a comprehensive, 100% open source stack under the world’s best-loved open source license (Apache License v2.0) and of course the only one to have a PaaS platform too. Because we built the platform from the ground up, it’s intended by design to be embedded and can be used to whatever extent that makes sense for particular scenarios, thanks to Carbon’s component architecture of course. For example, if you’re a VAR selling a business application as a webapp on IBM WebSphere or Oracle WebLogic and you need to convert that into a SaaS offering (too), you can OEM Stratos and do it in a terrifically short time plus have a business model that is a lot more in your favor than now. Plus you can continue to sell it as a webapp too.  (Interested? Drop us a line.)

Our customers are often fellow technical geeks who are trying to figure out the best way to solve business problems. Our primary strategy to reach them is with education and information on how our stuff can help them technically. We repeatedly hear stories of how using the WSO2 stack results in a rapid or trivial solution in comparison to IBM or Oracle or any of the other big guys or even the niche open source players. We are looking for a group of people to help amplify that information and evangelize our platform to fellow techies. Location immaterial. Your mission is to take our products and help others understand how to solve their problems with them. You of course will influence the product teams to make sure that ours remains the best approach for particular problems! In the process, we will help you build your personal brand to become a technology rock star. Interested? Drop me a line — but no recruiters or head hunters of any sort please — I will only hire someone who individually WANTS to work with us!

In general my hiring philosophy is not driven out of published open positions. I look at the person who wants to work with us and together we try to figure out what best aligns WSO2’s objectives and their personal objectives. If such an alignment is possible then we move forward. The other key thing for me is passion and commitment — you must have something that drives you, some war you feel the urge to fight, some battle you feel the need to win, some vision that drives you — working in WSO2 must help you achieve those objectives. Otherwise you shouldn’t work in WSO2! Of course hard work is part of the deal – we’re in a classic David vs. Goliath battle and that is not going to be won without amazing amounts of Sanjivahard work. We do play hard too, but we work hard and intensely. Ask anyone who works here. Bottom line is that someone who wants to learn something and do stuff can make it happen. But it is impossible to teach someone to be passionate and committed; that must come from inside you, from deep in your heart.

Strap on; WSO2 is on a roll…

Sanjiva Weerawarana, WSO2 CEO
Sanjiva’s blog: http://sanjiva.weerawarana.org/

WSO2 Platform for API Management

One of the niceties of mainframes was the simplicity of a single API for the users.  After years of evolution towards a decentralized model we still find this pattern appearing, even among SOA implementations that span many subsystems and service platforms.

I discussed the need for unified APIs in my previous blog posts [1],[2], and explained how you can build using the WSO2 middleware platform.

Presenting entire subsystems, which may include legacy systems, databases, and internal and external services as a single unified API makes integration easier for a partner (further decoupling detailed knowledge of the subsystems), and is increasingly used for internal users such as business processes, business rules and mashups. A unified API hides a variety of transports and systems behind a single, consistent, API.

With the introduction of unified API, API management and monitoring becomes an important factor.  Different formats and protocols like SOAP/HTTP, JSON, XML/HTTP, JMS can be exposed across the range of services. A centralized configuration change at the ESB layer enables different protocols or enables QoS features across the API.  Features such as usability, the security, governance can be managed in a single location, as can enterprise features like scalability and high-availability.  Monitoring provides a single point for assessing the usage and health of the system.

api-management

As I described in my previous posts, the WSO2 Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) provides the a simple yet powerful and highly performant system upon which to implement a unified API and select the various QoS characteristics. WSO2 ESB supports all the popular security standards required for integration and leverages WSO2 Carbon clustering features for scalability and high-availability out of the box.

The WSO2 Governance Registry builds the required governance framework for the unified API by providing a repository for policies and API metadata – even for API documentation – and adds the ability to share, version, analyze dependencies and policy conformance, and manage lifecycles of this metadata.  The WSO2 Governance Registry helps you define the and manage the QoS of your API, and works in conjunction with the ESB to assess and enforce the defined policies.

Monitoring – a key part of runtime governance – is accomplished by deploying the WSO2 Business Activity Monitor (BAM) to collect, summarize, and report on the API usage.  Or you can use the JMX support in the WSO2 ESB and other WSO2 Carbon products to tie into third-party monitoring tools.

api-management-wso2-products

Certain services need to go beyond simple monitoring. When we looked at the business requirements of our API management customers, billing and metering, isolated runtimes for specific consumers/consumer groups, as well as customization or overriding of the API for specific consumers emerged. We have found multi-tenancy to be a powerful answer for those requirements, and is available in the WSO2 cloud platform, WSO2 Stratos. With WSO2 Stratos you can easily expose your API in the cloud or as part of the SaaS offerings you provide.

In summary, both essential and extended features for API implementation and management are provided by WSO2 middleware platform, making it a great choice for meeting both your business and technical requirements.

Asanka Abeysinghe, Director of Solutions Architecture
Asanka’s blog: http://asanka.abeysinghe.org/

Connecting Microsoft services to WSO2 just got a whole lot easier

We have taken a great deal of care to ensure that the Apache Axis2 platform underlying the WSO2 product line interoperates fully with Microsoft, particularly WCF.

I myself have helped facilitate collaboration, standardization, and lots of testing between my old team at Microsoft and my new home at WSO2.  Back in 2008 I even helped demonstrate complex interop between WCF, Axis2/Java (WSO2 Application Server) and Axis2/C (WSO2 Web Service Framework for PHP) onstage during the keynote at Microsoft’s TechEd conference.

We’re proud that interop is based on more than just a few checkmarks, but is a comprehensive strategy, including:

  • Comprehensive interoperability at the level of individual WS-* specs.
  • Supporting an interoperable constellation of specs, matching not only Microsoft’s standards support spec-by-spec, but version-by-version in most cases.
  • Building useful samples of interoperability such as we contributed to Apache Stonehenge.

We’ve recently been collaborating with Microsoft to extend this list even further – to improve the developer experience for a Microsoft .NET developer connecting to an Apache Axis2 service.

imageAxis2 uses a policy-based configuration model which proved a bit tedious to map into the WCF binding model. Often this requires trolling through documentation or searching online forums – although the messages interoperate effectively, it might take hours to get an advanced scenario successfully configured.

Today Microsoft released the WCF Express Interop Bindings for Visual Studio 2010, making the configuration of bindings a snap for all common scenarios.  A VS developer can now use a simple interface to choose the right security certificate and crypto algorithms, QoS such as Reliable Messaging and Secure Conversation, and MTOM encoding, and the extension builds them a customized binding ready to interoperate with Axis2.  In minutes.

WS-* is a primary mechanism for integrating Java and .NET applications within the enterprise.  Every step to simplify that gives enterprises a greater array of options for building their infrastructure and building a strong bottom line.  As Abu explains, this new tool is a direct result of developer feedback – let us know what other problems we can tackle together!

Jonathan Marsh, VP Business Development and Marketing
Jonathan’s blog: http://jonathanmarsh.net/blog

What an awesome day! The grand opening of WSO2 Palo Alto.

IMG_0527The WSO2 team is thrilled to announce the opening of our new Palo Alto California office!  To accommodate our increasing industry and Silicon Valley presence, we’ve expanded our California office location and personnel, and today marked our move from Mountain View and the first day in our new office location!

We’ll drive more of our North American marketing from this location, as well as expand our sales and support reach in this time zone.

Palo Alto is right in the epicenter of innovation and entrepreneurship in Silicon Valley, appropriate to our goal of reinventing middleware and the way businesses leverage information to succeed in the challenging global marketplace.  And, with this location we have a great environment to work from – including being directly above a Starbucks!

IMG_1130A whole WSO2 crew was on hand to help us celebrate, from all four WSO2 continents:

Back row: Devaka (Sri Lanka), Sanjiva (Sri Lanka), Paul (UK), Chamith (Sri Lanka), Hasmin (Sri Lanka), Samisa (Sri Lanka); Middle row: Monica and daughter (California), Udeshika (Sri Lanka), Puny (Sri Lanka), Kushlani (Sri Lanka); Front Row: Jonathan (California), Mahesh (Australia)

IMG_0516-1After a day of final organization and moving into the space, we held a small office opening ceremony, including taking turns lighting a traditional coconut oil lamp (Samisa demonstrates) followed by sharing some Sri Lankan delicacies – I still don’t know what magic the WSO2 ladies used to conjure them up.  And cake!

IMG_0521This opening marks another significant milestone in the ongoing success of WSO2 and would not be possible without the diligent effort of the whole global team of engineers, sales, marketing and operational staff, and of course the best family of customers in the world!  Today we salute you with a piece of cake and a Starbucks, and hope you will join us in celebration from whatever continent you are on!

Jonathan Marsh, VP Business Development and Marketing
Jonathan’s blog: http://jonathanmarsh.net/blog