Category Archives: News

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. Stratos 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.

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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.

With 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 our 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 hard 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/

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.

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Axis2 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

The 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!

A 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)

After 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!

This 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

Let’s Talk Solutions Architecture

Today WSO2 launches a new Solutions Architecture Blog for Enterprise Architects.  As Paul explains in the inaugural post:

Solution Architecture is one of the areas where our customers are most keen to get best practice.

The new blog will share and provide an opportunity to discuss best practices, patterns, and real-world solutions to enterprise architecture challenges.  It promises to become a valuable resource for Enterprise Architects.

Subscribe and join the conversation here!

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

Welcome to the WSO2 Solution Architecture Blog!

It is a privileged part of my job to work closely with companies of all sizes who are using the WSO2 platform as part of their overall Enterprise Architecture. I work with the team of architects here at WSO2 who collaborate, guide and learn from our interactions with other architects from some of the best companies in the business.

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One of the things that we’ve really learnt is that architects love to have a set of modular components available to hand. And we are constantly learning from engagements and customers how the building blocks from Carbon and Stratos can be used to create amazing solutions. Whether its small startups, midsized companies or Fortune 500 enterprises, architects are finding value in lean open source middleware.

Solution architecture issues range widely:

  • Should I build a shared-nothing model?
  • Do I need to separate my data services layer from my integration layer?
  • What is the value of policy-based entitlement?
  • What cloud architectures are being adopted for large scale high-volume systems?

Solution Architecture is one of the areas where our customers are most keen to get best practice. Hence welcome to this new blog. We aim to ask – and answer – these sort of questions and more.  And we look forward to your contributions: whether its a comment, a trackback, a link to your thoughts or even a guest blog.

Paul Fremantle, WSO2 CTO
Paul’s blog: http://pzf.fremantle.org/

New: WSO2 Named a Leader in New ESB Analyst Report

In the latest Forrester Wave on ESBs, they declared that WSO2 was a “Leader” and scored WSO2 a 4.47 out of a possible 5.0 for “Current Offering.”

This follows two recent Gartner SOA Magic Quadrants that listed WSO2 as a Visionary. Whether or not you follow Gartner, Forrester, or more specialized analysts such as Redmonk or the 451 Group, this is a great sign for WSO2 – we are gaining not just customer traction but also visibility from the wider industry. I often think that we are one of the IT world’s best-kept secrets: a 120 person company that competes head-on with Oracle, IBM and Tibco in the middleware space; that is used by one of the world’s biggest e-tailers to do more than 800m transactions a day; that has a complete multi-tenant, elastic Platform-as-a-Service; and that does this all completely as a Modular, Open Source, and Lean codebase.

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Focusing just on the ESB I recently heard from a customer that they have run their WSO2 ESB cluster with zero downtime for more than 2 years. What does that mean? They run a cluster for continuous availability: even during updates, the cluster remains up and active – using a graceful restart model they can push configuration updates through the system without affecting any clients or losing any messages. So despite multiple updates and even hardware changes the cluster has been live continuously for more than two years with not a single second of downtime.

Our ESB is strongly based on Apache Synapse, and generally, analysts do not evaluate Apache projects, because their clients are looking for a complete supported commercial solution. That is ok, but I think that Apache Synapse deserves a strong mention at this point. I submitted the proposal for Apache Synapse to Apache in August 2005. Some of the initial discussion around Synapse avoided the use of the word ESB – but the reality of the development from the very first line of code is that we were (and are) building an ESB. WSO2 has had a strong commitment to Synapse from day one, but there are other excellent contributors and I want to thank the whole Apache Synapse team – in my mind this rating by Forrester is not just a rating for WSO2 but for the underlying Apache Synapse ESB as well.

Here is hoping that this wider exposure helps turn WSO2 from the best kept secret to the best known alternative to bloated, costly and proprietary platforms!

Paul Fremantle, WSO2 CTO

Paul’s blog: http://pzf.fremantle.org/

Welcome to the New WSO2 Corporate Blog

Happy New Year and welcome to the new WSO2 Corporate Blog!

Five years into the WSO2 journey, the WSO2 company and community continue to grow rapidly. This past year marked a number of significant milestones in our growth:

  • Completing another year of 100% growth in customers, revenue and bookings
  • The WSO2 employee count surpassed 100
  • The WSO2 OxygenTank user community passed 30,000 registered members and 300,000 indexed pages
  • The pace of innovation remains high, with nearly 50 product and 20 service releases this last year

You can imagine the amount of documentation, articles, tutorials, and so forth this much activity generates! And WSO2 is unique in the openness and transparency with which we develop our products – with forums, mailing lists, code bases, and building an immense, fully-open knowledge base day by day.

And not just on the OxygenTank! Many bloggers including lots of WSO2 employees are regularly publishing valuable content elsewhere on a huge variety of WSO2 and industry topics. That includes me, Paul, and others of the executive team. Currently there are over 50,000 links back to the OxygenTank. Sometimes it seems impossible to keep up!

So today we’re inaugurating a simpler and more manageable way to share important technical and business milestones, executive viewpoints, and high-level commentary about industry trends. You’ll see posts from me, from co-founder & CTO Paul Fremantle, VPs Lavi De Silva, Jonathan Marsh, and Samisa Abeysinghe, and others. By consolidating and moderating contributions in a single place, we hope to make this corporate blog a concise, insightful, and entertaining way to track WSO2’s progress as we roar into our second half-decade.

Please subscribe or check back often!

Sanjiva Weerawarana, WSO2 CEO

Sanjiva’s blog: http://sanjiva.weerawarana.org/