The WSO2 Application server, launched a year ago as Tungsten, supports most Web services standards generated by the World Wide Web Consortium and is geared toward supplying SOA as a set of Web services. It's designed to improve Web services performance and ease of implementation.
The 2.0 version manipulates XML within the application server rather than handing it off to a parser. It supports Web Services Description Language [WSDL] 2.0, WS-Security, WS-Policy, and Atom, the WS standard for blogging, as well as most other WS standards.
Version 2.0 offers a data retrieval service for relational databases, linking a data source to the application without requiring any programming, said WSO2 CEO Sanjiva Weerawarana in an interview. With the data service, business users can create mash-ups up that display data from different sources.
WSO2's support for WS-Security comes in the form of a selection list of the top ten most commonly implemented patterns of security for Web applications. WSO2 guides the developer using a wizard that asks for each user's identity and role, said Paul Freemantle, VP of technology sales.
The application server is built on Axis, an Apache Software Foundation open source project. The first version of Axis has become widely deployed in Web applications as a re-engineered SOAP protocol, implementing greater speed and ease of use through the simplified approach to the SOAP protocol, says Weerawarana.
WSO2 Application Server implements Axis2, a form of Web communications that seeks to restore speed and ease-of-use to SOAP in a re-engineered SOAP-like protocol. Weerawarana says his firm has several contributors to the Apache Axis project and understands the protocol well enough to optimize its speed in WSO2 Application Server. "We are four to five times faster," he says.
Version 2.0 has added support for a complex form of Java, Enterprise Java Beans, so that a service that exists as an EJB can be linked to and used by the application server. WSO2 comes in both Java and C versions, with the latter adept at supporting PHP scripting language now widely used on the Web.
The application server has an integrated development environment for building or extending applications.
In addition, said Weerawarana, the application server can be plugged into the Eclipse open source programmer's workbench and used to run code being developed in Eclipse. "It becomes a runtime environment embedded in Eclipse where you can debug code, test it or deploy it," he says. WSO2 Application Server is open source code supported by WSO2 Inc. An annual support contract is $1,000 a year per server for email-only support; $4,000 a year or $8,000 a year for expert telephone support.