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Open SourceData ServicesData Integration 3 Apr 2008 8:09 AM
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Entry Level Data Integration by billm

Savio Rodriques posted this on the Infoworld Open Sources | Rodrigues & Urlocker blog :

Vendors need to right-size their products

I've used the term "Right Sizing Your Infrastructure" to describe one reason that OSS penetration grew and continues to grow. Looking back 5 years at the enterprise middleware market, most vendors offered ~3 different editions of their product. The editions may have had various names, but think of 'entry', 'advanced' and 'enterprise' as the categories. The problem was that 'entry' and 'advanced' had capabilities befitting their names, but the skills, complexity and cost associated with these products were out of sync with the names. For the most part, an 'entry' edition product had significantly fewer features vs. an 'enterprise' edition of the product, but the associated complexity of two products was nearly similar.

Then came along truly 'entry' products that aligned the capabilities that they offered with the skills, complexity and cost required to implement. Products like Tomcat, PHP, and MySQL are but a few examples. These products have increased their capabilities as they attempt to grow into more complex enterprise projects (but so have truly 'enterprise' products, so a gap still very much exists). Clearly, the challenge will be to keep the ratio between capabilities to skills, complexity & cost in line with their history.

Closed-source vendor have recognized the importance of 'right-sizing', and the importance of the capabilities to skills, complexity & cost ratio. Trying to fit a product designed for the 'enterprise' scenario into an 'entry' scenario hasn't worked, and I suspect it will not work going forward. The best approach to do this is to build or acquire a product for the 'entry' scenario. Let the acquisitions of OSS vendors by closed-source vendors continue!

PS: I should state: "The postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent IBM’s positions, strategies or opinions."

Good point. A big part of the motivation behind our XAware open source data integration / composite data services project has been to provide an easier to learn, easier to use, and easier to get set of tools and middleware for building and maintaining application data access than you could get from "Big E" Enterprise products, like those from IBM, Oracle, Tibco, etc. We found that too many application developers were having to code composite data access to outside data sources because they couldn't afford the cost, the weight, or the hassle of these entereprise data integration products. This is especially true for developers of Web 2.0 apps using lightweight methods like AJAX or FLEX and REST, but also for many developers of business apps using SOA. XAware makes these developers' tasks easier; just like, as Savio points out, products like Tomcat, PHP, and MySQL did for other capabilities in an applications stack.

XAware's 500 downloads per day and 25,000 downloads so far, just a few weeks after our first GA release of the open source code, would seem to confirm that a lot of applications developers do want an easier way to build composite data access. We thought so!



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