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WSO2 Enterprise Service Bus (ESB)

WSO2 Launches Breakthrough Open Source Enterprise Service Bus for Web Services

New Apache Synapse-Based WSO2 ESB Supports Sub-Millisecond Processing, Scales to Thousands of Simultaneous Connections

Emsworth, England. June 11, 2007. * With Additional References.

WSO2, the open source middleware company, announced today general availability of the WSO2 Enterprise Service Bus (ESB). The XML and Web services-centric, open source WSO2 ESB rewrites the rules for enterprise service bus design, providing an ultra lightweight platform that can route messages with sub-millisecond overhead and can scale to manage thousands of simultaneous connections. The WSO2 ESB 1.0 significantly simplifies the implementation of a service-oriented architecture (SOA).

The WSO2 ESB is the first product to be closely based on the Apache Synapse 1.0 Web service management and integration broker, also being launched today. The Apache Synapse project ( has built a high-performance, flexible SOA framework around XML and Web services. The Apache Synapse project has released 1.0 of the code base after graduating from the Apache Incubator project at the beginning of the year.

The WSO2 ESB 1.0 extends the Apache Synapse XML router and mediation engine with an integrated registry and simple graphical interface that allows administrators to connect, manage and transform Web service interactions across their networks. The WSO2 ESB can instantly virtualize services, enabling users to route, version, load-balance, log, monitor and manage services without changing their application code.

With its simple Web-based interface, administrators can get the easy-to-use WSO2 ESB up and running in minutes. The WSO2 ESB's flexible deployment options support numerous enterprise architectures as well as providing a secure gateway to partners over the Internet.

"Traditionally, ESBs have been architected to support applications within an Intranet, and have relied on an additional layer of software to support Web services — adding to their size and complexity in the process," said Sanjiva Weerawarana, CEO of WSO2. "By taking an entirely fresh, ground-up approach to the design of our WSO2 ESB, we are able to offer a lightweight and highly easy-to-use platform for mediating Web services, which sets a new standard for performance and interoperability across the Web."

WSO2 ESB 1.0 Key Features

Key features of the WSO2 ESB 1.0 include:

  • The non-blocking http/s transport permits ultra-fast execution and support for large numbers of connections. Because the WSO2 ESB automatically optimizes the parsing of messages, it can perform virtualization and routing on standard 1kb in/1kb out interactions with less than a third of a millisecond overhead. In addition, it can support thousands of simultaneous connections.

  • Proxy services enable mediation of services without the need for coding; they include transport (HTTP/S, JMS, SMTP), interface (WSDL, Schema, Policy), message format (SOAP, POX), quality of service (WS-Security, RM), and optimization switching (MTOM, SwA). For example, the WSO2 ESB can be used to simply bridge between an XML message interaction on IBM's MQSeries middleware and a Web service call on a Microsoft .NET server.

  • An integrated registry/repository facilitates dynamic configuration, meaning that administrators can manage the ESB without having to bring the system down. The WSO2 ESB also includes built-in support for external registries, allowing resources to be centrally managed and refreshed as necessary without having to bring the systems down.

  • Throttling, load balancing and failover controls optimize availability and help to manage and maintain service-level agreements.

  • The light, feature-rich AJAX Web-based administration console facilitates monitoring, management and definition of policies, routing and transformations.

  • Configuration model support includes XSLT, XPath, Java, Ruby, and Javascript, providing administrators with maximum flexibility.

"Businesses understand the need for agile, loosely coupled architecture provided by SOA, but traditional IT approaches to integration often add complexity that prevents enterprises from fully realizing this goal," said Ronald Schmelzer, senior analyst and founder of IT analysis and advisory firm ZapThink LLC. "Offering a lightweight, code-free approach to service mediation, WSO2's ESB marks a significant move forward towards achieving the simplicity companies desire to optimize collaboration throughout the extended enterprise."

"SOA is uniquely supported by open source initiatives in that products produced via community development and governance are inherently inclusive and favor heterogeneity," said Dana Gardner, founder of IT research firm Interarbor Solutions, and author of Dana Gardner's BriefingsDirect blog on "Open source ESBs in particular, like WSO2 ESB 1.0, can be created and amended through the community to assimilate as many aspects of an IT environment as possible, providing a powerful bridge and high-performance mediation framework."

Availability and Support

The WSO2 Enterprise Service Bus is available now. Like the WSO2 Web Services Application Server (WSAS) launched last year, the WSO2 ESB is 100-percent open source and based on key open source standards. It works equally well with J2EE, .NET, JMS, and HTTP/S-based systems, as well as Apache Axis and Axis2 endpoints.

WSO2 offers a range of service and support options for the WSO2 ESB. These include consulting, custom development, and sponsorship of open source feature development; development and production support; and training. For information on service and support fees, visit Additionally, the WSO2 Oxygen Tank ( is an open portal that provides in-depth product information, tutorials, tools, forums, wikis and more.

About WSO2

WSO2 is an open source middleware company founded by pioneers in Web services and of members of the Apache Software Foundation Web services community. The company is delivering a new, entirely open source middleware stack that is optimized for Web services and SOA and built on Apache Axis2. The company's first products are the WSO2 Web Services Application Server (WSAS) and WSO2 Enterprise Service Bus (ESB), which are built on the WSO2 Web Services Framework. The company is backed by Intel Capital and maintains operations in the United States, United Kingdom, and Sri Lanka.


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Additional References

  • Apache Synapse. Apache Synapse is an easy-to-use and lightweight XML and Web Services management and integration broker that can form the basis of a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) and Enterprise Service Bus (ESB). Apache Synapse offers a wide range of mediation capabilities, including support for a number of open standards, including XML, XSLT, XPath, SOAP, HTTP, JMS, Web Services Security, Web Services Reliable Messaging (WS-RM), SMTP and Web Services Addressing. Synapse supports a number of useful functions out-of-the-box without programming, but it also can be extended using popular programming languages such as Java, JavaScript, Ruby, and Groovy.

  • WSO2 Enterprise Service Bus. "The WSO2 Enterprise Service Bus is a lightweight XML and Web services centric platform, based on the Apache Synapse and Apache Axis2 projects. It supports connectivity, transformation and mediation, and management of Web services interactions. The WSO2 ESB provides a high-performance flexible XML router and mediation engine that allows you to Connect, Manage and Transform service interactions in your network. Over time, the WSO2 ESB will add the capability to store and manage your SOA metadata in a simple consistent way..."

  • [June 11, 2007] WSO2 ESB Performance Testing Round 1. "This article is the first of a set of articles that measures and compares the performance of the WSO2 ESB against other leading implementations — both Open Source and proprietary. In order to test the scenarios, we used three separate systems. They were for load generation, ESB deployment and to host the service implementation backend. The hardware and software configurations and the OS level tuning parameters used are listed under the 'Notes' section below. Please note: in order to get high levels of concurrent connections it is essential to tune the TCP/IP stack... Conclusion The results show the initial performance benchmark results of the WSO2 ESB / Apache Synapse, and proves its scalability to handle thousands of concurrent connections. It also shows that the WSO2 ESB is able to perform more XPath based CBR routing decisions, as well as XSLT transformations than one of the leading proprietary ESBs, with the results being almost twice as better in some scenarios. In addition, the memory footprint of the WSO2 ESB is about half the size of the competitor, meaning that — for example — the WSO2 ESB could be co-located with an existing service client or server..."

  • [June 12, 2007] "Apache Synapse 1.0 and WSO2 ESB 1.0 Released." By Stefan Tilkov. From InfoQ (June 12, 2007). "The Apache Software Foundation has released Apache Synapse 1.0; simultaneously, WSO2, the company behind Axis2, has released a commercial offering based on Synapse, called WSO2 ESB 1.0. As opposed to Axis2, Synapse is not programming environment. Instead, it is either configured and managed via an XML config file (in case of Synapse) or a graphical UI (in case of WSO2 ESB). InfoQ covered Synapse's graduation from incubator status back in January; since then, Synapse has been upgraded to use Apache Axis2 1.2, and expanded to include the non-blocking HTTP and HTTPS transport. In addition to sample and documentation improvements, suppport for WSDL endpoints and high availability features has been extended. InfoQ followed up with WSO2 CTO Paul Fremantle on the occasion of the 1.0 release. Obviously, the WSO2 ESB comes with commercial support and training provided by WSO2; in addition, it features a Web UI for administration and a registry....

  • [June 11, 2007] "WSO2 ESB 1.0 Released." By Paul Fremantle. Blog. Monday, 11 June 2007. "Today we launch the WSO2 ESB 1.0. You might look at this and at Apache Synapse 1.0 and ask what's the deal? The WSO2 ESB 1.0 is heavily based on Apache Synapse 1.0. The reason they are both being launched within days of each other is that we've been waiting for Synapse 1.0 to go out before we launched the ESB. So what is the difference? Well there are two/three main differences. [1] The first one is that the ESB has an AJAX-based Web User Interface to configure it. This UI helps to create and manage the configuration. [2] The second difference is support, training and consultancy. WSO2 is well-placed to advise, support and help you plan an ESB based on Apache Synapse and the WSO2 products. For many companies, the uptake of Open Source is gated by whether there is a professional services company willing to help them, and in this case we are ready! [3] The final difference is that we have built an internal registry and repository, that you can manage using the Web UI. This means that you can store, manage and use all the resources that are needed — WSDLs, URLs, XSLTs, Scripts, WS-Policies, Synapse.xmls, etc, in a single place. In my opinion this is one of the key aspects to really building an ESB with Synapse, or any other product. We have further enhancements to do in this area, so keep your eyes peeled. I've been asked a lot 'what is the value of the WSO2 ESB compared to other products or projects?', and I think there are three main aspects: Performance, Simplicity, and Pragmatism. The ESB has been designed to be blisteringly fast. Now we can't name names (because of the usual license agreement carp that proprietary vendors do), but we've tested the WSO2 ESB against a leading proprietary/closed-source ESB. Our figures show we can do simple routing 20% faster, content-based routing 30% faster and XSLTs 100% faster..."

  • [June 11, 2007] "WSO2 Releases Synapse-based Open-Source ESB." By Martin LaMonica. From CNET Blog (June 11, 2007). "Open-source start-up WSO2 on Monday released an open-source enterprise service bus based on any Apache Synapse project. Called WSO2 ESB, the server software is designed to integrate different applications by translating between different protocols and converting different XML formats. The product is based on Synapse, an open-source ESB done at the Apache Foundation with the participation of WSO2 employees. The company adds additional features on top of Synapse including a Web-based administration console and a registry and repository, said Paul Fremantle, WSO2 co-founder and its vice president of technical sales. There are several open source ESB product in the marketplace, such as MuleSource, as well as those from entrenched integration vendors, such as IBM. WSO2, which was started by IBM employees worked on Web services protocols, distinguishes itself from the competition by being very lightweight and designed for XML... The company's revenue model is to provide services, come including installation and support for the product which is available under the Apache license...

Prepared by Robin Cover for The XML Cover Pages archive.

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