Sunday, July 23, 2006


Is Enterprise Service Bus the hype of the minute ...

Forrester just released an updated version of research covering Enterprise Service Bus which uncovers something troubling...

Cape Clear's CEO, Annrai O'Toole gloats in his blog how Cape Clear got the number one spot. I would love to ask him directly (He doesn't have trackback turned on but should) how CEO's of software companies feel when getting awarded the number one spot when many of his competitors where intentionally excluded out of the running?

CIOs and other folks in the enterprise should question the fact that neither report seems to list any open source ESBs. I know that Sun has one and pays a lot of money to analyst firms. I wonder if they are not paying enough in this space? I wonder if any Sun bloggers have an opinion on this aspect? Anyway, you may have noticed that the number one open source ESB ServiceMix is notoriously missing. What if the marketplace learned that the real number one ESB didn't originate from a closed source proprietary company but was community developed?

The hard part is that I would love to understand why it was excluded. Is it that the folks in the open source community aren't paying for consideration? Is it that all of these reports include vendor analysis which kinda doesn't make much sense in open source and therefore they exclude it because it breaks their taxonomy?

The primary vendor behind ServiceMix is LogicBlaze but that really shouldn't matter. It is reasonable for an enterprise that has the right mix of talent to use ServiceMix as their ESB platform without ever engaging in a conversation with LogicBlaze. The same thing can be said of JBoss, Alfresco and other open source products.

I wonder what Annrai's thoughts are on ServiceMix and whether he would actually demand of Forrester and Gartner their inclusion in the next updates in this space so that he is being fairly compared? I suspect that if he doesn't, the folks over at Sonic such as David Chappell may. I would also be curious to understand if James Strahan of LogicBlaze is asleep at the helm and not paying attention to what industry analysts are saying. Sadly, many open source projects and companies believe that industry analysts are of nebulous value (Actually, I agree) and therefore don't make the effort?

I wonder if LogicBlaze, Cape Clear, Sonic and others in the ESB space are clients of analyst firms that cover open source deeply such as Redmonk and 451 Group? They can gain insight even though their solutions aren't necessarily open. I would suspect that if Redmonk did similiar analysis, they might even note that the vast majority of enterprises that have successfully implemented SOA have done so without having an ESB in the first place. ESBs have no more than 2% market penetration and this is unlikely to change in the near future.

Anyway, maybe it is a failure of my peers in other enterprises not demanding of analyst firms they interact with to make sure that all research includes not only closed source proprietary software but open source solutions that are community driven. After all, you are their to find solutions to business problems regardless of the model in which they are developed...

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