Apache Tuscany Project to Simplify SOA Development

IBM and BEA back the Tuscany project, which sets out to simplify the composition of SOA-based systems through a set of frameworks and solutions.

As the Apache Software Foundation holds its annual conference in San Diego this week, one of the hot topics under discussion is likely to be a new proposal known as Tuscany.

Tuscany was approved as an Apache incubation last week. It is a project to bridge the gap between language-specific application component implementation technologies and higher-level SOA (service-oriented architecture) concepts and design approaches, the proposal for the project said.

With ease of development a continual goal for enterprise developers, the Tuscany project sets out to simplify the composition of SOA-based systems through a set of frameworks and solutions.

Most of the committers to the Tuscany project are from IBM and BEA Systems Inc. Yet the Tusany proposal said the project is being run as a meritocracy because the scope of the project "is so broad that we find it hard to envision success in any other way."

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Eddie ONeil, a senior software engineer at BEA and an Apache committer, said Java developers should keep an eye on Tuscany and the recently announced SCA (Service Component Architecture). Service enablement and moving up the stack above the J2EE (Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition) application layer are emerging trends, he added.

Meanwhile, an initial Tuscany implementation has been written in Java and has already been integrated with Apache Tomcat as a deployment platform, the proposal said. And the implementation will soon be integrated with other Java middleware environments, including Apache Geronimo and ObjectWeb Celtix, according to the proposal. In addition, another implementation has been written in C++, and other languages targeted for support include the BPEL (Business Process Execution Language), the proposal said.

Tuscany provides multiple language implementations of SCA specifications and related technologies such as SDO (Service Data Objects), another specification developed by IBM and BEA.

SCA is a set of specifications authored by BEA, IBM, Iona Technologies, Oracle Corp., SAP AG, Siebel Systems Inc., Sybase Inc. and Paris-based Xcalia S.A. The SCA specifications define a technology- and language-neutral component model that supports metadata for service authoring, composition and assembly.

Meanwhile, although BEA and IBM have not said it, some observers say Tuscany is the open-source project based on the SCA run-time prototype the two companies have been working on for several months now.

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