Commercial vendor opens up its standards-based middleware for ETL, application integration and information integration.

Doug Henschen, Executive Editor, Enterprise Apps

November 6, 2007

2 Min Read

After five years as a commercial integration middleware provider, XAware shifted gears on Monday by releasing XAware 5 as an open source product freely downloadable under the widely used GPLv2 license at the community site

Not content to focus on niche markets in the face of entrenched competition from the likes of IBM, Informatica and TIBCO, the vendor says its software is suitable for a broad set of integration problems — everything from ETL to enterprise application integration and enterprise information integration. It's differentiating by going open source and targeting ISVs and OEMs as well as enterprise developers.

"The consumer of this technology is an application developer, and that's a great area in which to do a commercial open-source model," says Bill Miller, Chairman and CTO. "By building a community around it and making it freely distributable under GPL license, a lot of people will discover that they can do a lot with XAware. They can also add functionality to make it even better, so we'll get some great contributions."

Xaware was founded in 2002 with the premise of tapping then-emerging service-oriented approaches and Web services standards to provide easy-to-use integration middleware. Information is normalized and modeled as XML, the design environment is Eclipse, the run-time engine was recently rewritten on a Spring framework and data is accessed and transformed using standards such as Xpath and DOM. The company had more than 70 customers before this week's open source release, and Miller says the company has spent more than a year preparing for the demands of the open source market.

"The key in open source to be able to download the software and be able to do something productive within an hour," says Miller. "That's not generally what you find with integration tools, so we had to work on usability. We also had some non-open-source-compatible code we had to remove and we rebuilt it around the Spring framework so it would be easier for people to make contributions and understand the structure of the software."

XAware is a late comer to the open source integration market. Jitterbit launched its community edition software in May 2006. Paris-based Talend launched its Open Studio in late 2006, and it has since racked up more than 150,000 downloads.

XAware's commercial model is based on providing support subscriptions, starting at $2,000 per server, per year for nine-hour-a-day/five-day-a-week support on the GPL product. An enterprise (commercial) subscription is $25,000 per server, per year, with 24/7 support and run-time management modules, including SMTP reporting, configuration management and deployment management, that aren't available through the open-source product. As a commercial open source vendor, XAware can also make commercial licenses available to ISVs and OEMs in parallel with the GPL license.

About the Author(s)

Doug Henschen

Executive Editor, Enterprise Apps

Doug Henschen is Executive Editor of InformationWeek, where he covers the intersection of enterprise applications with information management, business intelligence, big data and analytics. He previously served as editor in chief of Intelligent Enterprise, editor in chief of Transform Magazine, and Executive Editor at DM News. He has covered IT and data-driven marketing for more than 15 years.

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