I had the opportunity to meet with the folks from XAware a while ago and came away very intrigued by their technology, value proposition, and momentum.
For those not familiar with XAware, they are an open source company focused on simplifying the complexities of data integration. According to their website, “XAware’s mission is to be the world’s most popular way of integrating data and applications.”
Basically, XAware provides technology that executes distributed queries across multiple datasources so the integrated views, formatted as XML, can be more easily consumed and manipulated by Web 2.0 dashboards. applications, other integration infrastructure components such as ESBs, or XML query and reporting tools.
What I like about the technology is that it leaves the application data in place, in contrast to tools for extraction, transformation and loading, which perform "data movement" to create a new copy of data. People don't need more copies of data, they need to access their existing data more easily...and that is XAware's focus.
How many of you have heard something like the following request? We need a new Web 2.0 dashboard component that "just" grabs our existing call center data and displays it by region.
For developers, the word "just" can be a four letter word...especially if the data for the above request is spread out across multiple databases, systems, applications, etc. XAware does a great job simplifying the problem and enabling developers to focus on creating applications rather than dealing with data access and integration complexities.
So, the technology and value proposition sound good...but how are they doing from an awareness/momentum standpoint? Well Bill Miller, XAware Executive Chairman and CTO, had an interesting blog a few weeks ago: ">1,000 XAware Downloads per Day"
So, let's add a little more context to this impressive statistic. XAware announced last November that they would flip their technology from closed source to open source, and they announced the general availability of XAware 5 on March 11, 2008. Below is a chart of their monthly download pace over that timeperiod:
So, they have averaged over 15,000 downloads per month since their GA release, and at 13 days into May they are already over 10,000 downloads. Putting this into perspective, successful open source middleware projects like Spring Framework and Hibernate had paces of 10 - 15,000 downloads per month in their earlier years, so XAware's pace is impressive and worth keeping an eye on.
Bottom-line: The technology, value proposition, and momentum all look positive, so stop working so hard for your data and give XAware a try!