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Behind Tungsten: New Open Source Web Services Platform

by Miko Matsumura on May 30, 2006 |
WSO2 last week released Tungsten, an open source web services application server platform under the Apache Software License.  WSO2 (name derived from “Oxygenating the Web Service Platform”), is a professional open source company founded by members of the Apache Open Source Software community including Sanjiva Weewarana, Davanum "Dims" Srinivas and Paul Fremantle,  co-chair of the OASIS Web Services RX Technical Committee and co-creator of the Web Services Invocation Framework (WSIF) with Sanjiva.

Tungsten is a platform which supports all the components of the WS-* stack and provides an integrated runtime that aims to be easy for developers and administrators to use. Tungsten has bundled all of the key components of the Apache Web services stack and provided a single download which as been integrated and tested. This platform is intended to make it easy to write applications that interact with the world through XML. Tungsten applications can be written as POJOs (Plain Old Java Objects) or via direct programmatic access to the XML using AXIOM (the native model in Axis2) or the STAX API (The Streaming API for XML). Developers can start with WSDL/Schema or they can start with their object model and build out from there.

Key features of WSO2 Tungsten/Java 1.0 include
  • Full support for WS-* including SOAP 1.1/1.2, WSDL 1.1, MTOM, XOP & SOAP with Attachments, WS-Addressing, WS-Security, WS-SecurityPolicy, WS-ReliableMessaging, WS-Policy, WS-Policy Attachment.
  • Interoperability with Microsoft .NET, Windows Communications Framework (Indigo) and IBM WebSphere
  • XML-centric client API including full WSDL and policy support
  • Synchronous as well as asynchronous Web service utilization
  • Archive based modules and services deployment model with hot deployment support
  • Flexible service life cycle model for managing different level of sessions
  • RSS/ATOM support makes it easy to monitor your server through your browser or feed aggregator
  • Manageable and monitorable through JMX, browser and a command line admin client
  • Available as a standalone lightweight server, or embeddable Web archive inside Tomcat and Jboss.
Paul Fremantle commented to InfoQ about the future of the product:
"We want to make Tungsten even faster, simpler and of course track the standards and the Apache components. So over time we'd like to offer the full distributed security model you get with Trust and SecureConversation. We are tracking the WSRM spec and we'll have full support for the OASIS standard when that goes final. We think that the Web and intranets are constantly becoming more and more XML focused. Just witness the uptake and interest around AJAX. Tungsten is a perfect backend for AJAX applications. So we see Tungsten helping to drive that movement."

WSO2 also plans to include support for WSDL 2.0, WS-Trust, WS-SecureConversation, WS-Coordination, WS-Atomic Transactions and WS-Metadata Exchange in the future.

WSO2 was a founder of the Apache Synapse Project, an open source mediation framework based on Axis2. WSO2 has a vision for  pure-play approach to web services as a platform, without focusing on implementation languages such as Java or .Net.  As a professional open source company, WSO2 provides commercial support and professional services around Tungsten and many of the Apache projects they are a part of. Their next project due for release in 2006 will be Titanium, an open source ESB. 

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What category is this product? by PJ Murray

This looks a bit strange - they are just implementing a bunch of industry specs.

Is this an alternative to an JEE application server or AXIS or ESB or what?

Re: What category is this product? by Paul Fremantle

Its an alternative to an Application Server. It serves XML. So it can be used as an AJAX server, or a B2B server, or a web services server. You can build simple process flows using POJOs and a DB. Basically its an SOA server.

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