Plenty of companies incorporate open source into parts of their software infrastructure. Used in the proper context, open source provides business value.
But, open source is not a panacea. Benefits must outweigh the risks—and those risks are great when the project is the integration middleware on which you'll base your organization's success—including its customer interactions, business processes, services, and decisions.
While the easy access and seemingly low upfront costs of an open source ESB (OSS ESB) may be attractive, the costs for maintaining or changing systems can be exorbitant. Just when you need to scale or enable a new type of integration to meet growing needs is a bad time to find out about increased costs, delays, or needed change. This is the biggest “gotcha" with open-source integration software.
Misconceptions about open-source ESB platforms abound. See the top four myths below so you can avoid taking on bottom-line risk.
It's not free from companies that are trying to build a business around open source. You'll pay for services, support—and as your business grows—for costly value-added features that will become necessary to meet SLA requirements. Instead of “free," look for a solution that offers low Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).
Many open source projects have large user communities, but the source is generally controlled by a small number of contributors. In addition, if the open source business model being leveraged is proposing added value on top of the community version, then the source is controlled by the vendor just like any other commercial offering.
Well, maybe. How do you know there aren't IP issues in the code, like in the Novell/SCO UNIX case? Will your vendor indemnify you against lawsuits? Even if it does, will that protect you? IP issues aside, source reviews don't help you assess security, scalability, interoperability, or other important architectural features. By its very nature, open source is also less controlled in deployment and patch management.
Cloud-based open-source ESBs work just like other SaaS applications: you typically don't have access to the code. How well will it connect your on-premise applications with other SaaS services? You can't know.
You owe it to yourself and your organization to go beyond “good enough" and secure integration capabilities that deliver low TCO and high returns. Using a proven platform that is the foundation of thousands of the world's most advanced integration architectures supplies:
TIBCO's leading integration platform allows organizations to create and orchestrate services and capture and publish events from internal or external applications and technologies. Developers can rapidly develop and graphically test integration processes in a no-code, Eclipse-based IDE. These processes are then deployed in a reliable, highly available, and scalable architecture.