Friday, May 6, 2011

To build the best ESB, you have to select the best open source components too!

If you've ever wondered how we build the worlds best Free and Open Source ESB, in terms of performance, features and ease of use; then read about it all on Thanking great Open Source projects and teams!

To build the best Open Source ESB, we *had* to select; and only depend on; the best Open Source components - and not the old cupboards or the stinking kitchen sinks, that some vendors cannot yet entangle themselves from!

Did I mentioned that our complete distribution is just ~35MB? Compare it to some others who call 135MB upto ~1G ESB's as light. I guess after putting lipstick on the Pig, they now like to call it "light-weight" like a damsel too ;) But sadly, some are still stuck in the days of hub-and-spoke messaging, and some made the whole world around them too SOAPy and slippery too soon as they didn't take enough REST at the right time.

Being the youngest ESB in town, and to Win! - we had no choice but to select the best technologies and open source projects that we would depend on and use.

Introducing true Zero-Copy proxying, with memory mapped files and Non-Blocking IO was killer in performance. Some even tried to copy the keywords without implementing the code, and even without understanding what Zero-Copy was :)

We also introduced the concept of using Java (classes or just fragments) or any JSR 223 scripting language (such as Javascript, Groovy, Ruby) for mediation. Although many vendors falsely claim that their ESB is "configuration" only - the configuration language they use is no different from a programming language. However, someone new must learn that "XML"ish language to "program business logic" - and no one is going to tell him the equivalent of a try {} catch {} finally block that can be reliably used in that context :)

Our approach was to let the user decide the way he is going to mediate, using a language and/or technologies he is already aware of. But unlike some ESBs where you write Java code, then use some script to compile, bundle and deploy - the UltraESB just requires you to write the lines - and the compilation is hidden! You can even debug your mediation from within your favourite IDE - either IDEA, Eclipse or Netbeans.

When we wanted to introduce clustering almost an year back, we looked at Apache ZooKeeper and knew at first sight that it was the right one for us - call it link at first sight ;) !

Selecting a UI framework was the most time consuming.. and we looked at GWT based, and other frameworks, based on the servlet model but did not find the right balance. We wanted to use the best of HTML5/CSS3 and be in control always.

The combination of HTML5/CSS3/JQuery/datatables - connected via JSON using Pure - to a Wink REST application secured by Shiro and implemented via JMX with direct calls to the remote ESB was one of the main introductions in this last release! But it was all worth it! Except for a few issues on the IE browser (which statistically a lot fewer people use now) everything has been smooth. But we will follow up a 1.4.1 release with these fixes for IE too.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

UltraESB Code Quality Metrics - updated for v1.4.0

We've updated the code quality metrics for the free and open source UltraESB v1.4.0 release recently, and our glad to still have a 43.3% code coverage (46.1% of the lines and 36.2% of branches) and 15.5% of code comments (46% documented API)

The total lines of code increased to 33,563 spread over 69 packages and 426 classes, with v1.4.0 which introduced the web based administration console - UConsole, support for clustering, automated round-robin restarts, XACML and even faster XML performance with FastXML

By building each sample as both an end-user executable, and documented sample, as well as a JUnit test case has paid a lot. AFAIK we ship the most number of samples for any ESB with 48 sample configurations with over 100 sample proxy services!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

UConsole - the node/cluster management console of the UltraESB

Sampath has published a detailed article on the architecture of the UConsole with a brief introduction to some of its functions. The UConsole is an ultra light-weight Jetty based web application that uses HTML5/CSS3 to render the pages. All front end pages and scripts thus can be safely cached by a browser, and all pages fetch data over a JSON API exposed by a REST application deployed using Apache Wink.

The UConsole is the graphical management console, to the re-vamped JMX based UltraESB management API using MXBeans. Thus any function that can be monitored or performed via the UConsole, can be performed via JMX too.

One neat aspect of the UConsole is the ability to connect to any node via its JMX URL. So when you connect to a cluster, you can connect to any single node of the cluster. Apache ZooKeeper ensures that you can perform any cluster wide function from any connected node. There is no "administration server", master or slaves, or any single point of failure!

We intend to develop a command line administration interface over the JSON/REST API in future, when it will add value to the product.

Monday, May 2, 2011

AdroitLogic announces v1.4.0 of the UltraESB

The latest version brings support for clustering using ZooKeeper, and introduces a web based administration console, and support for Caching, XACML and JSON among many other features.
Singapore - May 2, 2011 - AdroitLogic Private Ltd. announced today the release v1.4.0 of its free and open source Enterprise Service Bus, the UltraESB. The UltraESB is released under the OSI approved GNU Affero General Public License; as well as a zero-dollar non-GPL commercial license which allows unlimited and perpetual use free of charge. First released in January 2010, the UltraESB was the first ESB to utilize memory mapped files and zero-copy, coupled with non-blocking IO to provide extreme levels of performance.

Version v1.4.0 released today offers support for clustering and management of cluster nodes through the new Web based administration console based on JMX. Clustering support is built over Apache ZooKeeper, which is used to manage extremely large clusters of Hadoop nodes. Advanced features such as automatic restart of a complete cluster of nodes - with round-robin processing, or management of a service, or endpoint across a cluster have been made trivial operations. The new version also supports caching, and the current release ships support for ehCache. The new release also ships support for high performance XML processing, utilizing FastXML. This allows end users to integrate third party libraries such as VTD XML with the UltraESB for extremely fast XPath processing, without parsing XML payloads. XACML is supported for fine grained authorization using the PicketBox  XACML library, and automatic conversion to/from JSON to XML makes processing JSON payloads even simpler.

In addition to supporting many transports and message formats, the UltraESB also offers support to easily develop JSON based data services with just a single line of configuration, and provides full support for the HTTP transport, including true REST support, basic, digest, NTLM and Amazon S3 authentication using pre-emptive authentication or challenge response mechanisms as applicable. The UltraESB also ships a very high performance WS-Security library that allows it to perform WS-Security operations over 3X faster than solutions based on the WSS4J/Rampart libraries used by other ESBs.

JMX support has been thoroughly improved to utilize MXBeans, and allows detailed monitoring and management of a runtime using JMX consoles such as Zabbix. The UltraESB now ships with a native Zabbix agent for even easier monitoring. As the UltraESB integrates with the Spring framework and supports Java as well as JSR 223 scripting languages, integration with third party libraries and extension is simple and powerful.