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SOA Goes Open Source

One entrepreneur's software suite aims to help companies build their own service-oriented architectures.

Can service-oriented architecture be built on open source code, or does the combination represent a marriage of convenience?

"Open source code is extremely well adapted to service-oriented architecture," says Winston Damarillo, a co-founder and chairman of startup LogicBlaze.

Open source software has matured to the point where it can take on service-oriented architecture responsibilities, Damarillo argues, and he's in a unique position to make that assertion. The product of an entrepreneurial family in the Philippines that developed companies in mining, timber, and oil, he's working on his second round of software startups. A mechanical engineering graduate of De La Salle University in Manila, Damarillo came to the United States to become an entrepreneur in the world's most competitive environment.

Sit down, relax, and get started with SOAs, Winston Damarillo says

Sit down, relax, and get started with SOAs, Winston Damarillo says.

Photo by David Strick
First he went to work for Intel in its architecture labs, sales and marketing, and strategic relationships. He spent the last two years of an eight-year stint at the company's venture capital unit, Intel Capital.

"I got a good bird's-eye view of what I wanted to do," he says. He moved out of Intel and into open source code, where he believed opportunity beckoned. On Sept. 10, 2001, Damarillo leased space for a company called Gluecode Software to put together an integrated open source code stack of middleware. He was assembling office furniture by himself in the Los Angeles offices the following morning, when he noticed none of his employees had shown up for work. News of the attacks on the World Trade Center soon reached him.

He had sold his Intel stock to finance Gluecode, a move he acknowledged to his wife was a risk as the economy turned downward. But now, he says, "I'm extremely happy I did that." In May 2005, he sold Gluecode to IBM for an undisclosed amount. The sale produced five millionaires among Gluecode's employees.

Repeat Performance
Next, Damarillo founded Simula Labs, a host company that has received $6.5 million in venture capital for investment in a number of startups. LogicBlaze is one of four startups under way and the one bent on repeating Gluecode's success.

LogicBlaze has launched an integrated suite of open source code that's designed to get businesses started with service-oriented architecture. Called Fuse, it includes several pieces of open source code from the Apache Software Foundation, plus three from the Apache incubator. The claim that all the pieces have matured must take into consideration that incubator projects at Apache aren't yet full-fledged, open source projects; rather, they're getting an organization and community established around a core code donation.

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