tisdag 19 april 2011

Three mindblowing days of filling my brain with new stuff

This week we at Redpill-Linpro had the great fortune to be instructed by Charles Moulliard (FuseSource) on advanced topics covering ServiceMix and Camel.

Talking from my own experience I already had quite a good grasp of Camel, but ServiceMix was probably the eye-opener for me. Until now I've previously rolled my eyes each time SM was mentioned, thinking "why do we need yet another application platform when we have web servers, Spring, JEE servers etc already?".
What I did not understand until now is the flexibility you gain when deploying your integrations to a pure OSGI stack such as Karaf (which is the layer on top of your OSGI runtime) instead of using classic hierarchical class-loading servers.

One thing that also was clear is that ServiceMix, although labeled as an ESB, is actually sort of an application server in the sense that it is not only used for integration applications. Sure, you have a lot of Camel/CXF/ActiveMQ bundles already prebuilt and ready to be utilized, but looking at the architecture it is plain to see that any type of OSGI applications could benefit by being deployed into Karaf.

I can safely say that I've bought the hype of OSGI now after finally understanding what it actually gives you. I just hope for some better tooling when it comes to declaring your package exports and imports as that seems to be an area where you'll need to perform a lot of trial and error to get correct.

We also had some good discussions concerning the fact that a lot of supplementary (Activiti, JAMES etc..) and even competing frameworks already bundle Camel to expose transport options that are not already implemented by the framework itself. JBoss ESB i.e. comes with a Camel Gateway which could be used to handle messages originating from all types of transports available in Camel that the native ESB does not have adapters for.
It will be very interesting to see how long it takes for the big players (IBM and Oracle, I'm looking at you) to bundle Camel as part of their connector strategy. I can easily fantasize about i.e. a future Camel node in the Websphere Message Broker product as a way to extend the possible transport that it could provide.

'til next time!

tisdag 5 april 2011

New career, new opportunities

Today marked my first day as an employer at the open source consultant firm Redpill-Linpro. As you readers might have noticed, my interest in OS offerings in the integration space has recently risen up to the level where I'd like to make it into a career. Therefore I chose to switch my focus and work fulltime with the projects that has so far mostly been an interesting hobby at my spare time.

Personally I think that change is a good thing and you should always try to give yourself new insights, challenges and other perspectives on your knowledge. Therefore I am leaving the trusty IBM stacks I've known to love for the last 6 years or so and head out into the unknown, starting with JBoss SOA products and the FuseSource projects (Camel, ServiceMix etc..).

With that said, I am absolutely sure that I will miss all of my colleagues at Connecta since we've had some great moments and fond memories of assignments and projects (as well as some less strict endeavours in between).

Best of luck to you all, and hope we will see each other again soon!