Welcome!

Java Authors: Avi Rosenthal, David Skok, Elizabeth White, Srinivasan Sundara Rajan, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: Java

Java: Article

SOA + EDA = Open Source ESB: ServiceMix(*)

Developing a new type of ESB

Today's enterprise applications are distributed by design. For applications to interact with one another over networks optimally, they require Service Oriented and Event Driven Architectures made up of loosely federated business resources, that interact by exchanging requests (for data delivery and integration, as well as for services) and that can handle streams of diverse business processes in real-time. To support large-scale, enterprise integration, organizations need to adopt strategies that rationalize the infrastructure for integration based on the requirements of business/IT organization itself. The only successful integration efforts are those that provide agile, pervasive and low cost solutions in order to cater to today's diverse deployment environments, while fully leveraging available standards.

Enterprise Service Bus (ESB), which can be defined as middleware that brings together both integration technologies and runtime services to make business services widely available for reuse, offers the best solution for meeting today's enterprise application integration challenges by providing a software infrastructure that enables SOA. However, there are currently a number of different vendors that provide ESB solutions, some of which focus purely on SOAP/HTTP and others who provide multi-protocol capabilities. Because these vendors span the horizon from big enterprise generalists (app servers), to mid-tier enterprise integration providers, all the way to smaller, ESB/integration specific-providers - there doesn't seem to be an established consensus regarding the key requirements for an ESB.

As application architects, we have often thought about what requirements would define an ESB designed specifically to cater to the needs of an agile, enterprise integration model. In building for these specific requirements, we realized that we actually needed to develop a new type of ESB - hence the ServiceMix project.

Characteristics of an Agile ESB
The main criteria we were looking for in our ESB are as follows:

  • Standards based - While standards-based support is marketed by many ESB vendors, the support is provided externally, requiring developers to work with proprietary APIs when directly interacting with internal APIs. ServiceMix was designed with the requirement to eliminate product API lock-in, by being built from the ground up to support the Java Business Integration specification (JSR 208). Our agile ESB needs to use JBI as a first class citizen, but also support POJO deployment for ease of use and testing.
  • Flexible - Another characteristic of an agile ESB is the flexibility with which it can be deployed within enterprise application integration framework: standalone, embedded in an application component, or as part of the services supported by an application server. This allows for component re-use throughout the enterprise. For example, the binding for a real-time data feed might be aggregated as a web-service running within an application server, or streamed directly into a fat client on a traders desk. An agile ESB should be able to run both types of configurations seamlessly.

    To provide rapid prototyping, an agile ESB should support both scripting languages and embedded rule engines, allowing business processes to be modeled and deployed quickly.

    Some have argued that integration functionality is best place at the edges of the network. Others prefer a logical ESB server to be separate from the edges - to keep the edges simple and lightweight. Both approaches have their strengths and weaknesses - so we wanted an ESB that is simple and lightweight to deploy into any JVM or into a web server or a full Java EE server - reusing all the available facilities in which it is deployed.

  • Reliable - Our ESB needs to handle network outages and system failures and to be able to reroute message flows and requests to circumvent failures.
  • Breadth of Connectivity - An agile ESB must support both two way reliable Web-services and Message Oriented-Middleware and needs to co-operate seamlessly with EIS and custom components, such as batch files.
In addition we want support for the various new WS-* standards to do with connectivity like WS-Notification, WS-DistributedManagement and WS-ReliableMessaging.

We also wanted our agile ESB to be vendor independent and open source, to promote user control of source code and direction. An added benefit of this is not only the zero purchase cost, but the total cost of ownership will be reduced where users are actively contributing and maintaining our ESB.

We rapidly came to the conclusion, that as there was no single product that would adequately meet our needs, we'd have just go a head and build one!

What Is JBI?
There has been a fair amount of buzz about JBI and there is some confusion over what JBI (JSR 208) is.

JBI is a simple API to a Normalized Message Service and Router along with a component and management model for deploying integration services such as routing engines, BPEL engines, rule systems, transformation engines etc.

JBI provides a logical XML messaging network which maps well to web services, HTTP, email and JMS/MOM while easily adapting to legacy systems, binary transports and RPC systems like EJB and CORBA. Think of it as the next logical abstraction above JMS, with support for different message exchanges (one way, request response etc).

The binding components deal with all the plumbing and protocol stuff, then service engine components work on a logical XML layer, providing content based routing, orchestration, rules, transformations and custom enrichment etc.

So BPEL engines no longer need to deal with all of the possible protocols, transports and wire formats; they can just delegate to JBI for the physical routing to service endpoints. Similarly content based routers, rules engines, transformation engines can sit on the JBI bus and do their thing. JBI is looking like being a great API for integration component developers.

Many application developers will still end up writing POJO services and dropping them into their container and exposing them as web services - so often they won't need to use the JBI APIs directly; but for integration vendors and open source integration projects, JBI provides a way for us to all work together at the ESB level and to reuse integration containers, components and tooling.

ServiceMix
ServiceMix is an open source (Apache licensed) Enterprise Service Bus which is compliant with the Java Business Specification (JBI), JSR 208.

ServiceMix already provides JBI support for Apache Geronimo, the first application server to provide this feature.

More Stories By Robert Davies

Rob Davies is chief technology officer at FuseSource. One of the original members of the team, he co-founded LogicBlaze which was purchased by IONA and is now FuseSource. Prior to working for Logicblaze, he was a founder and the CTO of SpiritSoft which was purchased by Sun Microsystems. Rob has over 20 years experience of developing high performance distributed enterprise systems and products for telcos and finance, and is best known for his work at the Apache Software Foundation where he co-founded the ServiceMix, ActiveMQ, and Camel projects. He is now the PMC chair of ServiceMix and continues to be an active committer on all three projects. You can read his blog, On Open Source Integration, or follow him on twitter.

More Stories By James Strachan

James Strachan, technical director at IONA, is responsible for helping the Company provide open source offerings for organizations requiring secure, high-performance distributed systems and integration solutions. He is heavily involved in the open source community, and has co-founded several Apache projects, including ActiveMQ, Camel, Geronimo and ServiceMix. He also created the "Groovy" scripting language and additional open source projects such as dom4j, jaxen and Jelly. Prior to joining IONA, James spent more than 20 years in enterprise software development. Previously, James co-founded LogicBlaze, Inc., an enterprise open source company acquired by IONA. Prior to that, he founded SpiritSoft, Inc., a company providing enterprise Java middleware services.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential.
“In the past year we've seen a lot of stabilization of WebRTC. You can now use it in production with a far greater degree of certainty. A lot of the real developments in the past year have been in things like the data channel, which will enable a whole new type of application," explained Peter Dunkley, Technical Director at Acision, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, phone and digital TV services to consumers primarily in rural areas.
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com), moderated by Ashar Baig, Research Director, Cloud, at Gigaom Research, Nate Gordon, Director of T...
The Internet of Things is not new. Historically, smart businesses have used its basic concept of leveraging data to drive better decision making and have capitalized on those insights to realize additional revenue opportunities. So, what has changed to make the Internet of Things one of the hottest topics in tech? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Gray, Director, Embedded and Internet of Things, discussed the underlying factors that are driving the economics of intelligent systems. Discover how hardware commoditization, the ubiquitous nature of connectivity, and the emergence of Big Data a...

ARMONK, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --  IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is bringing a greater level of control, security and flexibility to cloud-based application development and delivery with a single-tenant version of Bluemix, IBM's platform-as-a-service. The new platform enables developers to build ap...

"BSQUARE is in the business of selling software solutions for smart connected devices. It's obvious that IoT has moved from being a technology to being a fundamental part of business, and in the last 18 months people have said let's figure out how to do it and let's put some focus on it, " explained Dave Wagstaff, VP & Chief Architect, at BSQUARE Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that IDenticard will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. IDenticard™ is the security division of Brady Corp (NYSE: BRC), a $1.5 billion manufacturer of identification products. We have small-company values with the strength and stability of a major corporation. IDenticard offers local sales, support and service to our customers across the United States and Canada. Our partner network encompasses some 300 of the world's leading systems integrators and security s...
"People are a lot more knowledgeable about APIs now. There are two types of people who work with APIs - IT people who want to use APIs for something internal and the product managers who want to do something outside APIs for people to connect to them," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Nigeria has the largest economy in Africa, at more than US$500 billion, and ranks 23rd in the world. A recent re-evaluation of Nigeria's true economic size doubled the previous estimate, and brought it well ahead of South Africa, which is a member (unlike Nigeria) of the G20 club for political as well as economic reasons. Nigeria's economy can be said to be quite diverse from one point of view, but heavily dependent on oil and gas at the same time. Oil and natural gas account for about 15% of Nigera's overall economy, but traditionally represent more than 90% of the country's exports and as...
The Internet of Things is a misnomer. That implies that everything is on the Internet, and that simply should not be - especially for things that are blurring the line between medical devices that stimulate like a pacemaker and quantified self-sensors like a pedometer or pulse tracker. The mesh of things that we manage must be segmented into zones of trust for sensing data, transmitting data, receiving command and control administrative changes, and peer-to-peer mesh messaging. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ryan Bagnulo, Solution Architect / Software Engineer at SOA Software, focused on desi...
"At our booth we are showing how to provide trust in the Internet of Things. Trust is where everything starts to become secure and trustworthy. Now with the scaling of the Internet of Things it becomes an interesting question – I've heard numbers from 200 billion devices next year up to a trillion in the next 10 to 15 years," explained Johannes Lintzen, Vice President of Sales at Utimaco, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"For over 25 years we have been working with a lot of enterprise customers and we have seen how companies create applications. And now that we have moved to cloud computing, mobile, social and the Internet of Things, we see that the market needs a new way of creating applications," stated Jesse Shiah, CEO, President and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built to optimize Microsoft workloads, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Gridstore™ is the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built for Microsoft workloads and designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Gridstore’s hyper-converged infrastructure is the industry’s first all flash version of HyperConverged Appliances that include both compute and storag...
Today’s enterprise is being driven by disruptive competitive and human capital requirements to provide enterprise application access through not only desktops, but also mobile devices. To retrofit existing programs across all these devices using traditional programming methods is very costly and time consuming – often prohibitively so. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO, President, and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., discussed how you can create applications that run on all mobile devices as well as laptops and desktops using a visual drag-and-drop application – and eForms-buildi...
We certainly live in interesting technological times. And no more interesting than the current competing IoT standards for connectivity. Various standards bodies, approaches, and ecosystems are vying for mindshare and positioning for a competitive edge. It is clear that when the dust settles, we will have new protocols, evolved protocols, that will change the way we interact with devices and infrastructure. We will also have evolved web protocols, like HTTP/2, that will be changing the very core of our infrastructures. At the same time, we have old approaches made new again like micro-services...
Code Halos - aka "digital fingerprints" - are the key organizing principle to understand a) how dumb things become smart and b) how to monetize this dynamic. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robert Brown, AVP, Center for the Future of Work at Cognizant Technology Solutions, outlined research, analysis and recommendations from his recently published book on this phenomena on the way leading edge organizations like GE and Disney are unlocking the Internet of Things opportunity and what steps your organization should be taking to position itself for the next platform of digital competition.
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
As the Internet of Things unfolds, mobile and wearable devices are blurring the line between physical and digital, integrating ever more closely with our interests, our routines, our daily lives. Contextual computing and smart, sensor-equipped spaces bring the potential to walk through a world that recognizes us and responds accordingly. We become continuous transmitters and receivers of data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Bolwell, Director of Innovation for HP's Printing and Personal Systems Group, discussed how key attributes of mobile technology – touch input, sensors, social, and ...
In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect at GE, and Ibrahim Gokcen, who leads GE's advanced IoT analytics, focused on the Internet of Things / Industrial Internet and how to make it operational for business end-users. Learn about the challenges posed by machine and sensor data and how to marry it with enterprise data. They also discussed the tips and tricks to provide the Industrial Internet as an end-user consumable service using Big Data Analytics and Industrial Cloud.