Monday, June 27, 2011

ActiveMQ IS Ready For Prime Time

The ActiveMQ project has been around since 2005 - and has been a top level project at the Apache Software Foundation for a good part of that. The aims of the ActiveMQ project has been to provide a world class enterprise messaging solution, with brokers being able to provide connectivity from smart, IP enabled devices all the way through to high availability at the enterprise back end. ActiveMQ provides cross language clients - including Java/C/C++/C#/Perl/PHP/Python etc - for a full list see here. Open connectivity has always been a goal, which why as well as OpenWire and STOMP, ActiveMQ will be supporting AMQP 1.0 when its finalised. 

FuseSource ships is own distributions of Apache ActiveMQ (called FuseMQ), Camel, ServiceMix (FuseESB) and CXF. The code base is exactly the same as Apache, however we need to be able to ship mission critical fixes and enhancements within hours for production systems. We also ensure that these distinct projects work well together on different platforms, and put the releases through more extensive system tests. I mention this because some of the case studies that I'll refer to mention FuseMQ - which is is the same code as ActiveMQ - and can be used as a drop-in replacement - its just better tested.

The Java/C++/C# clients support seamless failover if connectivity is lost to a broker - and brokers can be configured in highly available clusters. In addition, ActiveMQ supports connectivity between brokers over wide-area networks, using store and forward network topologies. This means that ActiveMQ is not only used to provide connectivity between remote data centres, but is also being used to provide connectivity between unreliable communications (dial-up, satellites).  This is particularly important for large retailers, to provide real time reliable connectivity for order placement, stick tracking and monitoring. There's a case study on SpecSaver's here - but I know some of the largest retailers in the US (as they are FuseSource customers) are also heavily using ActiveMQ for very similar deployments.

Enterprise Messaging has traditionally been used to enable large transactional systems for enterprise deployment. Can ActiveMQ do that ? Yes it can - FuseMQ is deployed as part of FuseESB - see this NY Times article.  Messaging is also used for  high volume real time updates - can ActiveMQ do that - yep  (CERN, RiotGames or JPL).  If you want an example of really mission critical deployment of ActiveMQ - look at the FAA case study on how its been utilised in the Next Generation Transport System.

In order for ActiveMQ to be utilised in so many varied deployments, it has to be very flexible, so that it can configured to run in the best way possible for a particular deployment. This asset can also be ActiveMQ's achilles heel. As a developer, I often expect things to just work, and figure out afterwards why they don't, however  ActiveMQ is one of those highly configurable tools that does require some upfront knowledge, or background reading (or at least reading the F.A.Q) before you can get the best out of it.

As FuseSource CTO, I see ActiveMQ being a unique foundation stone to the thousands of successful enterprise integration projects we support our many hundreds of enterprise customers on. ActiveMQ is not only ready for prime time, but with the innovation, flexibility and world beating performance being developed in ActiveMQ Apollo, it will continue to dominate the enterprise messaging space for many years to come.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

CamelOne - the one event to go to for open source integration

This is the first ever CamelOne event - designed for users of most popular integration projects, Apache Camel, ServiceMix, ActiveMQ and CXF. Why call it CamelOne? - cause Camel is the integration glue that holds them all together. Get more info here.

Friday, March 25, 2011

ActiveMQ in Action is in Print

Writing a book is easy - finding the time to do is the hard part. ActiveMQ in Action is now in print - if you are using ActiveMQ in anyway, you really should buy this book - it will save you time and money in the long run.

Monday, January 31, 2011

FuseSource launches beta for Fuse IDE for Apache Camel

Fuse IDE will eventually come in a number of different flavours, for different aspects of of integration (Web and Restful services, messaging as well as supporting remote configuration). Initially the first flavour will be for Enterprise Integration Patterns, with direct support for defining integration routes within the excellent Apache Camel. James Strachan has already blogged about this, but we will also be adding the ability to debug camel routes in the near future.

At FuseSource we recommend you always start any integration project first with Apache Camel, but if you want  high availability, distributed routes or simply a managed container to deploy your integration application in, then deploy your camel routes inside ServiceMix.

The focus for FuseSource in 2011 is building even more value for our users, as well as continuing to extend the envelope for innovation through our Apache integration projects of Camel, ActiveMQ, CXF and ServiceMix.

Making development of integration applications even easier with Eclipse based tooling is just one thread of development we are following, as we build on our success of last year.