Wednesday, 5 December 2007

IBM WebSphere Process Server and Apache Tuscany: Not in love. Yet.

I've just spotted a post on Bobby Wolfe's blog discussing the relationship between Apache Tuscany and WebSphere Process Server. He has confirmed that WPS will not be based on the Tuscany runtime.

I've been using Process Server since before it went GA way back in late 2005, and at the time, Tuscany was more embryo than fully fledged citizen of the SOA world. It drew my attention even then, because WPS - despite being a brand new product - was flying the SCA flag without actually being capable of implementing the 1.0 standard. Unfortunately for IBM, the last point release of the standard had made some fairly significant changes to the way code was structured into modules, which might have made it hard for IBM to implement the 1.0 standard on their existing architecture.

The combination of these inherent limitations, and IBM's bundling of Tuscany within the (snappily titled) IBM WebSphere Application Server Version 6.1 Feature Pack for SOA meant that we always assumed IBM would ultimately migrate Process Server across to the Tuscany, with the value add coming from IBM's established process, mapping and rules engines. Since the feature pack was out for 6.1, we had hoped (perhaps beyond hope) that this would happen as part of the WPS 6.1 release, which it would seem now is not the case.

This is something of a disappointment for me, as our architecture was being made significantly more complex than it needed to be because of the lengths we had to go to to re-use 'service capabilities' (more on these another day) across services.

I'm still 99% sure IBM will make this transition at some stage - they'd be crazy not to in my opinion, since there is plenty of value add IBM can provide in the components that sit on top of the SCA runtime, and every dollar they save working on the runtime they can use to add new glossy features to the remainder of the product.

My money is on WPS 7.0. How about you?

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