March 2007 Archives

IONA Advances SOA

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It's been an exciting month at IONA. First IONA acquired C24 and therefore strengthened both its technology in terms of data services including transformation, but also it's penetration in the financial services industry. Then this week IONA announced availability of a new product Artix™ Registry/Repository which I believe will have a major impact on how companies will view SOA governance.

The C24 acquisition improves IONA's position in the financial services (FS) sector. Artix has been doing quite will in FS because of it's ability to help large FS organizations reuse and interoperate their many IT infrastructure investments. So it's not unusual to see Artix being used to bridge between different technology gaps in trading systems etc. What C24 brings is support for so many of the standard types of message formats that move across these various infrastructure technologies, power transformation engines to support these formats, and of course some customers that have invested in C24 products. Artix Data Services will be a very powerful tool in IONA's SOA story.

Artix™ Registry/Repository is a very powerful innovation for SOAs. I was fortunate to get an early preview of this in Dublin in January and was very impressed with the vision and capabilities. The idea here is that in a distributed SOA infrastructure organizations need a much better handle on design-time, deploy-time and run-time governance. Whereas SOA management technologies, such as Amberpoint, help monitor and manage the flow of messages and data across your SOA, Artix™ Registry/Repository helps insure that the policies on those endpoints are up-to-date and valid. Artix™ Registry/Repository helps designers pull together the policies and configuration of endpoints, and then insure that those policies are maintained. New versions of policies can be pushed to appropriate endpoints and endpoint groupings. Endpoints can notify the repository of policy changes and so central governance can be maintained. So the repository is not just a static collection of metadata but is really the control center for your distributed SOA infrastructure.

I attended TheServerSide Symposium in Las Vegas last week. I participated in an export panel on SOA. The panel was video taped and so I hope to post a link to that panel when it becomes available. The panel changed from advertised with Venkat Subramaniam (Agile Techologies), Neal Ford (ThoughtWorks), and Mark Richards (IBM) joining late when Eugene Ciurana (WalMart) dropped out.

We discussed the role of various technologies including ESBs and registries/repositories, we talked about SOA testing, best practices and use cases etc. I thought it went very well.

I was interested in Ross Manson's Mule & Spring talk. What I found most interesting is how Spring and Mule are maturing and therefore having to deal with enterprise class problems. It was like going back in time 10 years to an OMG CORBA event with people asking about high availability and other enterprise features. All middleware and container technologies go through the same cycle - cool "Hello World" type demo, add extra powerful features, hit the complexity of enterprise computing. The biggest challenge is trying to keep the "simple" technology simple as you layer on the extra functionality. Distributed SOA infrastructure manages to get complex as you try to continue to scale it. High availability wasn't something on offer with Mule ... yet.

IONA's Celtix Enterprise integrates with Mule and also contains Spring as a container for POJO type services. William Tam (IONA) showed me a really cool mash-up demo using Celtix with Spring and Mule. It involved a company tracking trucks through a city ... and of course it used the Google Maps API. I have it installed on my Mac and hope to play with it again soon. I hope someone can host this - perhaps I will. I'll let you know.

Who is IPBabble

William Henry IPBabble is the personal blog of William Henry.

William has over 20 years experience in software development and distributed computing and holds a M.Sc from Dublin City University. He is currently working in the office of CTO at Red Hat, in the Emerging Technologies team. This weblog is not funded by Red Hat.

Posts are intended to express independent points of view, but understand that there is probably a bias based on the influence of working with standards based middleware for over a decade. (See disclaimer below)

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Disclaimer

The views expressed in this blog are solely the personal views of the author and DO NOT represent the views of his employer or any third party.

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