Welcome!

Java Authors: Pat Romanski, Carmen Gonzalez, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Yakov Fain

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
SYS-CON Events announced today that SOA Software, an API management leader, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SOA Software is a leading provider of API Management and SOA Governance products that equip business to deliver APIs and SOA together to drive their company to meet its business strategy quickly and effectively. SOA Software’s technology helps businesses to accelerate their digital channels with APIs, drive partner adoption, monetize their assets, and achieve a...
From a software development perspective IoT is about programming "things," about connecting them with each other or integrating them with existing applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Yakov Fain, co-founder of Farata Systems and SuranceBay, will show you how small IoT-enabled devices from multiple manufacturers can be integrated into the workflow of an enterprise application. This is a practical demo of building a framework and components in HTML/Java/Mobile technologies to serve as a platform that can integrate new devices as they become available on the market.
BSQUARE is a global leader of embedded software solutions. We enable smart connected systems at the device level and beyond that millions use every day and provide actionable data solutions for the growing Internet of Things (IoT) market. We empower our world-class customers with our products, services and solutions to achieve innovation and success. For more information, visit www.bsquare.com.
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Red Hat, the world's leading provider of open source solutions, will exhibit at Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Red Hat is the world's leading provider of open source software solutions, using a community-powered approach to reliable and high-performing cloud, Linux, middleware, storage and virtualization technologies. Red Hat also offers award-winning support, training, and consulting services. As the connective hub in a global network of enterprises, partners, a...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Utimaco will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Utimaco is a leading manufacturer of hardware based security solutions that provide the root of trust to keep cryptographic keys safe, secure critical digital infrastructures and protect high value data assets. Only Utimaco delivers a general-purpose hardware security module (HSM) as a customizable platform to easily integrate into existing software solutions, embed business logic and build s...
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic • Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happens, where data lives and where the interface lies. For instance, it’s a mix of architectural style...
Connected devices are changing the way we go about our everyday life, from wearables to driverless cars, to smart grids and entire industries revolutionizing business opportunities through smart objects, capable of two-way communication. But what happens when objects are given an IP-address, and we rely on that connection, sometimes with our lives? How do we secure those vast data infrastructures and safe-keep the privacy of sensitive information? This session will outline how each and every connected device can uphold a core root of trust via a unique cryptographic signature – a “bir...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Matrix.org has been named “Silver Sponsor” of Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Matrix is an ambitious new open standard for open, distributed, real-time communication over IP. It defines a new approach for interoperable Instant Messaging and VoIP based on pragmatic HTTP APIs and WebRTC, and provides open source reference implementations to showcase and bootstrap the new standard. Our focus is on simplicity, security, and supporting the fullest feature set.
Internet of @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley announced on Thursday its first 12 all-star speakers and sessions for its upcoming event, which will take place November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in California. @ThingsExpo, the first and largest IoT event in the world, debuted at the Javits Center in New York City in June 10-12, 2014 with over 6,000 delegates attending the conference. Among the first 12 announced world class speakers, IBM will present two highly popular IoT sessions, which will take place November 4-6, 2014 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, Calif...
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Robin Raymond, Chief Architect at Hookflash Inc., will walk through the shifting landscape of traditional telephone a...
WebRTC defines no default signaling protocol, causing fragmentation between WebRTC silos. SIP and XMPP provide possibilities, but come with considerable complexity and are not designed for use in a web environment. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Matthew Hodgson, technical co-founder of the Matrix.org, will discuss how Matrix is a new non-profit Open Source Project that defines both a new HTTP-based standard for VoIP & IM signaling and provides reference implementations.

SUNNYVALE, Calif., Oct. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Spansion Inc. (NYSE: CODE), a global leader in embedded systems, today added 96 new products to the Spansion® FM4 Family of flexible microcontrollers (MCUs). Based on the ARM® Cortex®-M4F core, the new MCUs boast a 200 MHz operating frequency and support a diverse set of on-chip peripherals for enhanced human machine interfaces (HMIs) and machine-to-machine (M2M) communications. The rich set of periphera...

SYS-CON Events announced today that Aria Systems, the recurring revenue expert, has been named "Bronze Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Aria Systems helps leading businesses connect their customers with the products and services they love. Industry leaders like Pitney Bowes, Experian, AAA NCNU, VMware, HootSuite and many others choose Aria to power their recurring revenue business and deliver exceptional experiences to their customers.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is going to require a new way of thinking and of developing software for speed, security and innovation. This requires IT leaders to balance business as usual while anticipating for the next market and technology trends. Cloud provides the right IT asset portfolio to help today’s IT leaders manage the old and prepare for the new. Today the cloud conversation is evolving from private and public to hybrid. This session will provide use cases and insights to reinforce the value of the network in helping organizations to maximize their company’s cloud experience.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is making everything it touches smarter – smart devices, smart cars and smart cities. And lucky us, we’re just beginning to reap the benefits as we work toward a networked society. However, this technology-driven innovation is impacting more than just individuals. The IoT has an environmental impact as well, which brings us to the theme of this month’s #IoTuesday Twitter chat. The ability to remove inefficiencies through connected objects is driving change throughout every sector, including waste management. BigBelly Solar, located just outside of Boston, is trans...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Matrix.org has been named “Silver Sponsor” of Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Matrix is an ambitious new open standard for open, distributed, real-time communication over IP. It defines a new approach for interoperable Instant Messaging and VoIP based on pragmatic HTTP APIs and WebRTC, and provides open source reference implementations to showcase and bootstrap the new standard. Our focus is on simplicity, security, and supporting the fullest feature set.
Predicted by Gartner to add $1.9 trillion to the global economy by 2020, the Internet of Everything (IoE) is based on the idea that devices, systems and services will connect in simple, transparent ways, enabling seamless interactions among devices across brands and sectors. As this vision unfolds, it is clear that no single company can accomplish the level of interoperability required to support the horizontal aspects of the IoE. The AllSeen Alliance, announced in December 2013, was formed with the goal to advance IoE adoption and innovation in the connected home, healthcare, education, aut...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Red Hat, the world's leading provider of open source solutions, will exhibit at Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Red Hat is the world's leading provider of open source software solutions, using a community-powered approach to reliable and high-performing cloud, Linux, middleware, storage and virtualization technologies. Red Hat also offers award-winning support, training, and consulting services. As the connective hub in a global network of enterprises, partners, a...
The only place to be June 9-11 is Cloud Expo & @ThingsExpo 2015 East at the Javits Center in New York City. Join us there as delegates from all over the world come to listen to and engage with speakers & sponsors from the leading Cloud Computing, IoT & Big Data companies. Cloud Expo & @ThingsExpo are the leading events covering the booming market of Cloud Computing, IoT & Big Data for the enterprise. Speakers from all over the world will be hand-picked for their ability to explore the economic strategies that utility/cloud computing provides. Whether public, private, or in a hybrid form, clo...