The core Mule product is a lightweight message management system that invokes XML, SOAP, WS-Messaging, or Java Messaging Service to link applications or services. It was conceived five years ago by 32-year-old Ross Mason as he did integration work for London financial institutions.
As services are built to depend on Mule, service management looms as a larger and larger issue, said Mason in an interview. Before Galaxy 1.0, service registries and repositories were offered mainly as commercial products. A registry is a central location for service descriptions and a place for applications or other services to obtain how-to-connect information. A repository stores both services and key information about them.
Galaxy 1.0 "is the open source Systinet," said Mason. Systinet, a pioneer in the field, was acquired by Mercury Interactive in January 2006 for $105 million. Mercury in turn was acquired by HP seven months later for $4.5 billion. Another early registry and repository startup was Infravio, acquired by WebMethods for $38 million in September 2006, which in turn was acquired by Software AG for $546 million in April 2007.
Both HP and Software AG offer service registries and repositories as part of a larger approach to SOA governance. Services are often described in WSDL (Web Services Description Language) so that inquiries for a service from around the enterprise or out on the Internet can be entertained and answered.
"Systinet, fully deployed, is $1 million in licenses" for a large enterprise customer, claimed Dave Rosenberg, CEO of MuleSource.
The future enterprise version of Galaxy will be available in the second quarter as an add-on for subscribers of Mule 1.5 Enterprise Edition, the core enterprise service bus currently available. The community edition or developer, pre-production use version of Galaxy is now available and can be freely downloaded from http://mulesource.com/download.
Galaxy 1.0 supports CFX, an Apache incubator project that supplies a framework to connecting enterprise services to a variety of Web protocols, including SOAP, XML/HTTP and RESTful HTTP. Galaxy 1.0 also supports Microsoft's Windows Communication Foundation, a set of .Net technologies for building Web services. Galaxy can be used as a standalone product or as part of Mule.
"In architecting Galaxy, we have taken a pragmatic approach that incorporates the needs of the vast community of Mule users," said Dan Diephouse, a MuleSource architect and Apache's project lead for CXF.
Mason said Mule will get another add-on in its 1.5 edition. Mule Saturn 1.0 is a transaction monitoring system that can provide detailed logging and reporting on every transaction, Mason said.