All posts by Jonathan Marsh

New Free Trial Subscriptions, WSO2 Update 2.0, and More

Today we introduce an enhanced WSO2 Subscription offering.

As always, our products are open source, including all enterprise features, under the Apache 2.0 license. Our WSO2 Subscription services represent an additional package of enterprise-grade services and support to help you get the most value out of the product. The subscription represents a relationship to assist you throughout your project, from design and architecture guidance, support and teaming during your development and deployment milestones, ongoing update services to reduce the risks of downtime or security breach, and managing your deployment in the cloud.

Hundreds of customers have become loyal subscribers. With today’s improvements, new and existing subscribers have even more benefits, including a new WSO2 Free Trial Subscription, new versions of WSO2 Update and WSO2 Update Manager, new distribution mechanisms for updates, and a dramatic increase in our support lifetime.

We are confident WSO2 Subscription services will help those evaluating WSO2 products as well, so we are providing a no-obligation preview of the full breadth of WSO2 Subscription benefits with the WSO2 Free Trial Subscription. This includes all the benefits of a WSO2 Subscription, including:

  • WSO2 Update services – access to all updates for all versions of products (this is improved from offering only updates on the latest version) and a license to use the updates in any environment (this is improved from precluding use in production environments).
  • Early access to security updates and bulletins – Subscribers get advance notice of possible vulnerabilities to provide ample time to install security updates prior to public announcement of the vulnerability.
  • WSO2 Support services – each free trial is eligible for a support account, which includes 5 hours of query support as well as incident support on pre-production or production environments according to our SLA.
  • Access to new distributions (such as Docker images) for WSO2 products with pre-installed updates.
  • Access to an assigned WSO2 account management team with business, technical, and support owners to help you evaluate the products and build a proof of concept.

A free trial lasts initially for 15 days and applies to all WSO2 products. We would be happy to work with you to get the most out of the trial period and to upgrade the trial into a commercial subscription. WSO2 Free Trial Subscriptions are available instantly online.

WSO2 Update 2.0

Associated with supporting the free trial we have made some significant changes to WSO2 Update. As always, bug fixes are published into the latest open source branch and are available for open source users who upgrade to the next product release.

WSO2 Update 2.0 is an integral part of our WSO2 Subscription commercial service, making bug fixes immediately available for easy drop-in deployment into any supported previous version. To get updates you must be a subscriber – which includes all of our free trial subscribers.

Here’s how WSO2 Update 2.0 compares with 1.0:

  • A “subscription” to WSO2 Update services was previously separate from a WSO2 Subscription. Now your WSO2 Update subscription is simply part of your WSO2 Subscription and can be managed as such. Pre-commercial users maintain access to updates through the new WSO2 Free Trial Subscription program.
  • All subscribers including free trial users now have access to ALL available updates for their subscribed products, including updates applicable to previous releases and security updates not yet released publicly.
  • Updates obtained under a free trial can be used in development, pre-production, and now, production environments, during the trial period.
  • The WSO2 Update End User License Agreement (EULA) 2.0 encodes the above terms and applies for free trials and new subscriptions. There will be no change to license terms for existing subscribers with agreements specifically referencing the WSO2 Update EULA 1.0.

With this release, there will be a broader set of ways to take advantage of WSO2 Updates.

  • Many of our products now have downloaders, which include an option to log into your WSO2 Subscription and install all available updates with one click.
  • WSO2 Update Manager (WUM) 2.0 downloads products and manages updates, and now supports free trial users.
  • Subscribers can quickly get images with all updates pre-installed, for Docker, Docker Compose, and Vagrant. We expect to regularly expand both the breadth of these distribution options and the products they are available for over time.
  • We can manage the deployment of updates for you, with our WSO2 Cloud and WSO2 Managed Cloud services.

How does this affect you?

If you are a WSO2 Subscriber, there will be little change – take advantage of the new options for downloading products and updates. Upgrade to WUM 2.0 to so that access to updates will continue uninterrupted. If you are interested in evaluating a broader set of WSO2 products, let us know and we’ll extend your team a WSO2 Free Trial Subscription for those additional products.

If you are not yet a WSO2 Subscriber, your current access to WSO2 Updates will end. To continue it, please apply for a WSO2 Free Trial Subscription and let us help you towards the adoption of WSO2 products and a WSO2 Subscription.

Have questions or more ideas for benefits that you’d like to see incorporated into your subscription? Let me know at jonathan@wso2.com.

WSO2 Announces 10-year Long-term Support for All Current Products

WSO2 products serve as a workhorse processing billions of transactions every day around the world. Our customers rely on WSO2 for many mission-critical apps, backed by our WSO2 Subscription services to proactively provide security and bug fix updates, and to stand by 24×7 to resolve any issues that arise.

Our standard support lifetime policy for products has been 3 years, reflecting our best practice advice to maintain a regular upgrade cycle. However, with the breadth of customer scenarios WSO2 is now deployed in, we have had demand for long-term support (LTS) releases beyond the 3-year window.

We are pleased to announce that all current and subsequent WSO2 product releases are designated as LTS releases with a 10-year support lifetime. Our 10-year LTS commitment assures you that WSO2 is committed to your long-term success regardless of your maintenance schedule.

Your WSO2 Subscription now ensures that, for 10 years:

  • Bugs identified in any version of the product will be addressed through a back-port and delivery of a WSO2 Update into each affected LTS release.
  • Vigilance is maintained through monitoring of dependent projects for possible vulnerabilities. This monitoring includes collecting industry-wide security bulletins, soliciting potential vulnerability reports from the community and academia, and automated code analysis tools. Confirmed vulnerabilities are addressed through early notification and delivery of a WSO2 Update to Subscribers for each affected LTS release.
  • Maintaining our full test and regression capabilities and labs for each LTS release to ensure a prompt response, reproduction, and resolution of any issue reported through our 24×7 support services.

Of course, your WSO2 Subscription covers regular upgrades to newer versions of WSO2 products, and we still recommend regularly scheduled upgrades to take advantage of new features, higher performance, and improved ease of use, and to avoid accruing long-term technical debt.

The introduction of the 10-year LTS is one of a set of improvements we are making to increase the breadth of value customers find in their WSO2 Subscription.

Will Google Leave On-Premise Apigee Customers Behind?

By now you all know that Google intends to buy Apigee. So what does this mean for their customers? All we can make are assumptions, but the future doesn’t seem too bright. Firstly, customers with SaaS services on Amazon Web Services will most likely have to move to Google’s cloud platform. But this isn’t the biggest issue. It seems plausible that their on-premise customers will not be the highest priority because Google doesn’t have an enterprise on-premise solution, nor does it seem they will create one now.

So what will be the fate of on-premise Apigee customers?

We offer an appealing alternative. WSO2 API Manager offers a rich feature set and adaptable architecture encompassing advanced platform capabilities such as real-time analytics, API governance, and complex back-end integration.

Our roots lie deep in open source software, we’re committed to both on-premise and cloud solutions and offer commercial support at a reasonable price. If you are an Apigee customer who’s concerned about what the future might bring, now is a great time to look at WSO2!

We are serious about helping you fulfill the promise of the API economy. Check out our limited-time offer specially crafted for you. With free subscription periods and discounts, this is an opportunity you won’t be able to refuse!

WSO2 ELB, Meet Nginx Plus

Today we announced a change-up of the WSO2 product line.

We developed the WSO2 Elastic Load Balancer in order to help support early versions of WSO2 Stratos (now Apache Stratos), in particular to satisfy the need for the load balancing functions supporting the elasticity of the system to themselves be elastic.  Over time however, these elastic capabilities were handled elsewhere and the WSO2 ELB just became functionally an “LB” despite our tardiness to update the product name.

The WSO2 ELB was based on a stripped down WSO2 Enterprise Service Bus and had some success among our customers.  However, even more of our customers were using Nginx with excellent results, better performance, and lower overall cost.  Nginx has emerged as the standards-bearer of open source load balancers.

Well, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em!  And thus we have begun the process of deprecating support for the ELB and the migration of existing customers over to Nginx.

WSO2 has entered an agreement with Nginx to make this transition easy for our customers – and for helping new customers to take advantage of this solution.  WSO2 now resells Nginx Plus subscriptions so there customers have a single source of procurement if working with two vendors adds complication.  WSO2 will provide first-line support for Nginx Plus through the same WSO2 support system so there is a single “throat to choke” for support queries across the WSO2 platform and Nginx.  WSO2 has access to back-end support from Nginx so that we have full access to the primary source experts in this area.

We’re looking forward to working with Nginx to keep your WSO2 deployments performing at top capacity, reliability, and efficiency, and to continue to provide the enterprise-class support that makes our platform compelling to hundreds of customers worldwide.

Jonathan Marsh
VP Strategy, WSO2

WSO2 Expands Bay Area Presence

We outgrew another office. This is becoming a trend! Our Palo Alto office served us well for the last couple of years but with our accelerating hiring we needed more space.

The new location, 787 Castro Street in Mountain View, is just down the road from our old office, but provides us all the local amenities of the coveted and vibrant Castro Street corridor. The office forms a lively and productive environment for our growing team, as well as giving us more room to grow.

Keep a lookout for a public open house invitation towards summer’s end as we get settled in.

Really curious? You can see a few snapshots of the space and this week’s small dedication ceremony on my Google+. You might even be inspired to take another look at our Careers page as well.

-Jonathan Marsh
VP of Strategy

Strategic Alliances for the Win

Partnering with WSO2 is a win-win-win.  System Integrators can pair their implementation talents with the advanced capabilities of the WSO2 platform and our expert support services to build customer solutions with higher value.  With the open source license and the productivity of the platform, these projects can be more profitable and repeatable for the integrator.  And WSO2 support business expands to more customers.  Everyone wins!

2013 saw significant growth in our partner program, and we continue to expand that even more vigorously in 2014!  We are working closely with partners around the world on some innovative projects with fascinating customers.

One of the success stories of 2013 is Yenlo, a Netherlands-based integrator who found the WSO2 platform a better business proposition than the old-guard proprietary stacks.  Yenlo has deployed WSO2-based projects at multiple customer sites, extended the ESB with an ebMS adapter, built a simple appliance, and started offering fully hosted services.  One of these success stories is detailed in a new case study now available on the WSO2 web site.  The decision to focus on the WSO2 platform has contributed to Yenlo’s rapid growth.  They now are expanding beyond the Netherlands with new offices in five other countries in Europe and North America.

In recognition of all this momentum, and our efforts to continue and accelerate it, we have announced a Strategic Alliance.  This status recognizes the broad investments and success that Yenlo has achieved, and helps us team up on broader opportunities to promote and deploy Yenlo implementations and WSO2 technology to more customers worldwide.

If you are a partner, I hope you see the Yenlo success as a demonstration of the power that WSO2 can bring to your bottom line.  The need for next-generation open source solutions is vast – and the pool of opportunities only continues to grow!  If you are an user, I encourage you to contact Yenlo or any of our other partners when you need an expert partner for your WSO2 project.  We are always happy to provide introductions!  After all, it’s a win-win-win.

– Jonathan Marsh, Vice President of Business Development, WSO2

WSO2 Opens New Office in Bloomington, Indiana

The sun never sets on WSO2.  With more and more customers relying on our 24×7 support for their critical WSO2 deployments, it makes sense to rebalance our support function more evenly around the world.  Adding a new facility in Bloomington ensures we continue to provide timely responses and resolutions to support requests, at the same time reducing the midnight oil burned in Colombo on occasion.

Why Bloomington?  Many good reasons:

  • Located in the US Eastern Time Zone, convenient to travel to many destinations in throughout the US.
  • Indiana University Bloomington has one of the largest and most prestigious Computer Science and Informatics programs in the nation.  Many WSO2 alumni are attending or have attended IU for their doctoral work.  We look forward to building a stronger relationship with the university, and of course plan to recruit heavily among graduating students!
  • Excellent quality of life, value, and a small but active technology sector make Bloomington an attractive place to live, work, and visit.

We are relocating a few key team members to Bloomington, as well as actively recruiting in the area for many of our “customer-facing” online engineering roles: technical support, technical sales, solution architecture.  See our careers page for more info on the current open positions.

Thanks to the Bloomington Economic Development Corporation and all the rest of the business and academic community that has welcomed us with open arms!

Jonathan Marsh, VP Business Development

What the … you just gave away WSO2 Stratos?!

Yes we did!

Careful observers over in the Apache Software Foundation may have noticed the proposal to create an incubator group to work on what will become Apache Stratos (yes we are also donating the Stratos name.)  This week the project was accepted as an incubator project, which does not mean Apache Stratos is a full-fledged top-level project yet but the process of building a broad community to work on the project is well underway.

So what’s up with WSO2 Stratos?  Are we parking it at Apache while we focus elsewhere?  Is this the beginning of the end for Stratos?

Not at all!  The truth is exactly the opposite — we’re doubling down hard on Stratos, which evidence suggests has the potential to have a wider impact in the industry.  To do that we’ve released a new version that is more cleanly architected to support an ecosystem of vendors at all levels: IaaS providers, cloud automation and tooling plugins, and middleware vendors (more about the Stratos 2 launch here.)  Stratos was also recently recommended by SUSE as their preferred PaaS solution on top of SUSE Cloud.  Stratos has been gaining momentum!

But for Stratos to realize the potential of this momentum we know we have to double down not just on our efforts to build the best PaaS framework, but also on making it the most open.  We already of course are committed to a high degree of openness: the Apache 2.0 License, open development and architecture lists, and adopting the Apache process for allowing external committers to all our projects.  But we knew we could do more!

Moving the project over to the Apache Software Foundation makes it easier for other organizations and individuals to contribute to the project under the neutral and respected umbrella of Apache.  It raises the awareness of the project within the industry to attract new contributors.  And it puts the project closer to many established Apache projects that users would like to access within a PaaS framework.

By opening up the project and working together we can build a PaaS framework that can be used more broadly, which continues the virtuous cycle and ensures Stratos continues to reach for the clouds.

So what exactly are we donating?  The core Stratos PaaS framework, which includes the cloud controller which orchestrates VMs through jclouds using an underlying IaaS of your choice, the code that deploys the right middleware and tenant artifacts to the underlying VMs, the service monitor, and tenant-aware elastic load balancer.  In addition we’re contributing a set of core services for logging, billing, security, registry, messaging, as well as the cartridge framework which allows WSO2 and third-party runtimes to be plugged into the PaaS.  We’re donating the cartridges that wrap PHP, MySQL, and Tomcat as well.  WSO2 Carbon middleware cartridges will continue to be available for download from WSO2 under the Apache License.

I expect the project home page will be up shortly, and the mail archives at http://mail-archives.apache.org/mod_mbox/incubator-stratos-dev/ are busy with organizational matters.  Come check it out and join the Stratos movement!

Jonathan Marsh, VP Business Development
blog: http://jonathanmarsh.net/blog

WSO2 and SUSE: An Open Source Stack That Extends to the Cloud

On June 12th, WSO2 and SUSE announced an alliance that ensures that customers using SUSE and WSO2 technologies together have a seamless experience:

  • A recommended commercially supported, open source stack spanning from OS to middleware
  • Synchronized releases
  • Coordinated support
  • Reference architecture for cloud

We’re very excited to be working with SUSE, for a number of reasons, of which I’ll limit myself to just three:

1) The partnership provides a greater audience for WSO2 technology as an alternative to JBoss — including areas where we have products not available in the RedHat/JBoss platform (API Management, Governance, Business Activity Monitoring backed by Big Data technologies), areas where we think we have a demonstrably stronger or more innovative offering (Enterprise Service Bus, Identity Server), and areas where we believe our vision for solving the new enterprise challenges is worthy of consideration (componentized middleware, PaaS, DevOps, BigData, API management, Mobile.)  For a more detailed comparison of WSO2 and RedHat/JBoss platforms you might want to read Chris Haddad’s high-level comparison at http://blog.cobia.net/cobiacomm/2012/08/02/red-hat-enterprise-middleware-comparison-with-cloud-native-middleware/.

2) Alignment of cloud strategy.  SUSE has been a groundbreaker in launching an open source IaaS offering SUSE Cloud, based on OpenStack. We’re honored SUSE has chosen to recommend WSO2 Stratos as the preferred PaaS to use with SUSE Cloud.  Together we’ve published a WSO2-SUSE Cloud Reference Architecture to help people get started using these two technologies together to bring the advantages of private cloud to all levels of the stack.

3) SUSE and WSO2 are great matches on the culture front.  While SUSE has a longer history of powering enterprises than WSO2, our cultures of openness, innovation, and deep customer relationships make us natural allies.  Our customers have similar characteristics and distribution around the world.  And each of us is on a mission to compete aggressively for the #1 spot in our industries!

I can’t tell you how much I’ve personally enjoyed working with a broad set of the SUSE team and am certain we will continue to deepen our relationship over the coming years with the joint aim of increasing customer delight!

Jonathan Marsh, VP Business Development
http://jonathanmarsh.net/blog

WSO2 Mashup Server: Where to Now?

You may have noticed the WSO2 Mashup Server link has been retired from our menus, and seen that the WSO2 Mashup Server page on wso2.com directs you to the WSO2 Application Server product page.  Curious as to what’s going on?  Here’s the whole story, from inception to the present and looking towards the future.

Where the WSO2 Mashup Server led the way

I joined WSO2 back in 2006 as Director of Architecture for Mashup Technologies to explore ways to make the emerging stack of WS-* specifications approachable and efficient for the average Web developer.  The result was the WSO2 Mashup Server, which introduced a number of valuable ideas and features:

  • Expose simple Javascript functions as full-fledged SOAP Web services, bringing Web developer skills into the enterprise.
  • Simplify access to SOAP Web services from within Javascript (mashups or browser).
  • Make dealing with XML payloads easier.
  • Interface with other systems that Web developers are interested in, particularly feeds, data sources, and other web pages.
  • Build a try-it functionality allowing developers to point at a WSDL and get a usable form-based user interface to explore a Web service (or to provide a default user interface for any service.)
  • Make the results available in forms a Web developer cares about: web pages, gadget portals, feeds, instant messages, email messages.
  • Seed an ecosystem of reusable mashups by building community features into a multi-tenant environment, where each mashup exposes services that can be reused and recombined.
  • Host a public site (mooshup.com) for the mashup community.

The resulting product, the WSO2 Mashup Server, broke new ground and gained a lot of interest in the community, proving the value of
many of these ideas.  Here’s what the 1.x version looked like back then:

image

These core features and ideas have over time influenced the WSO2 Carbon platform.  As more of these ideas have been incorporated broadly into the platform, the layer unique to the Mashup Server has become increasingly small.  Here are some ways the Mashup Server informed WSO2 Carbon platform evolution:

  • Multi-tenancy.  The early multi-tenancy (really more of multi-user than full isolation) in the Mashup Server allowed many users to register, author and share their own mashups with others, has evolved into a full multi-tenant architecture across the Carbon system, and has been a core feature cloud-enabling the WSO2 Stratos Platform-as-a-Service.
  • Social enterprise.  Enabling community features like tags, ratings, comments, granular feeds and search embedded those capacities into the underlying WSO2 Governance Registry.  They remain a key part of our governance capabilities and continue to evolve through initiatives such as the WSO2 API Manager’s API Store interface.
  • Try-it. Try-it for SOAP services has been integrated into all our products that focus on exposing services.  I personally think we have lost a bit of the “default user interface” focus over time and hope to push us back to regain and extend that aspect of developer experimentation, but an increasing preference for RESTful services which can be readily explored through simple tools like Curl is making that less urgent.
  • Gadgets.  The Google gadget dashboard and gadget generators made their first appearance as a component of the WSO2 Mashup Server, but were fairly quickly spun out into a separate product.
  • WSO2 Carbon.  It’s my view that WSO2 Mashup Server became in large part the straw that broke the back of the camel of a suite of related, but separately developed, products.  With many capabilities and shared components between WSO2 Mashup Server, WSO2 Data Services Server, WSO2 Governance Registry, WSO2 Gadget Server, coordinated development and releases across these products became untenable and helped motivate the hard but incredibly valuable work of moving towards the world’s first fully componentized middleware platform.
  • WSO2 StratosLive.  The multi-user publicly hosted WSO2 Mashup Server branded as mooshup.com site became redundant as the whole WSO2 Carbon platform emerged through WSO2 StratosLive as a solid public middleware PaaS encompassing the whole range of WSO2 products.  Mooshup.com was retired quite a while back when StratosLive came online.

What remains unique to the Mashup Server at this point is limited to the hosting of Javascript Web Services.

As our WSO2 Application Server product has expanded to encompass a platform for hosting a larger variety of web service and web application types, it makes sense to simply include Javascript services among that set.  So even though there is no longer a separate download for the WSO2 Mashup Server, the capabilities available in the final release remain present in the WSO2 Application Server.

Where the WSO2 Mashup Server missed the boat

It’s worthwhile to review some of the areas where the Mashup Server failed to reach the mainstream.  As a SOAP-centric and XML-centric model, it lost some relevancy as RESTful services and JSON have dominated the API ecosystem targeted at Web developers.  The Mashup Server’s focuses on APIs didn’t provide an easy environment for developing Web Applications – many Web Apps I built on as mashups were comprised of static HTML pages, AJAX and XML, without dynamic HTML creation and relying completely on AJAX to invoke any kind of server-side processing.  Not always the most straightfoward solution.

To address these needs, we’ve got a new approach. Jaggery is a server-side Javascript framework, that allows the Web App or mobile developer to use the same models on the client and server sides: HTML, Javascript, and JSON.  Jaggery makes it easy both to generate dynamic web pages, but also to expose RESTful services.  It brings native JSON processing to the server side and thus makes it much easier to author Web/mobile clients and services and for them to work seamlessly together.

So if you’re using the WSO2 Mashup Server, you’ll find an easy transition to the WSO2 Application Server and I’m confident you’ll find this aggregation to be a straightforward and positive move.  And we encourage you to expand your ability to leverage the advantages of Javascript server-side development with Jaggery.

Jonathan Marsh
Vice President of Business Development
blog: http://jonathanmarsh.net/blog