Ten Bleeding-Edge Open Source Companies: Page 6

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6. WSO2

Location: Colombo, Sri Lanka

Founded: August 2005

Product or Service: WSO2 provides integrated middleware stacks based on Apache components. It currently offers four products, a Web Services Application Server, an Enterprise Service Bus, a Web Services Framework platform, and an Identity Solution that enables CardSpace authentication.

The flagship product is Tungsten, an Apache-based application server designed specifically for Web Services. It supports XML, SOAP, and WSDL. In addition to the standalone version, WSO2 also offers a version that can be hosted in Tomcat and J2EE application servers.

Funding: Secured $4 million from Intel Capital in 2006.

Competitive Landscape: Web Services are all the rage these days, so WSO2 is certainly not alone in targeting this space. The company contends, however, that it is different because it builds solutions for Web Services, rather than concocting middleware to glue Web Services capabilities onto the existing middleware for heavy-transaction Java-based applications. Layering may make sense when it comes to security, but with application platforms too many layers proves worrisome.

Or, as WSO2 puts it, their products “treat Web Services as first-class components instead of as a facade to existing middleware platform components. . . [e]nabling, rather than hiding, the XML nature of Web services to application programmers.”

At first glance, WSO2 competes in the Enterprise Service Bus market. After all, ESB products focus on sharing data across an organization. WSO2 does indeed offer an ESB product, but their attention is more focused on building Web Services from the ground up. In other words, while they understand the necessity of legacy support, they seem to be more interested in spawning future apps rather than extending existing ones.

Management Team: Sanjiva Weerawarana, chairman and CEO, founded WSO2 after spending close to eight years with IBM, where he helped found their Web Services platform; Jivaka Weeratunge, VP of finance, was previously managing director of at Strategic Consulting; Davanum Srinivas, director of customer engagements, previously spent seven years with CA; Paul Fremantle, VP of technical sales, was formerly a senior technical staff member at IBM; Jonathan Marsh, director of mashup technologies, was previously at Microsoft where he was the primary representative for W3C standards Working Groups in the XML and Web Services area.

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