Is right to select a non-Micorosoft product simply because its not a 'Microsoft' product?
In the UK in the public sector a product called LGOL-Net is being stalked as a BizTalk 2004 replacemnet as it can do everything BizTalk 2004 can. Furthermore its also being billed as free. Now I'm all for open source and I'm all for competion but in this case the challenge is based on two lies. Firstly LGOL does not offer half the features of BizTalk and secondly the support and TCO for the product are far from free. This menas the customer does not get to compare apples with apples.
LGOL-Net has significant weaknesses which can be summarised as follows:
1) Limited functionality: workflow services, comprehensive adapter strategy, business analytics and business rules are missing.
2) Complexity: LGOL-Net relies heavily on many open source components namely a J2EE application server like Tomcat, a web server like Apache and a database server like MySQL. All these have to be sourced from different sources increasing the complexity of installation and deployment.
3) Support: LGOL-Net inherits the usual support issues with Open Source software (accountability, liability, hidden cost) however as it relies on several other core middleware components for its operation, the problem of support is amplified. Patch, virus hardening and general support operations is potentially more complex in an LGOL-Net environment as several core components, from different sources, must be tracked simultaneously to ensure a safe operating environment. This essentially leads an organisation to subscribe to expensive support contracts, work with a single vendor like IBM or build significant in-house expertise.
For example, if one chose to install LGOL-Net on JBoss with MySQL the following chain of software needs to be installed (not including the OS):
· J2 SDK from Sun.com
· Apache Web Server from Apache.org
· Xerces XML Parser from Apache.org (a copy is bundled with the distribution CD)
· MySQL from MySQL.com
· JDBC driver from MySQL.com
· JBOSS Application Server from JBoss.org
· (Optional) Sun (not supported in this version) or IBM queuing software is recommended for message queuing
BizTalk 2004 2004’s requirements are:
· SQL Server
· (Optional) Team Site Services (bundled with Windows 2003)
· (Optional) Directory services are part of the Windows offering
The complexity of a LGOL-Net installation is further increased if the components are distributed across several systems (eg database is located on another system) as each component’s scalability and security model will differ (for example, distributing the MQSeries queuing system needs an MQSeries Server installed as well).
Distributing BizTalk 2004 2004 components is simplified because BizTalk 2004 and SQL Server and a common security model
So why are some local councils headng down this route? Well its Java and by rote not Microsoft and for some councils this is the main reason.Democracy at its worst.
Councils that have considered this route and have set-up proper and full analysis have all decided not to go this way. In fact one council is so strong in its opposition it went public in support of Microsoft.