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To read Part I of this article, click here.

Some open source BPM purity is available

At the end of 2006, an organization called OW2 was formed from previous open source foundation efforts called ObjectWeb (a joint project among the French Institut national de recherche en informatique et en automatique (INRIA), the systems supplier Bull, and France Telecom) and another similar organization called Orientware launched in 2004 in China. OW2 is very similar to the better known Apache Software Foundation (ASF), working from the same "pure" open source philosophy (saying that with the understanding that the very essence of open source is that there is no arbiter of purity).

OW2 is working on Enhydra Shark, a workflow server based on standards from the Workflow Management Coalition (WfMC) specification. That specification uses both the Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN) language and the XML Process Definition Language (XPDL). OW2 also has a project for a BPM tool set called Bonita. OW2 released a new version of Bonita in May 2009. Bonita provides an enactment engine, APIs, a process definition tool and an administrative application. Both Shark and Bonita are licensed under the LGPL.

In February 2009, ESB provider WSO2, a commercial open source supplier closely tied to the ASF that does not adopt the hybrid approach, announced a BPEL-compliant BPM composition and orchestration tool as part of a componentized SOA Framework it calls Carbon. In a 2009 ebizQ podcast, Paul Fremantle, Chief Technology Officer and co-founder of WSO2, explained the company's views on the convergence of culture, Ts&Cs and standards.

"Our Business Process Server is based on an ASF project called Apache ODE, which is a full BPEL implementation," Fremantle said. "When we started out as an open source company, we had in mind that we were going to do a BPEL server not least because our CEO and my co-founder Sanjiva Weerawarana was one of the authors of the spec. But we found that the market wasn't yet ready for it. So we worked on the underlying framework first. But what we've really seen over the last year is a big ramp up in demand for BPEL." In addition, the WSO2 Carbon framework follows the OSGi component model so that pieces such as the WSO2 BPEL server can plug into any OSGi environment (OSGi was formerly known as the Open Services Gateway initiative but is now broader than gateways).


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