Jeff Schneider founder of MomentumSI has announced in his blog that the company will be releasing to open source their OpenStorm product. (I’m blogging it here to ensure he keeps to his word ) It’s the first time I’ve heard of OpenStorm, however this development will further strengthen the Java Business Integration (JBI) value proposition. The OpenStorm solution not only provides yet another BPEL engine, but it comes with Eclipse based components to aid the integration developer.
There are a multitude of smaller players like MomentumSI, FiveSight and Infravio (all who have recently open sourced their products), that may have superior technical solutions in the integration space but are unable to build traction against the well established incumbents.
Many of the really useful JSR specification are those that create an open and fair playing field for vendors. The most well known of this is the JMS (Java Messaging Standard) specification. JMS promoted the viability of alternative reliable messaging vendors. In the absense of the JMS specification, one would have seriously doubted the financial viability of companies like Sonic and Fiorano.
Similarly, the JBI specification allows integrators to mix and match best of breed solutions. For the smaller integration players, this can lead to profitable opportunities providing specialized solutions. Furthermore, this takes away the unnecessary burden of having to re-invent the entire integration stack. This reminds me of the “Architecture of Participation” albeit in an industry wide scale!
This emerging situation is a reflection of Christensen’s “Law of Attractive Profits” in practice. That is the migration of value of time, high margins move up and down the value chain over time. An Open Source JBI solution is a common good that is valuable to many in the integration community.
Although I must admit, it has been painfully difficult for the average Java developer to see the value in JBI. This is unfortunate since it’s highly likely that JBI may bring about the most profound change in how we build enterprise systems in the future.